Taylor Contarino Bare Minimum

Taylor Contarino Shows Her Artistry is More than “Bare Minimum” on Latest Single

Authentic singer and songwriter Taylor Contarino takes on the music industry with her latest release, “Bare Minimum,” out April 19, 2024. The small-town artist moved from South Jersey to Los Angeles and is currently pursuing her education and dreams. She is a lover of all things that revolve around music. Taylor is authentic in showing her vulnerability through her music and who she is as a person. She is an inspiration and the definition of an artist in every way.

Taylor Contarino
Bare Minimum
Photographer credit: Karly Ramnani

Q&A with Taylor Contarino

POETRY DANS LA RUE: How did you first become interested in music, and what inspired you to pursue a career as a musician?

Taylor Contarino: “I had a passion for music from a very young age. My mom would always play Eminem through the ups and downs of life. It provided constant comfort for her through the trials she faced with my father. I’ve had a deep love for music since my childhood and started attending concerts at a young age. During the pandemic, I began using my time to write about music, especially about 90s hip-hop music. I created a hip-hop music blog my freshman year, while living in New York. After creating my blog, I ended up getting more opportunities in music, and eventually, after working with a couple of independent labels and opportunities, I landed at Universal Music Group.”

PDLR: Can you tell us about your songwriting process and where you draw inspiration from for your music?

Taylor Contarino: “My musical process…I love making music! I could cry over how much I love it. It’s literally my outlet. I don’t see it as a thing I have to do but rather as a thing I get to do. Being able to take words and make them sound pretty or using my voice to say how I feel is the greatest thing ever!

Like yesterday, I was freaking out because I’m realizing that I’m graduating college in a month, and I’m going to have to become a big girl, you know, and I’m really scared about that. I’m going to have to be an adult. I’ve started writing how I feel about that. My creative process comes from moments like that, where it’s like I’m in the moment, and my emotionality takes over.

“It’s when I am at my breaking point that my music starts to evolve.”

That’s what I love about music; if I can’t turn to anything else or anyone else, I can always turn to my piano. I can always turn to Logic, like my software. I can always turn to my notes and write down how I’m feeling. It’s like I can turn my heartbreak into healing and my pain into beauty. Yeah, I sound like a poet, but I love that.

I also wrote a poetry book, which I released in the fall. Writing means a lot to me. Being able to express how I feel, letting it resonate with people, and making it sound beautiful means so much to me.”

PDLR: What do you enjoy most about playing in front of an audience?

Taylor Contarino: “Oh, I hate being in front of an audience. I’m crying because I love that you asked me that question, but I hate being in front of an audience. I have to force myself to get in front of an audience. I know that’s so weird, but it’s so scary. I’d rather be sitting in my room making music. But on the contrary, I know that it’s an important part of music. Performing is a part of being an artist. Every single time I perform, I’m getting stronger.

I have this thing where whenever something scares me, I force myself to do it. What’s the alternative? To hide from it my entire life? I’m a firm believer that if something scares you, you have to do it. Every time I get on stage, I’m conquering my fears, and I’m really just taking ownership of my body, words, voice, and the way I feel. I know that the more I perform, the better I’ll get at it. I don’t think practice makes perfect, but I do think practice makes progress.”

“Bare Minimum” Coming Soon

PDLR: Can you talk a little about your upcoming single, “Bare Minimum?”

Taylor Contarino: “Of course, I’m so excited! On April 19th I’m dropping ” Bare Minimum” part one, the single. It’s all part of a story from my last couple of months. The whole EP drops on April 26th, one week later from the release of the single. I purposely made it this way because I wanted part one to be a description of the things that I’ve been going through and the way I have been feeling. Part one, “Bare Minimum,” was written and made to be more emotional. Part two is going to be more of an anthem for healing and moving on, more of a motivating piece of music.

The whole EP intends to tell my lived experience and what I went through over the past couple of months with a relationship I used to be in. I’m really excited about the project and am so excited for the world to hear it. I’m just grateful to God. I can’t believe that I’m really putting an EP out because there was a time when I had given up on music for a long time.”

PDRL: What do you hope listeners take away from your music?

Taylor Contarino: “The only thing I ever wanted was for listeners to be heard, seen, and represented. That’s really all I have ever cared about. If people listen to my music, then that’s great. But for me, no matter what, I was able to use the creation process to heal through experiences the music refers to.

All the music that I make is real. The things that I’m saying actually happened. My mom never let me lie growing up. She always said, ” I would rather you say that you did something crazy than lie to me.” Growing up, if I went to a party, my mom would rather I call her and tell her I did something stupid than lie. My mom was heavy on the “Don’t lie to me,” just tell me how it is and be 100% honest.”

Future Collaborations and Music

PDLR: Are there any future projects or collaborations that you’re excited about?

Taylor Contarino: “Yes, I have so many. I’m so grateful! I’ve been working on so much music recently. I have four songs that I am currently working on and that I can’t wait to share with the world. I have a song called “God’s Business.” It’s a song about finding out that my grandpa has cancer. Sorry, not to get depressing, but we are working through it. There’s another song I’ve been working on with an incredible producer and talented bassist/guitarist called “Deadbeat.” It’s about my drug-addicted father.

Currently, I’m also working on a love song and another song about hating the club. I went two weeks ago, and I wrote a song called “I’m Over the Club.” I realized that I really don’t like going to the club. Why does it have to be so loud? I don’t know when I’m going to release these songs yet, but I’m very excited to share them with everyone.”

PDLR: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians looking to break into the industry?

Taylor Contarino: “Of course! Don’t give up! If you never give up, you can never lose. My advice to anybody is to just keep going. I wish that I could have told myself this two years ago when I gave up on music; I wish someone were there to tell me not to give up. If you give up, what’s the alternative? What are you going to do? You’re going to be sad, and you’re going to regret it every day. Honestly, that’s how I was feeling. That’s why I continue to make music.

I also had a friend who sent me a long paragraph. Actually it was more like she wrote a book, basically, on why I should continue making music, which is the reason that I started doing it again. I love her, and she’s amazing! Her name is Rachel, and she’s one of my best friends. I am so grateful for her!

I would just tell people to keep going on their dreams because you never know when there’s going to be motion. You never know when you are going to succeed. Even if you don’t have a million streams, you are still a musician because you are making music. Don’t let the numbers, social media, or anyone tell you that you can’t do it. As long as something makes you happy, then keep doing it. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel.”

PDLR: How long have you been releasing music in general and professionally? 

Taylor Contarino: “Since my sophomore year of college, about two years ago. That’s around the time I also gave up on music because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I felt scared of people reacting to my music and thinking I wasn’t good enough. That’s when I realized that it doesn’t matter if people think I’m good enough as long as I think I am. It’s about how I feel and how I perceive myself.

Once I changed my perspective, I was able to enjoy the artistic, creative process and the healing process. I am open to collaborations and working on art with other people. Everything I do is because of the love I have for the art.”


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Emerging Female Artists

Emerging Indie Female Artists Summer 2023

It’s no secret that more and more women are dominating the music industry and finding unique ways to get their voices heard. This month, we’ve received countless buzz-worthy submissions from emerging indie female artists all over the globe. This post highlights some phenomenal women to watch for the summer in the independent music scene.

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Emerging Indie Female Artists

Emerging Indie Female Artists

ALBA

ALBA is a French pop artist who released her most recent EP, Le bon sens, on July 5th. Her polarizing two-single project, “Oh! Chéri !” and “Oui chérie ?” shows a relationship from both sides (chéri/chérie) with two different production styles.

The first, “Oh! Chéri !” depicts a frustrated partner singing, “dis-moi pourquoi avec toi, c’est toujours comme ça ? Les promesses vaines, ta mauvaise foi* !” While the visual is in color, the song stays in a melancholic realm of doubt, unanswered questions, and exasperation. In contrast, “Oui chérie ?” is a more upbeat, synth-pop track responding to all the questions. “J’ai jamais menti. Je vois bien le problème, mais moi, j’ai rien promis**.” ALBA portrays this “couldn’t care less” side of the story in a black & white video accompanied by violins and a Latin influence.

*Tell me why it’s always the same with you? Your vain promises and bad faith.

**I never lied. I can see the problem, but I didn’t promise anything.

Amelie Lucille

Emerging Indie Female Artists

Amelie Lucille’s latest single, “Mess,” will have you questioning whether you are listening to Billie Eilish, Nina Nesbitt, or Olivia Rodrigo. The NYC indie-folk artist released her self-titled debut EP on June 15th. At the young age of 14, she already sets herself apart with her classic influences ranging from Björk to Lana Del Rey. Her pure vocals and tone highlight her “old soul” mentality. “Mess” is one of seven tracks on her EP. The single is well-polished, exquisitely written, and perfectly delivered. Within seconds of listening to this track, you won’t believe your ears. Furthermore, Amelie Lucille emulates raw talent and poise and is undoubtedly an artist to watch in the indie scene.

Ferielle

Emerging Indie Female Artists

Parisian pop artist Ferielle shares singles “JAMAIS” and “JETER UN SORT” on her debut EP l’eau qui dort. Her voice is sublime and rich, often compared to the likes of Maggie Rogers or King Princess in her musical style. You may recognize her 2022 single, “dis-moi on où va,” from season 3 of Emily in Paris. Her voice is undoubtedly recognizable, soft, and ethereal. The catchy melodies in “dis-moi où on va” and “JAMAIS” linger in your head, even if you don’t speak French. Her music transports you to a lighthearted rom-com movie you idolized in the 90s.

Hello Sister

Emerging Indie Female Artists

Pop-punk sister trio, Hello Sister, is on a kick to follow the path of the Jonas Brothers but in the musical style of Avril Lavigne or Paramore. The Orlando, Florida sisters previously appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2021. This year, the pop-rock teens shared a catalog of singles, including “Invisible Girl,” “Lately,” “Things You Never Said,” and “tragic.” “Invisible Girl” shows a softer, more emotional side to the group, while “Lately” brings on Avril-esque teenage angst. Their songs are incredibly catchy and memorable, staying with you even after one listen. The lyrics relate to teenagers going through similar growing pains in relationships, friendships, life, and love. Above all, Hello Sister demonstrates a knack for blending genres with their charismatic flair.

Kaÿcie

Kaÿcie is a Franco-American artist born in France known for her folk/pop indie style. Her single, “MOON,” is an innovative blend of indie, pop, folk, and acoustic styles. A haunting twangy guitar rings out in the introduction, encouraging the listener to stay alert. Kaÿcie’s folky vocals lure you in and draw you to the chorus, encompassed by rock-esque guitars as it builds. It’s alluring, earthy, serene, and thought-provoking.

Her recent single, “Young Hearts,” showcases her superb vocal ability, soft indie folk style, and poetic lyricism. The chorus soars over a harmony of “My young heart is old, for my love is bold, and your fire’s beauty to behold.” Kaÿcie’s songwriting shines brightly on this track as she uses imagery to describe how her youth has dwindled, revealing an older, wiser, more poised version of herself in love.

Micaela Kleinsmith

Micaela Kleinsmith is a South African country artist and the first winner of the Apple TV+ series My Kind of Country. The series, executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Kacey Musgraves, features coaches from the country music scene. Orville Peck scouted and coached Micaela on the show, leading her to victory. Micaela dazzled her audience with hit singles like “If I Die Young,” “Need You Now,” and “Good Kisser.” The soulful artist shared her original songs “Stupid Love” and “Butterfly” while on the show.

Micaela’s recent EP Butterfly includes her most popular single, “Raise This Cup,” a dance-worthy country drinking song. In contrast, a softer side reflects in her latest release, “Over You,” with Rudi Simon & Marcel Aquila. “Over You” spotlights her rich vocals on a surprising dance track showing her depth outside of the country music world.

Naya

Emerging Indie Female Singers

French singer-songwriter Naya shared her single, “vaguémo,” a melancholic dream-pop tune. The gloomy lyrics create a somber and sorrowful atmosphere around her mesmerizing vocals. Her voice is unique and memorable after a few seconds, setting her apart from many artists in this genre. The chorus draws listeners into a trancelike state as her voice rings out, “comme une tempête qui souffle dans ta tête, et tout le flot, tout le flot de cette vague émo*.”

Naya’s hypnotic vocals and distinctive style put her in line with the likes of Holly Humberstone, Gracie Abrams, and Beach House. Most recently, Naya opened for The 1975 at the gorgeous L’Olympia music hall in Paris.

*Like a storm blowing in your head, and all the flood, all the flood of this emo wave.

Sarah Lake

Emerging Indie Female Artists

Nashville country artist and former American Idol top 20 contestant, Sarah Lake, has had success lately with her single, “Good to Be Gone.” She released two versions of the track; a radio single and an acoustic version. Sarah co-wrote “Good to Be Gone” with Songland finalist Alyssa Newton. The song is produced by her husband and Grammy Nominated producer Ernie Lake. Sarah’s voice sounds flawless in this summer breakup track, especially on the acoustic version. The lyrics and storytelling aspect put you directly into the singer’s shoes. “Good to Be Gone” is an immediate earworm stuck in your head for days.

Sarah recently released a collaborative single with Lucas Grabeel entitled “Back to You.” She follows this with her brand-new track, “To Alabama,” a love song to Alabama, a peaceful place to escape. The single is a writing collaboration with the Nashville country rock group Everette.

tiger del flor

Emerging Indie Female Musicians

Emerging indie pop artist tiger del flor drops an ‘in-your-face’ grunge-inspired single, “shut up and kiss me!” You may recognize the singer from the popular reality series Love Island, USA (Season 4). Del flor makes a bang with “shut up and kiss me!” combining pop, punk, and grunge elements. She pays homage to fellow Seattle legends Nirvana, Hole, and Mudhoney, some of the groups she grew up listening to. “Shut up and kiss me!” is melodic, edgy, seductive, and nostalgic; it creeps into your ears and echos in your brain. tiger del flor is gearing up to release her debut EP see me in hell.

Discover these incredible Emerging Indie Female Artists and so many others on our “New Music Emerging Now” playlists for the season.

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Women of September

New Music: Women of September Playlist

It’s mid-September, and 2022 is quickly fading away. Within the last few weeks, artists and record labels have seemingly rained down with new music releases. This week, we focus on new tracks from some influential female artists in our New Music: Women of September playlist. New to the blog artists Wyldest, Yazmin Lacey, and merci, mercy bring a fresh sound, while fan favorites Bella Rose and Bonnie Kemplay continue to drop hit after hit.

*POETRY DANS LA RUE strives to promote new and upcoming artists in the music scene all over the world. Our goal is to provide a platform for ‘on the rise’ artists and encourage fans to discover new music.

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New music Women of September playlist

New Music: Women of September Playlist

// “Drinks and Dreams” by Bella Rose //-Pop

Bella Rose releases heavenly new single, “Drinks and Dreams,” her third solo track of the year. The Nashville pop artist is formerly known for the indie pop band, The Young Something. Recently, Bella Rose and former band member Alex Bonyata continued to write and produce songs together for Bella’s solo career. “Drinks and Dreams” is pure pop, with strikingly flawless vocals and fresh production. Bella’s vocal style, songwriting, and charm form the perfect combination of a rising female pop star.

// “Pieces” by Yazmin Lacey //-Contemporary R&B

Singer-songwriter Yazmin Lacey of Nottingham, UK, shares the stunning single “Pieces” this month. “Pieces” is the first single from the artist since 2020. Soft, sultry, jazzy, and vulnerable, “Pieces” showcases Yazmin’s artistry and songwriting expertise. Smooth brass instrumentals complement the simplicity of the concentrated vocals, leaving an ominous outro. We can picture this track spinning sweetly on a 7″ vinyl, soundtracking colder evenings to come.

// “Inky Road” by Wyldest //-Indie rock

“Inky Road” is the final track from Feed the Flowers Nightmares, the latest album from British indie artist Wyldest. The closing song reflects on twists and turns like a winding road leading to the relief of being home. “Rolling, I can’t believe, we’re free, I’m home,” Wyldest muses on “Inky Road” as the song seems weightless and optimistic. Check out Feed the Flowers Nightmares in full for the complete journey of her latest project.

// “Into You” by merci, mercy //-Alternative

Australian alternative artist merci, mercy amps up our Women of September playlist with her latest single, “Into You.” Surrounded in bright colored florals on the cover art, “Into You” is a poppy, break-up track with a catchy yet bitter chorus. “Into You” is the opening track of merci, mercy’s new EP is it me, or is it you? which debuts September 30th. Upbeat pop synths play in contrast to heartbreak and self-reflective lyrics on this colorful track.

// “Static” by Bonnie Kemplay //-Singer-songwriter

Dirty Hit artist of Edinburgh, UK, is building her debut EP with a chain of recent singles, the latest “Static,” out this week. On Kemplay’s third single, the alternative singer coins her songwriting style with soft tones and heavier guitars. It is impossible not to draw a comparison between her label mate, beabadoobee, on “Static.” Although similar, major credit goes to Kemplay for her guitar skills and songwriting. “Static” reflects a feeling of hopelessness and uncertainty at a difficult moment during her career. Running out of things to say, running out of things to do, the 6-song EP will debut November 14th.


Check out all of these songs and more on our New Music: Women of September Playlists

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