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Tara Kye on Her New Single “Forever One” and Winning Georgia Songbirds Contest

Tara Kye

We’ve done follow up interview with an amazing musician Tara Kye. Tara Kye has a new single “Forever One” and it’s crushing it on Soundcloud with more than 100k streams.  This song is a step forward in her career, and personally my favorite song so far.

Also, Tara had a great success with Georgia Songbirds contest being No1 for 6 consecutive weeks with her song “Become the Phoenix”. Georgia Songbirds is a well-respected platform aimed at independent artists and songwriters.

At the age of 24, Tara was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma stage 2B, moving quacking into stage 3. Life had been irreversibly altered. 25 years later, John Dean bought an 1878 Steinway Grand Pano and said we should write a song about how we first met and try to raise some money for Cancer Research…. Read more here

Lisa: Hello Tara! Let’s start with you being No1 on Georgia songbirds contest for 6 consecutive weeks. Congratulations, it’s an amazing accomplishment! How do you feel about that, you have a tough competition there, and what this means for you and your career?

Tara: Being No1 on Georgia Songbirds top 10 contest for 6 consecutive weeks has been like a dream come true! I never imagined that I’d be voted into the top 10, but then to remain No1 for six consecutive weeks was like a fairy tale fantasy! I am so honored and delighted to be ranked so well amongst such amazing talent! Super grateful for the experience! Now “Become the Phoenix” has been retired from the countdown as the contest rules state, you can only be in the top 10 for 12 consecutive weeks if you don’t get voted off the top 10. It has given me the opportunity to meet some incredible artists, dj’s, Promoters and given my songs some radio airplay! It is so amazing to hear one of the songs you sing and write on the radio! I hope to continue to generate momentum and that more people will play my songs on the Radio, Stream, Download, and Share my songs.

Lisa:You’ve also dropped a new single “Forever One” and I love it. It’s available on your website for download, and on Soundcloud, where it got instant success with 100k streams. Is this the song you’ve announced in our last interview calling it “the ultimate love song”?

Tara: Yes, “Forever One” is the ultimate love song! I cannot even believe it achieved 100K streams! Wow! I am so overwhelmingly thrilled! I had somebody once say that if you want to be noticed you must be noticeable, if you want your song on the radio it must be the quality of the song you were inspired by. I would say it was kind of a cross between Celine Dion/Barbara Streissand/Sarah Brightman with Elton John and Bryan Adams. I am super thrilled about how the song has turned out.

Lisa: Your friend and collaborator John Dean added to this song with his vocals. How did you decide to make a duet?

Tara: Well, I drove up a travel trailer to his residence in the wilderness mountains of BC, and I was enjoying a bonfire with John and his spouse. John suggested that he’d like to sing a duet on the new song with me to add depth and emotion to the song. I instantly agreed and we collaborated on how we would best sound together, whose line is it anyways and where we would sing together. I was so surprised and very impressed with how well John and My vocals sounded together. John is kind of visionary like that and the two of us writing together for 26 years really make a great team.

John Dean
John Dean

Lisa: Tell us more about the recording process of the song.

Tara: With COVID-19 restrictions in place, John Dean and I zoomed as much as we could for the writing process to minimize workplace studio contact as much as possible. John recorded my vocals, then we worked on placement of John’s vocals in the song, then John recorded his vocals and after the vocals were where John wanted them to be, he recorded the piano piece.

Lisa: Sound of piano is amazing, tell us more about that piano.

Tara: The piano is a beautiful instrument! It must be a real grand piano, John says there is nothing quite like a freshly tuned piano. When John gets into the “zone” he really rocks any piano… but this piano is special, it is a Bosendorfer in a very secluded hand built home on a gorgeous pristine wilderness lot. This is where John Dean’s parents’ built the home and garden for the family. John’s mom literally built the stone chimney herself. An incredible family. This Bosendorfer piano was rumored to be the piano that was at the Astoria Hotel in Germany and apparently was used to entertain Hitler….

Image credits:

Lisa: You are currently working on the video for the song, what can we expect?

Tara: Well, this song has been a work in progress and I must consult with John Dean regarding the video, I am not sure what it will morph into. I am hoping for some black and white shots, and also to include John Dean in the video if he’d like that….

Lisa: In one of our previous interviews you’ve talked about your music becoming more about the feeling of the song than about the style. And I’ve noticed this with your new song ” Forever one”. Do you think this is due to your growing and changing musically or is it something else?

Tara: Music is ultra polished, everything is computerized and refined. Very few real instruments are being used in recording and music lessons or “discipline” is losing the battle due to the convenience of writing using computer beats. John and I originally strove to write, record and compose using “real instruments” for “real songs” for “real people”.

On one of our songs, I felt like I caved in to what pop culture would want with Put your phone down, where we paired down and removed real instruments.

Then when Roaring into the 20s was finished, John decided to try like a barbershop style quartet sound and remove the piano. Grammy (my mom’s mom) had decided to stay with me during the initial COVID crisis as we were all worried about the safety of retirement resorts for seniors and it was a real blessing to me. Grammy had been a piano teacher up until her husband sold her piano, then he became her ex-husband. Lol. Grammy is very vivacious, outgoing and spirited with her red hair and green eyes, quick to laugh but also very fiery! Grammy and I listened to the song over and over and over and over again, we both agreed that we liked the song better with the boogie woogie piano than with the quartet. It was more raw. More natural. More pleasingly human. So John unrefined the song, removed the polish and made it more raw, as if we were singing in a bar in the 1920s.

We did change the way we compose and write together, John used to do all the instruments at the same time as we were writing but that involved just too many edits and redo’s so now we do a scratch track drum, base and vocal melody; then we settle into a song. We are never afraid to throw everything away and restart a song. John adds the instruments afterwards which became our new writing style.

When we recorded Become the Phoenix, we were working on just getting the vocals just right, I wanted a Latin Groove inspired by the Netflix series Selena, with a “Dark” Summertime – Lana Del Ray Vibe with Abba choir chords inspired by watching Mama Mia. John says that makes no sense, we are in a minor key we can’t make happy choir chords like Abba and I just said let’s just see how it turns out. So we did. We had Drum and Bass guitar as our scratch track and built the vocal melody on that track. When we added the choir which was me singing all the parts on different tracks, John asked me to do that “Stage Whisper” singing technique I had learned in Opera as a breathy chord structure, so I did. We didn’t run my voice through processors I just did that whisper thing naturally, I also wanted movement within the chord so that it would be noticeably human. When the vocals were done, we felt there was no room for instruments so we left it drum, base, light guitar, and voice.

Originally when we started to write “Forever One”, I had wanted to write a song that would be played at all weddings, anniversaries and family parties, something timelessly classic like unchained melody, or time of my life, or my heart will go on… etc. I had wanted more of a “show tune” which would be more natural with my opera training, with some beautiful piano. Then while I was dropping off the travel trailer for John, I stayed the night and had a bonfire party with John and his spouse. John said, I think I want to sing on the song, I said that’s great that will be wonderful!!! So he tried a few things, then I asked if we could move around his vocal solos a bit, so he did. Then we dabbled with a busy counter melody, which I suggested we should keep it simple so we can hear some beautiful piano. Then John worked diligently and polished everything up to near perfect. I said I don’t like it could you turn down some of the perfect and make it more natural, more “raw”… So yes, this is a trend I hope to start with our music is a more “raw”, more “real” using real instruments. Real songs about real life. John played the rocker and I played the opera singer, so it was a really neat play on bad boy with good girl. My goal was to create a song kind of like Barbara Streisand/Celine Dion meets Bryan Adams. So John and I actually are using more of this in our new song…. That ying and yang gives a song character and flavor.

I would say that we are becoming more raw and that the songs are becoming more real, that we are looking to share the story better. Each song to me is like living a new life for the song, I get lost in the writing and composing. It isn’t uncommon for me to wake up in the middle of the night with lyrics dying to escape from my head or pulled over on the side of a road writing. I really never know when inspiration will hit.

Lisa: What are you working on right now?

Tara: Currently, we are in the process of finding the inspiration for the next song…. It has the melody and key, now I am writing the lyrics, which will be edited many times into something new. This one is a little unrehearsed and my feelings about my experiences are going to be very raw and exposed. The pain of and the joy of past relationships… which have led me to  everything I am feeling in the new song.

Thank you!

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Written by Lisa

Lisa is an undergraduate at Universitá Degli Studi di Roma, she is currently studying course in modern pop culture. She loves to write about and live for the music.

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