Finding her feet via super-popular YouTube videos, Canadian pop up-and-comer Tate McRae has just dropped her new single ‘vicious (ft. Lil Mosey)’. “I’ve always been a fan of his work, so it’s super dope to have a rapper like him jump on this record,” she enthuses. A cut from her new EP, due later this year – and the follow-up to her debut EP ‘all the things i never said’, released back in January – it’s an enthusiastic statement of intent for the rest of 2020. Tate tells us more.
Hello Tate! How’s it going? Are you coping with lockdown ok?
Hey! It’s going pretty good. I’m going a little crazy in lockdown at the moment, but managing to get a lot done.
What does a typical day look like for you at the moment?
I wake-up, do school work, usually have a writing session for a couple of hours, workout, and then sometimes Netflix.
Have the current restrictions mucked up many of your plans?
I was supposed to be on tour for all of April, but unfortunately, that got cancelled. I also have missed a lot of trips for writing sessions and the filming of music videos.
Tell us about your new single, ‘Vicious’ – what’s it about? Where did it come from?
‘Vicious’ can be interpreted in so many different ways. For me, it feels like a really empowering song. Gives me major girl power vibes. It really shows the vulnerability of a person and then immediately switches to this badass character. Feels like something I’ve never touched on before.
What do you most enjoy writing songs about?
I guess writing has just always been my outlet for things. As someone who hates talking about myself, it’s my safe place to talk about everything on my mind. It’s also a crazy feeling when all your personal thoughts can relate to other people.
Did you grow up in a music household? What sparked your interest in becoming a musician?
My mom was a dancer all her life, so I definitely followed in her footsteps in that way. The rest of my family is definitely not involved in music, which is almost better haha. We’re a pretty competitive family, so it’s good we all have extremely different lanes. Music has never not been in my life. I always grew up dancing and singing everywhere, so the decision to move in the artistic direction was always a for sure for me.
Is it living up to the hype so far?
I love writing. I love performing. I love the entire process, so it always lives up to hype. Getting to do what I love every single day has always been a dream of mine.
Your YouTube channel is crazy popular; how did you figure out what would connect with people? Did it come easily for you?
I never thought my YouTube would ever get any traction. It was a crazy moment when I started to realise that a whole bunch of people were connecting with my original songs. Starting something from scratch is never easy, but once you find your lane and release genuine content, you can really build a platform.
Are there any YouTube up-and-comers you’ve got your eye on at the mo?
I actually don’t watch that much YouTube… the only channel I really watch is David Dobrik. My favourite YouTuber ever. I also like Cody Ko, and the cool part is he’s from Calgary too.
You’ve toured a bit already haven’t you, how have you found travelling and being on the road?
I think it’s amazing. I love the sensation of being on stage and seeing people sing back my lyrics. The feeling’s kind of indescribable, and I can’t wait to go back on tour.
Is there anything about being a musician that’s harder than you thought it’d be?
It’s a lot of work. I think people don’t understand that there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes that aren’t released online. People assume it’s one of the easiest jobs, but it’s definitely been a heavy load, especially on top of school and dance.
When you’re not making music, what do you do for fun?
I love to improv, get in the studio and dance. Also, hang with my friends when I have time.