Scottish based soul singer Nicola Taylor has released an acoustic version of her latest single ‘Get High’ on the 30th of December 2022. In no means does this lack the sonic integrity of its predecessor, rather offering a more subtle and dare I say soul-shattering candid of heartbreak and loss.
Nicola’s vocal abilities really shine through on this track, perhaps thanks to the absence of Instrumentation which can be found in the original, accompanied by a hauntingly delicate yet soulful chord progression, this is by no means a bog standard acoustic cover. In fact, it’s an expert example of how to use the space that most releases these days can take for granted. Whilst it is true there are less elements in this version of the song, it’s almost like an oxymoron in itself as this version is so full of substance.
I was lucky enough to be able to have a quick catch up with Nicola just before the release, we were able to discuss a few points mainly in relation to the song and where gets her influences from.
I wanted to know how long Nicola had been playing and writing music.
“I’ve been writing music since I was 14, so its been a long time”
Being a first time listener, I was also really intrigued to find out the different types of themes we newbies can expect from her.
“You can expect heavier themes of loss, breakups. But it’s a bit of a mixture, now I’m really trying to focus on some more positive vibes going forward for my music.”
I think when it comes to re-visiting already established tracks in this way, maybe there’s a bit more pressure when recording and performing to focus on giving an honest performance.
I wanted to find out if this was the case for Nicola, and if there were perhaps any overwhelming feelings of vulnerability when facing these heavier themes equipped with only an acoustic guitar for support.
“I’m definitely compelled to give an honest performance, absolutely. I mean, it takes you back to when it all happened and it can be quite emotional. Take this song for example, you’re telling someone how you really feel. Its empowering though. Giving you the ability to open up. When I perform this song and I see people singing it back to me, it makes me feel good.”
The guitar plays a vital role in this track, I was keen to find out how important the relationship of the instrument is to Nicola, and also in terms of a piece of music like this which tackles heavier themes with such ease, from the Artist’s point of view, how would one even start a song like this, and how long would it take?
“It came really naturally to me. I started with the Chorus first, once I had this the rest of the song followed. I wrote the whole song in a day, the production side of things took longer in the studio. In terms of how I view the guitar I only really play when I’m writing my songs, it’s really more of a tool for me to use.”
Finally, I wanted to get an idea of some of the musical artists that influenced Nicola.
“My musical influences are Mariah Carey, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Amy Whinehouse and Joss Stone.”
It’s no question that Nicola’s one for the radar. 2023 is undoubtedly shaping up to be her year, with her EP set to be released on the 21st of January this year, Nicola will be giving a performance in HMV in Glasgow, as well as some gigs coming up in London at the end of the month. Nicola is also working on some festival appearances among other things, and listeners should keep an ear out as there may even be some collaboration with some aforementioned influences at the end of March.