The material always comes in waves like this. A new EP and a forthcoming LP insinuates that Rachel Taylor, the songstress behind He Is We, is enjoying an inspired season, but the Washington native says inspiration always comes in droves.
The latest wave comes as Taylor reflected on her growth and career over the last few years. The valleys and mountains have brought with them several life lessons, providing plenty of fodder for such prolific songwriting sessions. And as always, she’s quite keen to share the stories and songs with her passionate fan base.
With two albums, some dates with Warped Tour and a PledgeMusic campaign currently going, these are busy times for Taylor. Fortunately she carved out a few minutes to bring us up to speed on it all.
CCM: You’re crowdfunding the new album with PledgeMusic. What was behind the decision?
Rachel Taylor: Well, I liked the idea of going back to the roots of He Is We when the fans were involved in everything. I finally was able to get off of all of my contracts with labels, so now it’s really about the fans, the music and myself. It’s this holy trinity that’s worked. With PledgeMusic, it allows the give and take where they bless and then they’re blessed in return. It’s a pretty cool way to tap into the community and connect on a level where they’re putting food on my table and I’m sharing my craft with them. It’s a pretty beautiful harmony.
CCM: Does that community even help to inform what you create?
RT: Oh, yes! There have been so many days where I’ve wanted to quit, days where I was just done. So every time I pick up an instrument, every time I make a voice memo in my phone, the fans are always present. As far as this writing process and everything this next record is going to encompass, the fans are going to know full-blown that this is for them. So many artists will say, “I do this for the fans,” but straight up, I do it all for them. It’s my act of service. It’s my calling. It’s my ministry. It’s what I’m supposed to be doing. Everything I do, I do it for them.
CCM: Have you always felt that calling from the beginning?
RT: Even the name He Is We is all about community. At the end of the day, we all bleed. At the end of the day, our life stops at some point and a new life begins. This connects us. Everything I’ve done with He Is We is because it’s my ministry, not because I want to be a superstar. It’s the same way someone feels called to Mexico or Uganda; I feel like I’m called to write and tour and share.
CCM: With a new EP and LP in the same year, does that mean this has been a prolific season?
RT: That’s generally how I work. Everything comes in waves. The entire EP was written and finished in 10 days. That’s how I work though. I go through life and pick things up. As soon as I know it’s go time I release everything. I’m able to vent so everything gets written very quickly. It’s very raw. It’s a lot but I love doing it that way.
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