Ep: 49 Whitney Tai


A conversation with Whitney Tai & Tim Janssens

What opportunities do you get when you release music during a pandemic? How can you change people’s lives in vulnerable times? Learn the secret of how to approach PR companies and promote your music DIY style.
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Whitney Tai released her new album, entitled Apogee, June 5, 2020. In this episode Whitney and her producer, Tim Janssens talk about her new album along with the challenges and rewards of releasing music during a pandemic. She also shares some tips on how to do DIY PR for your music, sharing her best tips to get features when releasing new music and projects.
When is the best time to release music? Find out the secret in this “Artistry & Vision” episode as we go deep into the mind of music creator and influencer, Whitney Tai. Featuring VQS host, Philip Garcia and co-host, Lee Lontoc.
Subscribe to “Vision Quest Sound” today, so that you don’t miss any episode. Make sure to leave a comment and a 5 star rate if you liked this episode.

Show Takeaways

  1. People now need time to heal. The album is about healing and I felt it was my duty to give people something that is suiting when everything is so dark and trivial.
  2. TV/Film music and songs from the 80s and 90s influenced Tim and me. The hooks and the songwriting were impeccable. I grew up with The Beatles. I like catchy hooks and catchy melodies. My brain is always looking for those whenever I am writing and whenever Tim is writing.
  3. For the song Starfish, Tim came to me with this percussive drumbeat. When I write music my brain has to find that place where I can insert the melody. Tim is a big driving force on this track pushing me to this dreamy suspended kind of vocal.
  4. Right now we can’t get out and film with all the restrictions, in some ways is good because it forces me to be creative and besides that I love editing videos.
  5. “Not Without Love”- I feel a personal connection with that song, originally we had another chorus but it was not giving the lift that we needed. We performed live many times and I wanted to incorporate things that I performed live. It led with this grandiose chorus with lots of layers and high notes. That song was part of this Apogee. Is closer to freedom and that’s why it means a lot to me.
  6. I spent years getting mentorship from people from the industry, and unless you’re a major label artist you should not spend money on PR. I prefer putting money in my art and figure things out and doing my own PR. If you do your homework and find out who listens to your genre, cares about your vision and has the same things and influences than you, you can reach out to these people and probably you can hear a response if it’s not just a copy paste email.
  7. I do my own PR and for some of my artists friends as well.
  8. Leading people is something that I learned in my previous job, is about respect, communication, is about people being there wanting to be there not because they are forced.
  9. Sometimes I send Tim guitar and vocals, I can create melodies and send him to work with. Sometimes he would send me a base track and I will topline over that. Depends on how it all comes together.
  10. If I want to release music during pandemic you should answer the question to yourself if people will need that right now. In this vulnerable time I felt people needed music, so I created the content around that of what was going on.

Music Credits

Music Written by Whitney Tai & Tim Janssens.
Producer, Recording Engineer, Mixing Engineer: Tim Janssens.
Electric & Acoustic Guitar: Andrew Kingsley Dodge
Piano: Tim Janssens
Drums: Matt Paras (The Cure, Meet Me On Melrose, Not Without Love)
Violin: Emer Kinsella (Incantation)
Saxophone: Josh Plotner (Not Have Each other)
Additional Songwriters: Andrew Kingsley Dodge (Meet Me On Melrose) Matt Paras (Meet Me On Melrose) Emer Kinsella (Incantation) Whitney Tai: Lead Vocals / Background Vocals (Starfish, Not Have Each-other, The Cure, Surrender, Righteous, Scolded, Meet Me On Melrose, Not Without Love, Electrified, Incantation)
Additional Background Vocals by Tim Aslin (Righteous, Not Without Love) Brenda Carsey (Scolded)
Voice Over: Jhoana Nichols (Meet Me On Melrose)
Recorded at Maddox Music Studio, Sherman Oaks, CA
Mastering: Gavin Lurssen, Lurssen Mastering. Burbank, CA.
Cover Photo: Anna Azarov
© 2020 Whitney Tai & Tim Janssens. All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized Duplication of this Recording is Prohibited.

Subscribe to the VisionQuest Sound Podcast today so that you don’t miss any episode. Please leave a comment and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.
Connect with Whitney
Website  |  Apogee  |  Instagram
Youtube  |  Spotify
Show producer Philip Garcia

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About the Author
VQS Studio is a boutique media company in Los Angeles. We help creators share their stories.
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