Flint, MI—Have you ever fallen in love? Singer/songwriter Taylor Tatum has, and she turned the experience into her upcoming EP “Tomorrow,” which she recently debuted for a few dozen fans and fellow artists at a listening party on the north side of Flint, Mich.
A handful of Flint’s many hip-hop artists, dressed in bellbottoms and tie dye to match the party’s ’70s theme, gathered around Tatum’s driveway to watch each other perform on Oct. 7, 2022.
Tatum headlined the show, performing the songs from her EP and releasing the music video for her song “Talk to me,” which features Cameron Tyler and Ace Gabbana. She said she plans to release “Tomorrow” on streaming platforms before the end of this year, and to go with it, she’s creating a series of connecting music videos that will form a short movie together.
“This project went through so many different phases,” Tatum said of the EP, which she’s been working on for about a year. “It was supposed to be a totally different project, but it was just the deeper I got into it, everything just started adding up, and I’m like, ‘OK, now this makes sense,’ because my music was resonating with the way I was feeling.”
The EP’s title “Tomorrow” was inspired by, of all things, the cartoon movie “The Croods,” Tatum said.
In the movie, one of the main characters searches for a supposed paradise called “Tomorrow.” He discovers, as he falls in love, that this paradise is a feeling more than a physical location.
“Tomorrow is the love story itself,” Tatum said. “It’s not a place. It’s not a time. It’s just the love…It resonated so much with me when I was falling in love. I’m like, ‘This person. He’s my tomorrow.'”
On a recommendation from Ace Gabbana, Tatum was looking for musical inspiration in funkier beats from the likes of The Internet as she began working on “Tomorrow,” she said. With a sound in mind, the lyrics to “Talk to me” just came out smoothly and naturally, she said.
“It actually made it easier for me to branch out into other genres of music,” she said. “It’s just something that helped me realize what my sound could go and do.”
All three artists on “Talk to me,” Tatum, Gabbana and Tyler, are signed to the local artist management company Blood Rich Business. So even when they aren’t featured on each other’s tracks, they’re often working together behind the scenes, Tatum said.
“We kind of all know each other’s sounds and stuff like that, so it just helps every one of us out when we’re in the studio together,” Tatum said. “And then on stage, it’s because we’re always in the studio together and we have that connection and chemistry and knowing each other, it’s just easier to let that out on stage.”
Still, Tatum said, she’s never seen herself as a performer.
“I’m the type of person, if somebody say, ‘Sing,’ I’m closing up, and I’m about to go hide behind the curtain,” she said. “So the fact that I’m doing this, it feels so good…If I’m having the worst day in the world, once I get on stage, it’s like everything just goes away.”
Music has always been a part of Tatum’s life, she said. Her father and uncle started a band called “Ready for the World” when they were younger, and Tatum grew up watching them rehearse in her basement. She said she had wondered for a while if she really wanted to pursue music as a career, but it became clear after she had her first son.
“I’m like, I gotta do my music,” Tatum said. “This is that’s what makes me happy. It’s my music.”
Since then, Tatum has had another son, and she said she’s started taking her music more seriously. However, she added, being both a single mother to two boys and a musician isn’t always easy, and she’s been accepting donations to cover the costs of putting together “Tomorrow,” she said.
“If you really want to do something, if you have a dream, you’re gonna go for it,” she said. “You’re gonna push through anything that comes with it.”