The Five Question Challenge with Taya Marquis

(Photo courtesy of Effective Immediately)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

It is a pleasure to welcome Taya Marquis to Jake’s Take.

The Los Angeles-based artist envisioned being a songwriter since she was a little girl and her epiphany of being an artist happened over a series of writing and studio sessions. Her peers were always encouraging her towards being an artist, and then she was hit with the artist bug.

At the age of 11, Taya decided to pursue music seriously, and after she had graduated high school, Taya moved to Los Angeles pursue a career in the music industry. While she was in the City of Angels, she co-wrote “La Discotheque” with Kesha. Eventually, Taya returned to Ontario to attend the Metalworks Institute and study music business.  In 2014, she played her first sold out show as she opened for Tinashe as part of her Aquarius tour.  She also performed twice at the Canadian Music Week and Toronto’s Rivoli concert venue.

In this edition of The Five Question Challenge, Taya shared her songwriting tips, her debut single: “Please Don’t Shoot,” and why Twitter is her preferred social media network.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in music? How did that passion evolve into the desire of having a career in the recording industry?

Taya Marquis: I always loved singing and entertaining a crowd. Even as a toddler, I would perform for my parent’s friends without knowing it was a profession. And then as a teenager, melodies started randomly swimming through my brain, and I started writing songs. It finally hit me that I need to be pursuing this for real, I need to take it seriously, this is my purpose. And ever since that ah-ha moment I’ve been loving every bit of it from songwriting to recording and have even fallen in love with the business side of it too. It is A LOT of hard work, but I love it.

JE: Could you please describe your songwriting process to my readers?

TM: When I write songs for myself, I love sitting at the piano just plunking out chords or sometimes even motifs (a short string of notes that can be a reoccurring theme in the song) to catch a good strong melody. That’s how it happened with “Please Don’t Shoot.” Except, I already had the lyrical concept in mind. I knew I wanted to talk about infidelity in a relationship. So, I knew what kind of chords I was looking for. They had to sound sad and dramatic.Because I write a lot of pop and R&B, I need the melodies to be super catchy, if not memorable, at least rich. Then, I let the music in my head speak to me.

Songwriting I believe, is you and the universe creating something together to share with the rest of the world. Let it be organic and most importantly, whatever it wants to be! Most great songs were written in fifteen minutes because the song already knew its destiny, the songwriter just paid attention to its instructions and executed. As for writing songs for other artists, I first pay very close attention to who they are, what they believe in, their morals, values, perspective, and brand. When I get that I have a general sense of what they would sing about and then basically follow the same process as I do for myself.


(Album cover courtesy of Effective Immediately PR)

JE: Let’s talk about our debut single: “Please Don’t Shoot.” What is the story behind this epic pop track?

TM: I wanted to capture a dramatic, passionate moment in time that spoke about something real over a pop/dance/R&B track, so Khadijah and I wrote about infidelity from a woman’s perspective. She lost herself in a moment of lust and then decides to TELL her significant other hoping for forgiveness. I bet you so many people would lie and never “hand their significant other the gun” “even though they loaded it up!” That is why this song is vulnerable and sad because she is doing the hardest thing ever. She is strong. I applaud her. I hope her lover didn’t end up shooting her and they lived happily ever after. (Smiles)

JE: You have amassed a large (and growing) following on Twitter. What makes Twitter your preferred social media network?

TM: Twitter is another way of letting my thoughts out without having to write an entire song about it (laughs). It is also a way for me to share little bursts of positive vibes out there.

JE: If you had the chance to meet with aspiring singer-songwriters who would want to pursue a career in the recording industry, what advice would you share with them?

TM: Find out who you are as an artist. Are you a weird, quirky folk singer that likes to write about their pets? Are you an overly emotional person that loves writing about tragic love stories? Are you a sassy boss bitch that wants to rule the world? And then literally eat, breathe and sleep it, own it and master it. If there were an award for the best “weird, quirky folk singer that likes to write about their pets,” make sure you win it.

And finally, invest in yourself. Put in money and time. A boat load of time, a Titanic boatload of time! Like literally, decline family functions, hangouts with friends, dates, et cetera. If you want this, you won’t feel sad about the fact that you will not be drunk at the club, wasting money on a Friday night and happy you’re at the studio instead! But apparently, strike a delicate balance to live still and gain inspiration! Lastly, build an excellent team of talented and hard-working people who genuinely care and believe in you. Motivate and challenge each other!

For more information about Taya Marquis, visit her website.

You can connect with Taya on social media, visit her Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter channels.




Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar