Tara Beier Talks New EP ‘Her Story,’ Pregnancy, Navigating Throughout A Pandemic & More
Tara Beier’s music has been defined not only by her unique sound but through her positive message of truth, inner growth and hope. Her songs are about working through something, then overcoming it to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Recently, her song “Hero and the Sage” was chosen by Biden’s Campaign “100 DAYS, 100 Nurses” in Celebration for the Presidential inauguration 2020. The chorus, “We must believe that we can make a change” rings as the voice of action amidst the pandemic.
Tara and her music has been featured in USA Today, American Songwriter, Medium, NBC, Glamour, ET Canada, GQ, The New York Times and more. She is an American Canadian singer-songwriter residing in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. Her sound is a blend of California nature landscapes, acoustic instruments and story-oriented, melodic lyrics. Unique in her sound, she has been compared to Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Buffy Sainte Marie, Fleetwood Mac and Jewel.
During this pandemic, Tara Beier empowered people through her second album “Super Bloom”. Produced in Nashville by three-time Grammy- nominated, Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo). The album is about “overcoming obstacles and blossoming into your true self” and released on Manimal Records (LA), boasting artists from Yoko Ono, Moby, Duran Duran, Edward Sharpe and many more.
Tara Beier is mixed race; her mother is English, Austrian and her father, Asian and Spanish. She was immersed in nature, music and creativity as a young child in Vancouver, Canada. She began playing classical piano at five years old and continued to play for 13 years. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Criminology from Simon Fraser University.
In 2022 Tara released her acclaimed covers EP “Her Story” inspired by the voices of women in the 60’s and 70’s. She is also in the process of writing her third studio album.
“Tara Beier is a really fascinating character. As you can infer from her Wikipedia, she’s had quite a colorful life and has tried on several different hats. In addition to being a songwriter, she’s been a film producer, an actress, an activist, a dancer and more — she was even an “avid equestrian” for a period of time in her youth. All these things combined give Beier a unique and singular worldview… which may be the secret behind her unique and singular sound.” — American Songwriter
Check out the full interview with Tara Beier below.
So much has changed since you last covered Contrast in 2020. You are a mom of two, have released your new E.P Her Story and so much more? Update our readers on Tara Beier 2022. How did the concept of ‘Her Story’ come to be? The concept of “Her Story” was conceived during the when I was pregnant near the end, in the third trimester. I wanted to continue to do music in some capacity as I was managing my pregnancy and I knew that when the babies were born I would literally have no time at all in the first year, which is generally the hardest with newborns. So as an alternative, my manager in Nashville suggested I do a covers album to keep me creative and working. At first I was hesitant about it as I normally write my own original music but then after much thought, I felt very intrigued by the idea.
I have always been inspired and kinda obsessed by the music era of the 60s and 70s. I like to think I had a past life during that time, lol, I probably died young and came back again in the 80s? No, but it really all stemmed when I studied that timeframe for a movie I was in where I played an activist folk singer, Buffy Sainte- Marie. I learned a lot about the beaniks and folk singers on Haight Ashbury street in San Francisco, Greenich Village in NY and Laurel Canyon in LA. For Her Story, I wanted to really focus on bringing the stories in songs of these women into 2022. It was really inspiring to see these women’s lives more closely, bond with their music and learn their own individual styles and approaches of writing. It gave me much strength as a female artist looking up to these women.
How did the E.P creation help in this transitional time – a pandemic, new mom etc.? This creation of “Her Story” EP kept me mentally focused, it was my light at the end of the tunnel. It distracted me from the physical limitations of my twin pregnancy and gave me a kind of sanity.
It was exactly what I needed. I remember speaking to my producers when I was in the hospital about to deliver that week. We were planning to record after the babies were born, so it definitely gave me a rope to hold onto. After the babies were out, about 2 months after, I went to the Village Studios and recorded in Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nick’s spot and I just felt so grateful and happy to be alive. With the power of music I had made it through! My babies were also listening to me sing the songs as newborns, which was so magical for them, they could feel my voice and vibrations. Music is very powerful, the energy of these women’s songs carried me through the hardest times of my pregnancy. I will forever be grateful.
The producers of “Her Story” are Sarah Emily and Danny Berrios that reside on a gorgeous farm just outside of Nashville, TN. They creatively brought me to a new level as an artist in my sound and voice. We had so much fun selecting the songs, consciously picking those that I could personally relate to. That process was super fun and organic! It was like shopping in a clothing store and picking my favorite clothing, each piece different and special.
The women we chose to cover were Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Sibylle Baier and Barbara Keith. It was really interesting to explore the different styles of singing, story and lyrics of each artist. Like for instance, Joni Mitchell’s song “California” was technically challenging from a musical standpoint where Sibylle Baier’s song “Forget About” was simple music theory wise yet felt very vulnerable in her delivery of the lyrics. I might not I’ve had to stretch so much vocally but I definitely needed to dig deep emotionally. Overall, covering all these women really allowed me to explore and stretch my voice in different ways. It was an amazing challenge and I really enjoyed it.
What is it about the women you chose to cover that resonated with you? I resonated with Joni Mitchell mainly in that she is a Canadian folk singer like myself and came from Canada to the US to pursue her music career. In the song “California” her journey and mine is exactly that. The next is Sibylle Baier, a German singer songwriter, more unknown, who only released one album in her life but it was very successful. I related to her mainly because my family is German. My last name is pronounced the same, Baier/Beier, which we found a bit synchronistic? But from an artistic standpoint I really did relate to her in her simplicity and clarity in writing, it seems we like to write a lot of ballads too! As per Joan Baez, she has a degree in political science and I have a degree in criminology. Therefore some of her writings come from a social, political point of view and it seems we both want to help create positive change in our music. She is also mixed race like myself. As for Barbara Keith, I felt I totally related to the context of her song “The Road I Took To You” which is the last song on the EP. The song is about going on the journey to find who you are, having those hard times along the way, leaving and then coming back again full circle!
What’s next for you? Original Music? I am dying to write my own original music and am currently in the process of piecing together by third album. I already have several songs that I’ve kept aside over the last couple years that I’d like to bring in and I’ll be co-writing with the same producers of “Her Story” in Nashville starting January 2023. Looking forward to creating something new, fresh and evolved from where I am now. I will be playing more piano on this one for sure which I’m really excited about, going full circle back to the instrument of where I started in music as a child.
The definition of Contrast is ‘to be strikingly different.’ What makes you strikingly different? I guess what makes me unique is that I just do what I want to do regardless of what the industry dictates at the moment. What makes me different is I don’t really follow trends. I just do what is really honest to me. I think the music industry can be extremely condensed and overly saturated. I feel the only way you can survive and keep ground as an artist is to express what you are going through in that time of your life, because that is what is truthful. When I look back at my previous records, I was at a different stage in my life and in a way, a different person.
All of our life experiences combined, are on one connected path that shape us into who we are and what we have to offer the world. My journey as an artist is definitely different I think. I played classical piano since I was a child for 10 years, rode horses, loved nature, got my Bachelor of Arts degree with kind of love for human psychology. Then I went into method acting theater to documentary films and human rights to creating a film about a 1960s folk singer with a message in her music. Weirdly enough I never really liked to sing or cared much for vocals. I felt my talent was more in writing and composing songs. But this project “Her Story” really gave me the confidence and inspiration to enjoy the craft of singing. I’m so thankful for my producer SarahEmily Berrios for pushing and supporting me to get there. Now I love to sing!