In this week’s installment of “You Should Know,” Billboard is getting to know singer-songwriter Tayla Parx, as she reveals when she first started making music, what her songwriting process is like, what her favorite memory of working with Ariana Grande was, and more.
Parx tells Billboard that she began creating music after she appeared in the film Hairspray in 2007. “Before Hairspray, I would always sing, of course, but I never knew that songwriting was a job,” she says, adding that her parents got her a keyboard and Logic, and she would spend hours in her bedroom making songs and playing them back to her parents.
As for how she approaches making music, Parx confesses that when it comes to writing songs for herself, it is a bit like “word vomit” in that she lets whatever comes to her subconscious “pour out.”
However, if she’s penning a song for someone else to sing, she likes to utilize a different method. “If I’m writing for other people, I like to really dissect it and do the complete opposite almost, because this is about this other person’s feelings and life experiences and it’s a bit like [being] a therapist for them,” Parx says. “But when I’m doing my own music, I’m my own therapist, which is a whole [other] level of real that you have to be with yourself.”
Speaking of writing for other people, Parx also opens up about her experience collaborating with Ariana Grande. Asked what her best memory of working with the pop star was, Parx says that it was the overall experience of making Thank U, Next, calling that time in New York with Grande, Victoria Monét and Tommy Brown an “incredible week.”
Posed with the question of would still love to collaborate with one day, Parx names Missy Elliott. “I went through a phase when I was younger, and I was like, I want to write for everybody that influenced me,” she explains.
“So I got to go through all the divas – the Mariahs, the Christinas…and I would love to just get in a room with [Elliott] and pick her brain and see why she thinks the way that she does, or how she does it.”
You can watch the full video interview with Tayla Parx above to find out what the last lyric she wrote was, which animal she would want to be, and what inspired her song “We Need To Talk.”