Behind the Scenes of SXSW: Grammy-Nominated Tayla Parx Talks Songwriting & “Rich”

By Gabrielle Pharms | March 18, 2022

As a songwriter, Tayla Parx is the creative genius behind some of your favorite songs of talent, such as John Legend (“I’m Ready”), Ariana Grande (“Thank U, Next”), plus Megan Thee Stallion and Normani (“Diamonds”), and many others. Already shining like a star in the songwriting world, Parx is now taking to the stage as a performer. Moreover, the Grammy-nominated artist is also on a mission to help songwriters with their mental health via her Burnout camps. As an advocate of wellness, Parx unselfishly endeavors to assist fellow songwriters in their journey to success.

Ahead of her thrilling performance at Dr. Marten Presents Showcase, EDITION sat down with Parx to learn about her self-care routine, forthcoming single, and what’s she learned about herself in the process of becoming one of the industry’s most sought-after songwriters.

See more: Behind the Scenes of SXSW: Queen of Gqom Moonchild Sanelly Redefines Female Empowerment Through Music

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Welcome to South By! Is this your first and only show here for the week?

Actually, one last-minute one got added. I'm going to stay here an extra day now and then do an additional show.

Awesome! You’ve done songwriting for Ariana Grande, John Legend, J.Lo, and the list goes on. What was that transition like for you to go from songwriting to now performing?

I think the transition from songwriting to performing was natural. A lot of the time, as a songwriter, it’s all about getting out what this person has to say. Then it was simple, I have something to say, and this is how I would say it. Then, once I saw the reaction from people, I said, ‘This is different.’ It was really reassuring and nice to have that.

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So, what new music do you have coming out?

A new record is dropping this April called “Rich” that I'll be performing here. Then, in addition to two more new songs that I'm testing out. “Rich” is about being able to afford a few things, but the thing that you're most scared to be able to get is heartbroken and it’s a different kind of world.

You host a Burnout camp. How can artists avail themselves of that opportunity? In what ways does that camp help songwriters?

If you want to participate in the Burnout writing retreat, it is about reaching out. There's an email right in the bio on our Instagram or the email in my bio. The huge reason behind starting Burnout was I felt mental health wasn't talked about enough in the creative community. Creatives are some of the most mentally fragile. You're going into a studio session, and you're having to hurt yourself to get this heartbroken song out. It’s very interesting. That was a huge reason why we started Burnout so that we could continue to refill the well.

I love that. You have to show up and put your heart on the stage and in the studio. But you can't pour from an empty cup.

Exactly. So, that's what Burnout was all about. It's re-inspiring.

In what ways do you indulge in self-care?

My self-care routine is very early in the morning, writing in my journal and adding my gratitude moment and work out –which is something I fell off for a second. I want to take care of my mind and my body, and my spirit. Taking care of your body, working out, and taking care of your mind doesn't mean you're always meditating but doing things that you got to enjoy. For me, it’s gardening and finding all those different forms of self-care. I love pottery. During Burnout, I learned tai chi. I like to learn. I'm a very curious person. A lot of the things that I do in my career, even from songwriting, really started off with curiosity. I always follow curiosity, even when it comes to self-care.

What would you say you've learned about yourself in the process of being a songwriter and now performer?

Something that I've learned about myself along the way is how sensitive I am. The funny thing is I grew up thinking I’m not sensitive. My way of expressing that was very different because I had that outlet of music. It wasn't that I had all the stuff boiling up inside. That's one of the biggest things, and I want to be a part of other people's journeys. I love getting out and performing, and people are telling me, “Oh my god! You got me through a breakup or a makeup. We've been there for the journey.” I want to be a part of building other people's journeys as well.

Photography by: Gabriel Mendoza Weiss