Tayla Alexander

You began singing at the tender age of 5. Do you think it’s important for younger singers to be encouraged early on?

I definitely feel that it’s so important to allow young creatives to feel supported and inspired to create and do more of what they love, just as I was. So that you then have the confidence to make your own decisions.

Who were some of your earliest influences?

From a very early age, I’ve had an incredibly deep relationship with all music. From Maria Callas to The Beetles, country musicians, even Michael Bublé!

How much do you practice daily and do you have any advice for other young musicians on how to stay disciplined?

It’s incredibly important to create a strong routine which allows you to practice every day. The most important thing that I would encourage is to make sure that practice is quality-concentrated over quantity, focused productivity is the most important thing in order to create good habits for sure!

Tell us a little bit about your first album “Songbird.”

Songbird is my first album that I created when I was 11, it’s a classical crossover creation which says a huge amount about that stage in my life and really represented my passion for music. It’s essentially a combination of songs which are internationally loved by not only me but people across the world.

Although girl’s voices do not change as dramatically as boys they certainly do change. Have you experienced any changes in your range or timbre?

The voice definitely changes quite drastically over the years. My voice has been developing from a clear timbre to deeper and richer, strong sounds. These changes have had to be supported quite lovingly with the way I sing and how my vocal technique can carry a different voice. Not only do I sing higher the older I get but I also have a much lower range as well!

You have been involved with Auckland Opera Studio and New Zealand Opera Idol. Tell us a little bit about what you learned through these experiences and if you wish to continue studying opera in the future?

Over the past few years, as my voice has developed and grown my focus and love for opera has developed greatly. By being a part of the Auckland Opera studio and Opera Idol, I’ve been able to understand that my passion for performing incorporates not only the singing but also the entire process, including acting. Opera allows me to express my creativity in the most incredible ways.

You were voted the “Best Buskers Award.” Please share a little bit about busking with our listeners.

When I was younger and growing into my performance style, I used busking to allow me room to grow and experience. After the “best buskers” competition I was able to truly understand the importance of connecting with the audience and using an emotional connection to create beautiful music!

You have collaborated with Victoria Tocca (Do you hear what I hear) and Gray Bartlett (Fields of Gold). What was it like working with them?

Having the opportunity at such a young age to perform and collaborate with such talented and forward-thinking performers is such an honor for me. I still think about how lucky I truly am, both of these performers have one thing in common apart from their talent, and it’s their ability to incorporate different genres that they love. Classical music especially is so flexible, it allows a huge amount of opportunity.

You have lived in South Africa and New Zealand. Do you ever dream of living in another country?

Travel is a huge part of Opera specifically in Europe and America. My biggest dream is to study either at Julliard or the Royal Academy of Music, where I can continue to grow in my musical education! I have incredible dreams of living in Italy one day where I can perform and train.

Outside of singing what is your favorite thing to do?

Acting is one of my biggest passions alongside my personal passions such as cooking and love for animals. There’s also secretly nothing I love more than to sit down with a cup of tea and a journal, as creative writing and poetry are two of my most treasured pastimes.

Your latest release was a cover of “Nella Fantasia.” What does this song mean to you?

This song really means so much to me, not only because of all the incredible opportunities it’s allowed me, but also because it signifies a time of hope. “Nella Fantasia”, is about imagining a future which is kind and peaceful, the kind of message which I believe needs to be universally spread.