SPACELAB: Did this also lead you to want to start your GABB lifestyle brand? It’s sort of classy but colorful, spiritual, and works on different levels like much of your music and writing.
WHITNEY TAI: Yeah, this venture has kind of been a long time coming. I have an entrepreneur's mentality. My mother was an entrepreneur and my dad ... was not one but he was head of the sector of his business. I've always been around people who strove to set goals. I have a background in fine arts. As someone so hyper creative, I need to work in a visual sense as well sometimes. My songs ... when I write I think in a color palette, not just one dimensional.
SPACELAB: More than some performers you seem to inhabit this other energy. You or someone like Eriel Indigo, you see pictures and want to know more.
WHITNEY TAI: My mind is an interesting place. Sometimes you don't have to talk to people, like when you make eye contact with a person who is expressive and you already know what they are thinking. I want to communicate feeling with visuals, music and poetry. That's how my mind works. Even with videos, I love acting. There is an undercurrent to everything I am doing. When you have a show people are coming for an experience. As an artist or brand you aren't just selling music but something people can become excited about. If you aren't embracing all those elements you are missing out. Music is through every sense that you have, including the eyes. I like to make people feel. If you write an album, every performance you can make it a new experience every time if you are that deconstructive of a thinker.
SPACELAB: Does it ever make you nervous to put yourself out there? You have talent and know what you want but there is a personal element.
WHITNEY TAI: I've never had fright when it came to sharing my experiences. I'm not living inside my head. I know the world is much bigger than me. Other people are deserving to know what you are going through. They might be going through the same. We need one another to learn. I believe in what I am doing so much that it bypasses the fear. Fear to me is useless. It keeps you from your greatness. I don't have time for that (laughing). Whenever I hear fear knocking at my door I am like ,"Yeah, but I have things to do. I can't accommodate you at this time."
SPACELAB: Did you always want to sing?
WHITNEY TAI: I always have. It's something my parents noticed me doing very early on. Once they heard it they were like ,"Oh, this is what we're dealing with here." They saw I had a passion and wanted to encourage me. I started to also write poetry at 7 or 8, very young. And I would put on little plays. Just me, myself and I as an actress. My earliest memories of music are of writing musicals! In my room or yard with my friends. I had a very vivid imagination.
SPACELAB: Were you micromanaging your friends?
WHITNEY TAI: (laughing) I'm more of a creator than a dictator. I wasn't that psycho about it.
SPACELAB: You seem to like the energy exchange of collaboration anyway. How did you come to work with Spencer Garn?
Whitney: When I released my first single I didn't know anyone and started emailing some of the top producers, just to hear their feedback. A lot of them responded and I loved their work so I kept in contact. Spencer was one of them and we said we should work together sometime. I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to build those relationships because now they are also evolving my skills as an artist.
SPACELAB: I love that you seem, even on the poppier stuff of yours, to have a human quality. Even the hookiest parts feel like a person more than a robot.
WHITNEY TAI: It's important for people to know that people are still talking to them. How many songs saved your life in your lifetime? You probably can't count on your fingers.
SPACELAB: It's extra for me. I needed constant life saving through really unlistenable, extreme music (laughing). And George Michael. Everyone good died last year! You are the new flame! My new hope!
WHITNEY TAI: (laughing) Shhhh!! I was very upset about the George Michael thing. I've always loved those vocalists who make the hairs on your arms stand up.