Inside Speakeasy Sessions with Dreamer Boy
Zach Taylor a.k.a. Dreamer Boy is inventing a new genre of music — “Cowboy Pop,” as he calls it, melding his Nashville setting with a contemporary sound. Last month, we were excited to host Taylor in our loft suite at Freehand Los Angeles, and hear him perform his new album, Love, Nostalgia, during our Speakeasy Sessions, in front of a crowd of local musicians and creatives. Jamie Gray, our Brand Experience Director, got a chance to catch up with him and chat about his artistic process, and how he finds musical inspiration.
Jamie Gray: Where did the name Dreamer Boy come from?
Dreamer Boy: The name Dreamer Boy doesn’t take itself too seriously. It embodies more than who I am, but what my team and me do. It came from me being a romantic, with my head in the clouds my whole life. Not losing sight of your childish nature and the fun part of life.
JG: I’ve heard that since you’ve been here at Freehand, you might have written a song? How do you begin the process to start making music?
DB: It kind of just starts happening. I start dancing around and mumbling — it’s like a release. We start with an idea, and it immediately puts me into a feeling. Here at the Freehand, we started making a song with a synth loop, then I came up with the verse melody and I started pairing words to it. In its most natural and simplest form, it comes really easy, but sometimes songs can be more challenging. There’s been a few instrumental ideas that are almost daunting in a way, because they are so special that I need to wait for the right words and perspective to know what to do with them.
JG: When you are writing a song, when is the moment when you know it is done? Do you go back and edit it?
DB: Finishing songs comes much, much later in the process. The easy part is what we are doing now with our new music. All we are doing is sketching. Throwing down an idea without needing to paint it yet, or fix this little part that you want to fix. You just let it be for maybe a month, maybe a week, maybe a day. There’s always this initial release. Then I come back to it after I’ve gotten to know it, filling in the blanks before I’m ready to come back to revise. It’s a process in getting to know your songs by taking your time. You don’t have to rush it or get it done in a day. You can come back to it in a month with probably ten times more insight from when you started this topic. Say that you set out to write a song about this feeling, and you have these experiences to draw from for the feeling, but then in a month since you’ve had this song idea, within that time of living you’ve been taking in those experiences of that month and directing them into that box of that song. Because my music so personal to me, I need that life element to come in before I can put all the words together.
JG: Just from our conversation now, I feel like you have a really clear understanding of what you’re creative needs are. I think for creative people, we need to set up this creative home for ourselves so we can be our best creative self. What do you need to do this?
DB: I wake up every day and eat oatmeal with blueberries and peanut butter, I go on a run, and have some coffee and sit down at my desk and jot down ideas or journal. I just check in with myself so I can feel prepared to place things creatively. Sometimes, you don’t know, sometimes you are just tumbling through life and you’re like ok well I guess we can make a song about that! So, yeah, for me I need that check-in.