The beauty of social media is that it exposes the mass public to people, ideas, and music past platforms never accomplished. It is an international forum for the free expression of ideas from the "average person". And with such accessibility, viewers and listeners discover that some of those "average" folks aren't so average.

Enter Tayler Buono. She got her start uploading cover songs to YouTube and quickly amassed a following. Then she put out her first original single, 'Technically Single', which was featured on numerous outlets and was trending on Spotify.

I caught up with Tayler over the phone to speak about music, YouTube, and what the future holds for her.

Let's start from the beginning. Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. I grew up in Orlando, Florida. I moved there when I was 4 years old. And now, I currently live in Nashville; I moved here about a year ago.

Nice! How are you liking Nashville?

I love it. It's amazing. I have a lot of great friends here and it's a great place to work on music. There's a lot of nice people here. It's just amazing.

That's always good to hear. Now, growing up, were the arts always a part of your life? What are some of your earliest memories of music?

Yeah, it's always been a big part of my life. My dad played music a lot. So, I remember being 4 years old sitting on his lap at the piano while he played. I would make up my own lyrics to classic songs he would play. We always had instruments in my house- guitars, pianos, and drums. So it was always a big part of my life growing up.

So, what kind of music did you listen to? What were your parents playing around the house and what did you listen to as you started to formulate your own tastes and musical identity?

Growing up my dad was always playing music in the house. He played a lot of local stations. We listened to a lot of Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, and Nathalie Merchant; just a lot of classic music. And, I mean, now, I listen to such a broad range of music. I remember being in like 8th grade and getting hooked on listening to Bono. And honestly, when I started listening to him, he like, shook me inside and inspired me to do something epic like he does. He definitely inspired me. I kind of stumbled across him myself on Youtube.

And speaking of YouTube, when did you first kind of start getting into it? For certain generations it's just kind of always been there. Were there any viral stars or channels you would watch?

Um, not really. I started putting up videos about 2 years ago... oh wait 3 years ago... just here and there. I put up covers every once in a while. But, it wasn't until this past year I put up a cover of 'Sorry' that kind of reacted strongly and has 4 million views; I'd never had anything like that before.

Oh wow. So that was kind of your first real taste? You had put up other covers without too much traction and then wham, with 'Sorry' you get these millions of views. What was it about this one that generated you think generated so much exposure?

I think... well, I put it up a few days after the song came out. So, I think it was a timing thing. I think people liked the cover and it was just the right time.

And how about original songs?

Well, right now I just have my first original single up, 'Technically Single'.

Okay, and with YouTube, it's kind of a double-edged sword when it comes to exposure. While you can garner tons of fans, one of the big negativities is the notorious comments section. Did you ever experience unsavory comments and how did you go about approaching that?

Well, I don't feel like I've had any serious hate yet, and hopefully I won't. But, I know that's out there. But, I haven't had any serious on YouTube or anything. I mean, it's always impossible to please everybody, completely. So, I kind of understand that and know that some people will love certain things and some people won't care for it. And that's okay. But, yeah, I don't think I've had anything like serious on anything so far and I hope that doesn't happen.

Oh, yeah, that's a great mindset to have. But I mean, sometimes those comments sections can get creepy, especially when women post. Have you ever had to do deal with anything like that?

Yeah, sometimes. But, I just kind of ignore those if they're really bad. But most of them are really fun and really sweet.

Well good! So, you have 'Technically Single' up now. It's been picking up lots of traction, getting a Most Viral position on Spotify. Have you signed to any label yet or are you unsigned?

No, I am still unsigned. I'm not signed to anything yet.

Oh, okay! So, you have this first single up getting a lot of play without the input of a label. How does it feel seeing it get picked up and gaining popularity through various outlets?

It's been so amazing, exciting, and just fun. I'm having a blast. Every time I see it on a new outlet, I probably scare whoever is around me because I like, scream or gasp. (Laughs and makes a gasping sound) And then they're like, 'Oh okay, nothing's wrong' because I'm just excited about it all.

But that's good!


So, are you working on more music right now?

Yes, I am working on new music. I've been writing songs - like a ton of songs - the past year; just writing and writing. Because I think, when you don't know what to do as an artist, you just gotta keep writing until you get the right song. And so, I think that's why I'm so excited about 'Technically Single' because it's just gotten a great reaction so far. I feel like I'm really onto something. But, I'm continuing just to write and record and I have a lot of new songs in the works to follow up after this one.

Well, I can't wait to hear those.

Thank you.

You're welcome! And with putting up an original song on Youtube, there's a certain vulnerability. It's much different than going and playing at a local coffee shop. What you did had the potential to reach millions of views almost instantly.

Yeah, there is definitely a vulnerable feeling. Even to put 'Technically Single' out because the song really is so personal to me. It was the kind of song that after I wrote, I was afraid for people to hear it- like my friends. Because it honestly was like, I was basically just reading text messages and putting it into the song. And then putting it out there into the world, that's like a different level. So it was a very scary feeling because I put my whole heart in it. And now, people can reject it. So, it's always, you know... I mean, I hope people like it. It's been awesome with the response so far. But, yeah, it's definitely a vulnerable feeling putting out anything I've put my heart into.

Oh, I can only imagine. And with so many different forms and outlets of social media now, people really have their pick. But, what is it about YouTube you think sets it apart from the rest when it comes to artists trying to be discovered?

I think that YouTube, with videos, especially for artists and music, is that music these days is also so visual. People want to see something along with hearing something. I know that I would definitely prefer- I love going to YouTube and listening to music that way. You get to also watch the artist and you get insight into them as well.

Great, great response. So, I won't take up too much more of your time here. You're still early on in your career and a rising star. Have you ever considered doing ghostwriting for other artists while you continue to pursue your own solo career?

Yeah, that's something I would love to do. I have written so much the past year that there's no way I will release every song that I've written because some of them are so different. Eventually, I would love to use those songs for other artists as well. But, right now, I'm focusing on my project. But, I know that I want to give all my songs a life somewhere.

Nice! So, do you have an EP in the works or possibly a full length? Or, are you not even looking that far ahead and just trying to get a solid group of songs together first?

Yeah! So, I do have an EP in the works. At this point, it could turn into more. So, I'm not exactly sure right now. Um, but so far I do have an EP in the works. But, it could change in the next few weeks, depending on how things go. Because the music business is something you make a plan for, but then you just kind of have to make it up as you go. And one good meeting could change everything.

And that's a really good insight to have with just a single out. You already know that reality of the fickleness of the music industry and are willing to take it as it comes and be prepared for anything.

Well, thank you.

So, with 'Technically Single' is that the main direction you see your music going, on the more electro-pop side?

Yeah, definitely, I want to go by 'Technically Single'. I feel like it has a fun, fresh sound to me that I'm really excited about. But, it's weird. I remember, after writing 'Technically Single', it has such a mix of influences I can't think of one singular artist it sounds like to me. Influences to me- I have such a mix- from like Coldplay, to Rihanna, to Ryan Tedder of One Republic. I've been loving Jon Bellion lately. I've been obsessed. I also like Drake and... I just like such a broad range of music. I just like to combine a piece of everything.

And that's great. Nowadays, it's great how you can instantly hear something someone just recorded in their garage and the next minute listen to a new single from a superstar. And people and fans don't have to be pigeonholed to just one genre.

Yeah, and that's what's so cool about pop music right now. You know, pop music popular music, it doesn't really have a sound. Right now, anything goes and there's really no limits on what you can create and what sound you can create.

Exactly, exactly. And to wrap up, as someone who is still getting their feet wet, what kind of advice would you give those pursuing music and uploading music onto Youtube?

I would say to just keep at it. And not to give up, ever, It's just kind of a... it's a learning process as you go. And everyone's journey is different. That's one thing I've definitely learned, is that there's not one right way. Everyone's journey... every artist's journey is completely different. And if you write songs, the most important thing is just to keep writing and writing about everything you can.