The music industry is already celebrating singer Tate McRae as a budding world star. She owes her international breakthrough to her German mother and the power of social media. In the FOCUS online interview, the Canadian talks about her rapid rise to the top of the charts.
Tate McRae also explains how to build a community on social networks. At the same time, however, she also warns of the “toxic danger” that can emanate from social media such as Instagram.
FOCUS Online: You are classified as an important newcomer in the music business: a good 3.2 billion combined streams, number 1 in the top 40 and dance charts. You were also the youngest musician to make it into the “Forbes 30 under 30” ranking in 2021. What does this success mean for you personally?
Tate McRae: For me, success is when I feel a connection with my audience. Whether I’m performing on stage or releasing a song, it’s important to me that people can identify with me and feel something about it. There’s nothing like feeling a person’s energy and seeing the audience return it. Everything else is just a bonus!
Her German mother was already dancing in the State Ballet in Berlin. Did she pass on her “dance genes” to you?
Tate McRae: Yes, my mother is German. She was a dancer and dance teacher. I attended the State Ballet in Berlin, won a scholarship to YAGP – a ballet competition – and got lessons to train with. My grandmother was born in Berlin, so my grandfather and my mother traveled with me to Berlin for three weeks so that I could go to school there.
What was your very first musical sense of achievement?
Tate McRae: I think when my song “One Day” was gaining momentum. That was the very first time I thought that maybe something could come of it. Being so close to my fans on YouTube and realizing that people can identify with my lyrics and stories was something very special for me!
What moment do you see as your musical breakthrough?
Tate McRae: My musical breakthrough came when I released You Broke Me First. This was the first song that went truly global and was on the radio 24/7! Definitely a cool moment to hear myself in public so often.
How is your relationship with social media?
Tate McRae: I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I loved being creative and uploading myself to YouTube both dancing and singing. But honestly, social media can be very toxic and I have to make sure I don’t focus too much on it. Social media can really mess with your head and cause you to focus on the wrong things.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make when dealing with social media?
Tate McRae: The worst thing you can do is compare yourself to others. Social media is always just what people want to show you. You must always remember that every person has many levels in their life. What you see on social media is usually just the “surface layer”.
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What tips do you have for gaining followers on social media?
Tate McRae: I honestly try not to even think about gaining followers. Whenever I focus on that, I tend to feel like I’m focusing on the wrong things and that way I’m posting things that aren’t necessarily “me”.
What is important in social media if you want to build a real community out of it?
Tate McRae: I think it’s important to stay involved and interact with your followers in general. Post things that are important in your life. Do you have the courage to show your “true you”!
And in your experience, are there certain times of the day when you can reach the greatest reach on social media?
Tate McRae: Again, honestly, I’m trying not to think about it too much. But I think you have the greatest reach when most people are active. That would be in the evening before going to bed or in the morning.
Do you struggle with stage fright when performing in front of an audience?
Tate McRae: I think the stage is where I feel most comfortable. I still get nervous, but it’s more of an excitement or even excitement when I play shows.
I get more nervous doing an appearance for TV or an event…
What are your tips for dealing professionally with stage fright?
Tate McRae: Breathe and just walk out. Be yourself. The more authentic you can be, the more the audience will be with you.
What was the best piece of advice you received in your professional life?
Tate McRae: Keep it real and always remember to go with your gut.
Both your singing voice and your dancing skills are at an extremely high level. Be honest: how do you rate the relationship between talent and diligence?
Tate McRae: I think hard work and consistency is key. You can be talented, but if you’re not willing to work or sacrifice, it can be hard to get where you want.
You are 18 years young. Where do you see yourself in the next ten years? What personal goals would you like to achieve?
Tate McRae: In ten years I would love to play arenas and write as much as I can. I would also like to try my hand at acting…