Tate McRae on Being a Pop Star and Still in High School

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This is crazy. This is actually your first time being interviewed here. But you've been to the show before. I have. You've danced on there a couple of times. We've actually danced together. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. What's it like to finally sit down in the chair? I remember actually sitting in these chairs when I was 12, thinking this would be crazy to come here one day. Yeah, it feels really weird. It's crazy. Well, I'm telling you, I'm so proud of you. We've known each other for a really long time. Obviously, for those that don't know, she was a competitor on So You Think You Can Dance many years ago. We have danced together in classes. And I just I just could not be more proud of everything that you're doing right now. Thank you. It's incredible. Now, the EP, Too Young to Be Sad, is incredible. And I've just got to ask, because I've known you for dancing, but I didn't know that you were a singer and a songwriter, did you always want to be a singer? I literally thought I was going to grow up and become a backup dancer. I danced since I was two. So I'd been dancing 40 hours a week. And then I started a YouTube channel when I was 13, started posting original songs, and then got signed by a label. And it just all happened really fast. Absolutely. Yeah. But I've got to ask, because, obviously-- and I'm not capping when I say this, Tate is an incredible, incredible dancer-- do you feel like your dance training really helped you for what you're embarking on now as a singer as well? Oh, totally. You go through so much as a dancer. It's a really cutthroat industry. Right. So I feel like it's definitely prepared me. But it's been weird because over the past year while I've been doing my first ever performances, I've been in my dad's office. Right, absolutely. Yeah, times were a little different because you released the EP during quarantine. And you were also attending high school while you released it, too. So what was that like? How do you keep it from your schoolmates, like, yo, I'm about to be the next big pop star? [LAUGHTER] It was crazy. I performed at the European Music Awards, my first ever award show. It was a big deal. I remember we were watching it on MTV. And then my mom was like, all right, now go study for your social midterm. [LAUGHTER] It was horrible. It's so crazy just to also watch your journey. I remember the first time that I saw your billboard for Spotify up in Times Square. And we were bugging. It was like, oh my god. It's Tate. It's just crazy. You're just incredible. And now I've got to talk about your first music video. I understand you filmed this music video using an iPhone. Yes. It was the worst experience ever because I started releasing music. It was going really well. And I got sent back to Canada in March last year. And I remember I was just about to release "you broke me first". And my label was like, all right, now you've got to create a music video. And I was like, it's literally me and my parents at home. How am I going to do this? [LAUGHTER] So me and my friend went up onto this rooftop. We drove up there. I took a tissue box. And I taped my phone to the front of the car. [LAUGHTER] And I used this app called Video Star that I used to make music videos to when I was seven. Did one take, and I sent it in. And I said, you've got to work with it. And that was the music video. We can clap for that. And that's also what I'm talking about, too, is I think that that's also where that dance training comes in, that hard core work ethic where you've just got to figure it out and make something work and whatever it is, you're going to make it work. It's going to be the best that you can possibly do. Yeah. Right? Now, fast forward, very exciting, this summer you're going to be performing at festivals for the first time. Yeah. You're excited about that? I'm so scared. It's weird because my last shows were like 150, 200 people. Oh wow. And these are about to be crazy festivals. So it's weird when over the entire year there's been so much going on. But I haven't actually been able to experience any of it. So it's going to be really weird. I'm terrified. I'm excited for you. And I just want to make sure, I just want to say this, that while you're doing all this, make sure you take some time to soak everything in because I really do feel like you're about to do some incredible things. So as you continue to do that, soak all that stuff in, man. You deserve it. Well, it was so weird because I remember coming back here when I was 12, 13. And I was driving by this with my parents the other day. And we saw the building. And I got the memories. And I was like, holy [BLEEP]. We're about to be here-- Yeah, about to sit down in the chair. --about to be here as an artist. Absolutely. We are proud of you. Y'all make sure you check out Tate. Too Young to Be Sad is available now wherever you get your streaming music. We'll be back. This is Tate McRae right here, y'all.

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