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Gayle Reflects on Touring With Taylor Swift & Pink, How It Prepared Her for Own Trek

today10/26/2023

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Gayle has hit the road for her first-ever tour — titled Scared But Trying — and you can still score last-minute tickets to through Ticketmaster and resale sites including StubHub, VividSeats and Seat Geek. What’s unique about this tour (besides it being her first time headlining) is the digital experience she’s providing her fans with through Adobe Express — an AI-first creativity app featuring apps for easier content creation.

Whether you were able to score travel deals to attend the concert in person or not, the “ABCDEFU” singer is giving fans a behind-the-scenes peek of her tour through a virtual scrapbook. It will be available following the tour through a 3-minute music video highlighting her experiences. Anyone who views it is also encouraged to use Adobe Express templates to tell their own “Scared But Trying” story.

“It was really important to me to try and meet the people who cared to [come to my] shows and really talk about the theme of Scared But Trying, and what it means for them in their lives, and just being more open about our fears and our insecurities and things that we’re scared to do,” Gayle tells Billboard. “Adobe and I wanted to come together to try and create a space for people and create a community to come together and collaborate.”

Rather than have to download Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Adobe Premiere Pro and more apps onto your laptop, this will be an all-in-one creative app.

Outside of her partnership with Adobe, Gayle also shared insight into it was like for her to tour with artists including Taylor Swift, Pink and My Chemical Romance, as well as her Scared But Trying trek, new music and any essentials she takes on the road.

Read on for our interview with Gayle.

What inspired you to release singles like “Don’t Call Me Pretty,” “Leave Me for Dead” and “I Don’t Sleep As Good As I Used To”?

I was [originally] thinking about making an album because I had put out EPs last year. I was thinking naturally it was developing into an album and I didn’t particularly know what I was doing touring wise. Then, when I had these amazing tour opportunities put in front of me, I obviously wasn’t going to say no because they were really exciting and it was a really big honor — and opening up for Taylor [Swift] and Pink, I had never opened up for a stadium act before.

I’m a perfectionist. I want to try and be great at everything I do and I felt like I couldn’t be great at making my first, like, debut album and be a great touring artist. So I decided to put out singles that I felt captured the energy of my live show and intensities of attitudes that I felt. Then it lead into putting out “Leave Me for Dead” and I was going on tour with Pink and I played that song on the whole Pink tour, and it was a really fun song to play live.

GAYLE performs on The Late Late Show with James Corden airing Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

And the bloody covers for each single — how did the idea come about?

When I was thinking of a single cover, I was just thinking my ears bleeding would kind of fit conceptually with the song. If you just heard “Everybody Hates Me” and then you see a picture of a girl and her ears are bleeding, I felt like metaphorically, it kind of said something and was fitting conceptually with where the song was going. Then, I thought it would be cool if the blood just kept getting more and more dramatic, and at some point I actually pick up a knife.

I [also] have this song called “Don’t Call Me Pretty” and it kind of talks about the objectification that people can feel in their life, where it’s like, oh my gosh, isn’t it a compliment, isn’t it so nice to be pretty, but it’s that feeling of when that’s the only thing a person can see you as, and that feeling of being objectified is so beautiful. It makes you feel so hollow. For me, when I’m covered in blood, it’s like I’ve reached that breaking point where that one last person called me pretty or objectified me and made me feel that way [and] I just lost my mind.

Can we expect a debut album anytime soon?

I’m definitely working on starting the process of creating an album and starting to talk about it. It’s also kind of the conversation of do the songs I put out this year, do they go on the album? Do I write completely new songs? Like … we’re really focusing this year on finishing out the touring and this headlining run and really celebrating what the past two years have been for me. Then starting a new era and my perspective with the album.

You’ve also toured with some big names like Taylor Swift, Pink and My Chemical Romance. What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received?

The overall message from everybody that I’ve toured with (when we’ve had conversations) is that it’s obviously a hard thing to tour, it’s a hard thing to put yourself out there. But if you truly love doing it, you really have to put yourself out there, keep consistently working on your craft, keep doing the things you love and good things will follow from that.

That’s really all you can do, you know, there’s no secret button or secret formula, we’re all scared and we’re all just trying our best.

Do you have a favorite experience so far?

Oh gosh, every tour there’s always a highlight. I remember opening up for [My Chemical Romance] and I threw up for the first time. I remember going up and walking on because I was so scared — so scared. Oh my god, I’d never been that scared before ever, ever, ever in my life. Or the first Taylor [Swift] show, I walked on stage ten seconds late — I missed my first line and that was the most like terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced in my life, and I was asking so many questions that I missed my cue to walk on stage, so I had to run, like, sprint on stage, and I missed my first few words.

But even with Pink there’s so many fun times — and even I’m looking at my room right now and I’m seeing, like, a disco ball necklace that somebody threw on stage for me, or big pink heart sunglasses from from people throwing things from the crowd and being on tour during Pride Month is just the best time to be on tour with Pink, ever. The love and the pride that was at that show and what we got to celebrate was so beautiful.

How do you think it prepared you for going on tour solo?

It really made me understand the stamina that it takes to have a live show. When I’m opening up for somebody and I’m out of breath in 30 minutes, versus I know the hour and a half or even three and a half hour show the artist has to play [after] me. It also made me more comfortable with being on stage, and moving around and talking to people, and interacting — I heard this quote and it really spoke to me where it’s like, you don’t get energy from a crowd, you put energy into the crowd and you hope that they bring it back to you. I don’t walk on stage and I’m like, “OK, everybody else get me hype,” I’m like,
OK, I need to try and get everybody excited,” and then we can all hopefully make each other more excited off of that excitement.

Are there any tour essentials that you have to take with you?

Oh gosh, we’re taking so much Vitamin Water Zero Sugar. I always bring a tour diary with me because I think it’s important to try note the way that you were feeling on shows — even though it’s very scary traveling with the diary because you can lose it so quickly. I need my bandmates with me — we’re such a family, so I need all of them with me because we always have such a great time, and they’re great emotional support. And fans because I need the people who like my music, and I like them [and] I want to show up and I want to celebrate them — and that is a tour essential. And two obnoxiously oversized suitcases.

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