Today marks two firsts for Canadian pop singer Tara Macri, scheduled to take the Center Stage at the Santa Barbara County Fair.
The performance will be her first in Santa Barbara County, and her performance comes just two days after the release of new single “Baby You Got Me,” which will be making its live debut today in a setlist comprised of Ms. Macri’s older singles and chosen covers.
While speaking to the News-Press on Friday afternoon, Ms. Macri said she was “super stoked” to perform “Baby You Got Me” for the first time and see the reactions of audience members who have not yet heard it.
The initial inspiration for the new single co-written by Ms. Macri and her friend Andrea England came to the singer-songwriter in her sleep. Her creative process doesn’t always follow the order of music before lyrics, but on that night of inspiration Ms. Macri was struck by what would become the song’s chorus melody. Its lyric, which gave the song its title, came easily thereafter and Ms. Macri said that there was never really any alternative.
“From the very beginning it was ?Baby You Got Me.’ We tried other lyrics but nothing seemed to work as well,” she said.
Like many songs in her catalogue, “Baby You Got Me” covers the topic of relationships. In particular, it expresses the feeling of finding a significant other one is meant to be with and fully committing, a feeling that is “hard to describe but you know when it happens to you.”
“There’s that moment where you know that you’re all in, and that’s where the song came from,” Ms. Macri said.
According to a press release, the new single is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon with an entirely iphone-shot music video on YouTube.
Ms. Macri showed a huge interest in music since before she was a toddler, but she began performing professionally around the age of 14 in her hometown of Toronto, Ontario. During her teenage years she performed in musical theater and in her “down time” wrote songs and learned songcraft from Canadian singer-songwriter and record producer Amy Sky, whom Ms. Macri referred to as “Canadian royalty.”
The list of artists who inspire her music “could literally go on and on,” but the singer named Pink, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and The Beatles among her favorites. While going through all the turbulent emotions that go with one’s teenage years, writing and recording music that expressed what she was feeling in life was a therapeutic experience.
“It was very cathartic,” she recalled.
Following her time performing in Canada, Ms. Macri relocated to New York City and landed roles in Broadway productions of “Hairspray” and “Jersey Boys.” Currently based in Los Angeles, she also starred in “Hairspray” at the Hollywood Bowl, where she acted alongside Nick Jonas and John Stamos. She had a voice role as Young Tigress in “Secrets of the Scroll,” a prequel to “Kung Fu Panda” that starred Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogan, and Lucy Liu.
IIn addition to her brand new song, Ms. Macri’s first Santa Barbara concert will feature her previous single “Prettiest Girl in the Room,” which broke Billboard’s Top 80, and 2016’s “This Crush.” The latter is one of the singer’s favorites to perform and will likely close out the show because of the high-energy reaction it always manages to draw out of an audience.
“People just get up and start dancing even if they’ve never heard it,” she said.
After today’s concert, Ms. Macri’s promotion of “Baby You Got Me” will continue with more performances, with the next scheduled for August 17 at Street Food Cinema in Santa Monica.
Ms. Macri performs at 4:30 p.m. today at the Santa Barbara County Fair at the Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S Thornburg St., Santa Maria. Tickets can be purchased atsantamariafairpark.com.