Minnesota’s Taylor Spiess, better known as Species, has been carving a niche with his experimental trap-tinted hyper-pop edge. A&R Factory pulled him from the studio to explore his musical journey, influences, and how he’s been holding dominion over the airwaves with his hit singles, Barely Breathing and Use Me.
Species, welcome to A&R Factory! We’d love to hear more about your highly anticipated upcoming project with The Lotto Tribe, “Old Me”.
“Old Me is a story about an obvious toxic relationship. It ended with me either coping with it or breaking away from it for periods of time using different substances. Old Me is a song I wrote about that.”
How has the indie label imprint, The Lotto Tribe allowed your music career to gain momentum?
“So far, they’ve helped redistribute my entire catalog professionally and introduced better opportunities for me in this industry. They’ve also shared a lot of knowledge and helped me build a good base for my upcoming releases.”
How did your collaborations with Pardyalone and Henny Hermes come about, and are there any more collabs in the pipeline?
“Pardy grew up in the same town as me; Big Lake, Minnesota. Through mutual connections and just being in such a small community, we ended up in the same crowd. He ended up being influential to me at the beginning of my career by helping me become a better artist/person, building my image and eventually collaborating on a song titled, Sunset Drive. I played it for Pardyalone and his manager Jake, they liked it and thought he would fit on it, so he hopped on the song and killed the feature.
With Henny Hermes, it was a little different. I found him on TikTok, he was promoting a song of his and I liked his voice, so I hit him up on Instagram. He messaged me back and said he would be open to working with me, so I sent him a song I had called DANCING WITH THE DEVIL. He sent me back the verse for that on the same day and I knew we’d be making more together; the sound was just there. Right time, right place. You know? Since then, we’ve released two more collaborative records that we’ve done together, Novocaine and Use Me.”
Your previous projects like Barely Breathing caught plenty of momentum, what do you think was the key to the success of this single?
“I think the key to that project was honestly just loving the song so much and believing in the message. If you have a single that you’re confident in and you want the world to hear, it comes more naturally than trying to push a song just because you “have to drop.” Quality over quantity 100%. With Barely Breathing, I also shot a professional music video to accompany it, so that helped.”
What are your influences and goals as an artist?
“Definitely the homie SLOE JACK. His work ethic is insane. He’s always doing something to better his craft and embracing a style you don’t hear much of anymore, all while doing it perfectly in my opinion. Also, an artist named, Kringe, for sure. He has out-of-the-box ideas and brings them to life beautifully. He’s a huge example of quality over quantity. My goal is to impact as many people as possible with my art while maintaining who I am and not giving in to pressure around me for I’m hoping a long time.”
Can you tell us about your new distribution deal with AWAL/The Orchard and being involved with the Sony Music network via The Lotto Tribe and A&R Bezel Brilliant?
“I’m super thankful to have this opportunity with The Lotto Tribe and to be distributed through AWAL. I’m grateful to the people who made it possible. I’m just excited to see what’s next and keep doing what I do.”
What does being an artist mean to you, and what are your future plans?
“Being an artist means you can voice your thoughts to be heard and help the people who listen and may face those same struggles in their own life. That’s what it should mean to anyone who’s doing this, in my opinion through music the world can come together. Stories that make people feel and a good beat go a long way! I have a few releases and some cool stuff planned throughout the next couple months. Live sessions, acoustics, and more music for sure. I’m just really looking forward to sharing my art with the world and seeing where it takes me next! So stay tuned.
Hear Species on Spotify and discover more about Species here.
Interview by Amelia Vandergast