New Single Premiere: 'Toto' by Paytra
Words - Tiffany sainz
Music + Photography - Paytra
We're proud to release a new single by publishing company owner and artist, Paytra out of NYC. The singer, songwriter, classically trained pianist, and actress gives us a gripping, pop-infused new single called 'Toto'. Our Music Editor, Tiffany Sainz, interviewed Paytra about her influences, self-management, and the process of making pop music. You can listen to Paytra’s new single on all music platforms and stream here:
Tiffany: What has been the most important part of your educational or personal learning process?
Paytra: Trusting my gut! Every time that I’ve not trusted my gut or gone with what my inner-self was saying, I’ve regretted it. There’s more to you than what you do. I was once focused on being the best piano player or being the best anything but I totally disregarded the things that actually make me a human. Reading, meditation, traveling, getting to know people genuinely is very important. Not only for life but also your music because you’re not an artist unless you’re a human first.
Tiffany: Which thinker or mentor has had the greatest influence on your life or music process?
Paytra: I definitely go to my mom for advice in everything but conversations with the people I make art and music with have had the biggest influence on me. It’s important to surround myself with good people.
Tiffany: Is there a moment in your life lately that you’ve drawn creatively from?
Paytra: My newly founded adulthood. I have my own apartment now and pay my own bills. I’m in a relationship. So, all of the emotions that you experience through that is such an inspiration because that stuff is real to me and has had such an impact.
Tiffany: It sneaks up on everybody! [laughs]
Paytra: You always wish for it and then it hits you. [laughs]
Tiffany: What are you super confident in?
Paytra: I am super confident in my ability to make things happen and how hard I work. I can get myself out of any mental rut. I’ve gone through depressive states and tons of anxiety and happy times. I trust myself in that way. I wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and say, “girl, you’ll be fine”! With hard work and amazing people, it has always happened.
As much as I hate to say it, when making pop music, you’re always being compared to these big artists with money and stylists behind them. It’s a mind game! If anyone says that they don’t compare themselves, I feel like they’re lying.
Tiffany: If you could change anything about that world, what would it be?
Paytra: Honestly, people are mean these days. We’ve made so many rules that exclude people. Politically and even down to your next door neighbor. No one wants to see you do better than them. We’re starting competition rather than teamwork and I feel that as a country, women, or minorities, we should learn to be a little kinder because everyone is going through something.
Tiffany: I totally agree. There’s so much room for everyone to succeed.
Paytra: We’re all different and there’s no one like you. Focus on you and your craft instead of bringing down others.
Tiffany: Tell me how you found Sarah Burke, your choreographer?
Paytra: I literally slid in her DM’s [laughs]. I saw her online and just thought, she’s an amazing dancer and choreographer. I was surprised that she was totally down for the cause and so excited to work with me. She has stuck with me through everything. Every manager, every tour, every show. We’ve traveled together. She gives good vibes and is so supportive.
Tiffany: What are your go-to meals on the road?
Paytra: On the road it’s really hard because I’m a foodie at heart. I always indulge and try something new but I practice moderation. Taking a day-on and a day-off. When I was in Europe, I ran up and down the stairs of a mountain to exercise. I like to experience the landscape of each place I’m in.
Tiffany: Tell me about ‘Toto’. Which I realized after listening,‘Todo’ in Spanish, means ‘everything’ but this is Albanian?
Paytra: The word is Albanian which I’m told means ‘everything’. It’s a sexy song but I tried to keep it as clean as possible. This is my first time ever talking about my personal life.
Tiffany: So, it’s like incognito?
Paytra: Yes! It’s the only song from my EP that is actually like this. I love the track. I played it for my friends and they told me it makes them want to dance at the club. If I’m going to talk about personal things then I’d rather be dancing. Instead of making a slow song or ballad I was like nah, we’re gonna have dancers. It’s a bop! You can expect that from most of my songs.