Every week we ask a creative, artisan, or musician to share what music gets them going from dawn to dusk. This week, Singaporean R&B vocalist Tabitha Nauser reveals the rhythmic tunes that fuel her day.
Tabitha Nauser is no stranger to our readers. After all, she's one of our 'Women We Love' and spoke to us on how she raised the bar in the local music industry as a recording artist. Currently signed to Sony Music Entertainment Singapore, Nauser has kept herself afloat on the airwaves with 'Bulletproof', 'Body Langauge', and now, 'Don't Let Me Drown'.
We caught up with the talented singer-host to know more about the genesis of her latest single and why vulnerability matters.
ESQ: How did ‘Don’t Let Me Drown’ came about? Are you given full creative freedom to express your intended message?
Tabitha Nauser: “Don’t Let Me Drown” was a song that I’d been trying to write for a while, but didn’t really know what, how or when to say it. It’s about a relationship I was in for a long time and how I was struggling with the dynamics in the relationship. I also see it as a song about renewal and letting go, and realizing that letting go is okay and part of the process of life.
ESQ: What were some of your artistic goals while putting this single together? Can you describe more about the sound which you are currently exploring and how did you push yourself to achieve that?
Tabitha Nauser: Sacha Skarbek (producer) and Jessica Karpov (one of the writers on this track) were able to understand my vibe and understand the direction I wanted for this track. I told them I wanted a track that had a choir in some form—I was determined —and they looked at me and went “okay cool, let’s make that happen”. And that’s how the choir in the bridge came about. I’ve found myself on a path of just letting the songwriting do the talking and keeping the production more organic. Definitely keeping to a more 90’s R&B essence, which is what I grew up listening to.
ESQ: Do you see vulnerability a strength or a weakness? Why?
Tabitha Nauser: I see vulnerability as a strength, for sure.
Allowing yourself to be open and speak your truth is so powerful, especially for woman, because being vulnerable means admiring that we’re less than perfect. But no one is perfect! And that’s completely okay, and it’s okay to talk about because it makes us human.
ESQ: How was it like working with Sacha Skarbek? Tell us some memorable moments from this collaboration.
Tabitha Nauser: Sacha is an amazing producer and I was so lucky to have met him and worked with him. He’s also got such amazing stories which he would tell while we were on breaks – his grandmother was a British spy and the muse behind Ian Fleming’s James Bond character, Vesper Lynd.
ESQ: What's next for Tabitha Nauser?
Tabitha Nauser: I’m looking to put out more music and to continue to use music as a means of speaking my truth and hopefully someone listening to it will be able to relate and find a calming in that. My EP titled “The Rules EP” will finally be released sometime in June/July. It’s been a long process and I’ve put in so much for this EP, so I'm excited to share it with everyone. I’ve also been filming something pretty exciting in the past couple of months which will be coming out in the second half of the year!
“I am not a morning person—Not. At. All. So my morning playlist always consists of tracks that get me pumped up and ready to be a badass for the day. Morning’s are a time for me to carve out what the rest of my day is going to look like and identify things I need to conquer.”
1. ‘Win'—Jay Rock
"If this song doesn’t get you hyped and feeling good about yourself, I don’t know what will!"
2. ‘Tempo (Feat. Missy Elliot)’—Lizzo
"Lizzo is a movement by herself! This collab with Missy Elliot is sooo good, I dare you to listen and not get it stuck in your head."
3. 'Body Language (Feat. SonaOne)'—Tabitha Nauser
"This is one of my favourite tracks to perform live because it’s high energy and always gets the crowd going. It’s a feel-good track about body positivity and sexual confidence and the best part is that I got to work with SonaOne on this."
“Usually by the day time, I’ve gotten into my stride and I’m busy carrying out my tasks for the day, be it meetings, fittings, soundchecks, etc. The only time I get to listen to music is when I’m commuting from one place to another, and there’s something about being in a car, looking out the window at the world passing by, that gets me feeling sentimental. ”
1. 'Gonna Love Me'—Teyana Taylor
"I’ve been a long time fan of Teyana and I think she’s super underrated. Her album K.T.S.E is one of my favourite bodies of work, from the production to the songwriting to the vocal techniques. It’s stellar."
2. 'You Found Me'—The Fray
"Music has the ability to bring you back to a certain time in your life, albeit good or bad. And this song brings me back to my secondary school days; when I would take long walks and bus rides to and from school; when I had a moment to fully be immersed in myself and my thoughts."
3. 'One Drink'—Picture This
"If I need an afternoon pick up, this is the track I go to! It’s such a fun track and great sing-a-long, I have so many memories of lazy afternoons with this track blasting and my boyfriend and I dancing in the living room."
“I’m a Pisces, so by nature, I’m very sensitive and emotional. Night time’s for me are a reflection of that."
1. 'Girls Need Love (Feat. Drake)'—Summer Walker
“A great track to zone out to and it’s an easy sing along as well. Perfect track to get in your feelings to.”
2. 'Don’t Let Me Drown'—Tabitha Nauser
“This is my latest single! It came from a very personal place stemmed from nights of reflection, quite like this. It’s about a relationship turning sour, and partners trying to make it work, but ultimately realizing that letting go is the right thing to do.”
3. 'The One'—Jorja Smith
“Every now and then, as an artist, you come across a track that’s so good and makes you go “Damn, I wish I wrote that” This Jorja track does it for me. It talks about love and being autonomous in your own love story, not allowing someone in so easily, even in times of uncertainty and isolation.”
Enjoyed the tracks? Check out our other ‘Dawn to Dusk’ playlists curated by guest artists each week and follow our Apple Music profile to access our playlist first when it's out.