Thursday, October 11, 2012

You Can't Rain on Taylor Jayne

Hey, Taylor! Thanks so much for sitting down with us! I really appreciate your time. Why don't you tell everyone a little bit about yourself? Hello Tom! Thank you so much for this golden opportunity. So I’m Taylor Jayne, and I’m from Mesa, AZ. Around the Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa areas, I have come to find myself as a local folk-blues musician. I am currently 19 years old and work at a Dutch Brothers coffee stand in Tempe. Okay random pieces of information! Being from AZ, I naturally love the rain (because I don’t see enough of it). Let’s see, I’m also keen on knitting, painting, farmers’ markets, combat boots, and star gazing. I have recently grown fond of comics and have been applying this appreciation in ways to establish images to my music. Acting is another ambition of mine that I often find useful in carrying out my musical performances. I always hear voices in my head of past acting coaches, “Don’t play at the emotions, feel them!” - “Diversify and be unpredictable!”

How long have you been making music? What inspired you to start? 
I’ve been making music since I was 9. I remember distinctly the first song I wrote. Although, I don’t care to ever sing it again - it’s a tad embarrassing. Any who, I started playing guitar around 8th grade, and that’s when the writing really started to kick in (writing songs without an instrument isn’t near as fun). I feel very cliché saying this, but I suppose I’ve always been very inspired by music. My favorite songs as a kid were “Oh Marie” by Sheryl Crow and “Change the World” by Eric Clapton. I was fascinated by the construction of songs and tried to decipher what elements made songs catchy. I thought vocal harmonies were the coolest thing in the world. I heard my mom sing a harmony to a song in the car once, and I thought, “Wow, I need to learn how to do that.”

What's the inspiration in both your lyrics and style?
My EP, The Day After Rain, is a collection of songs about accepting life’s imperfections and about learning to enjoy thoroughly. They’re playfully pensive - which also describes the place in life I was at, at the time. I wrote them all near the end of my high school career and was finding ways to make friends with my restless energy. I was getting a kick out of looking at unfortunate situations through new perspectives. Even if I had to get creative (with a slightly off humor at times), I searched for ways to appreciate them or at least free myself from the need to focus on them. I remember feeling a relieving clarity with this notion of realizing even just a small degree of happiness despite other matters. This idea I tried to incorporate in my songs - but with a bit of vagueness, so as not to clobber other people’s venturing to find other unintentional interpretations of the songs. I was all about exploring viewpoints. Actually, this is still true.

I see you have Jack Johnson and Fleet Foxes as some of the artists you like. They are some my favorites. Did they influence the EP? Yes! I was listening to a ton of Jack Johnson throughout the writing and recording of The Day After Rain - that stuff is solid gold. I can tell just by listening back on my recordings, how much I was influenced by the happy, laid-back sounds of Jack Johnson. Although I’ve always been an avid fan of Fleet Foxes, I’ve noticed that my inspiration ignited by their music has now just started being more apparent in some recent, yet-to-be-produced material of mine. These guys, plus about a thousand other musicians I have much respect for and am influenced by. During the production of The Day After Rain, specifically though, I listened to a lot of G. Love & Special Sauce as well as Jack Johnson. G. Love also shares a very comfortable vibe in his tunes - I really admire the explosive personality of his stuff. It always gets me where I need to go. No doubt they were the top contributors to the style I had forming in my head for the recording of my EP.

What is your goal as an artist? What do you hope to accomplish?
I want to say something that matters, you know? I want to break free of the chain hooked onto this idea that we all need to be replicates of one another. I want to empower people to feel their own emotions and to respect them. There are a lot of hit songs out there that talk casually about dirty sex. Then you’ve got the ones that directly or indirectly disrespect groups of people and just a whole bunch of other un-classy nonsense. It’s discouraging to see, first-hand, this kind of crap affecting my generation and probably multiple others. I believe there are sparks of a movement in the music industry. You see people like Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men (to mention a few) appearing on the top charts, putting some honest and good vibes out there. I want to be a part of this movement. Not necessarily to be on the top charts, but wherever it is I land - just to make something real and from the heart. Helping give music the true art I believe it deserves.

I totally agree! There is a lot of music out there that is having a horrible effect on our generation. I'm glad you're out there trying to change that. Thanks for the interview, Taylor! Thanks so much again Tom!

Check out Taylor's new album, The Day after Rain, available now!

Stay in touch with Taylor!

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