Few Young Stars Shine Like Payton Taylor

Payton Taylor BeaverDamUSA.com

Few artists go from the karaoke stage to the big stage.

Then again, few artists sound like Payton Taylor.

The up-and-coming country artist recently told us how an impromptu karaoke performance changed her life. “I’d been on stage doing theater productions and church choir ever since I was little,” she said. “But the first time I did country was in Printer’s Alley in Nashville. There is a little karaoke bar called Lonnie’s (Western Room), and I had gone with my show choir. It was one of the only places we could get in because of age restrictions. We all went inside, and I sang one country song.”

Her current manager and guitarist, Joe Caliva, was in the audience that night. “We had been doing some vocal training things together for quite a while, and he heard me that night and said, ‘you know, let’s try country.’ And I was all for it, so it kind of just grew from there.”

Payton Taylor BeaverDamUSA.com

Learn more about her at paytontaylor.com

And grown it has. Payton has released one album, is at work on the second, and has developed a killer live show that would leave plenty of Music City veterans in the dust.

And she’s only 16.

While most teenage female vocalists today emulate the Swifts and the Underwoods, Payton prefers something a little more edgy. Try Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGhee,” Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen,” and “American Woman” by The Guess Who.

“Ever since I was really tiny my mom always said I was just an old soul,” the Cherry Hill, N.J., native said. “And I guess I didn’t really understand that until I got my grandfather’s vinyl collection after he passed away, and I was very intrigued by it.

“I got his record player and just started going through all the vinyl, and I popped a couple in, and just over the years I really just started gravitating toward his Fleetwood Mac and his Janis Joplin “Pearl” vinyl. He had so many great vinyls from back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and I just fell in love with music from that era, and we try to do our best on covering them during our live shows.”

Payton is on:
Amazon | iTunes | SoundCloud | MySpace
twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Payton’s performance qualities are seasoned, but she had to work for it. “I did theater for the longest time, and I feel like that really brought me out of my shell,” she said. “I had pretty bad stage fright when I was younger, and I feel like doing theater really helped me overcome that. When I started singing country music and performing at fairs and festivals in my hometown, that stage fright kind of came back and it took a little while to warm up to it, but then I guess something just kicked in and I’ve felt very at home on stage ever since.”

Payton’s new single, “Small Town Paradise,” is a tribute to the communities where young country artists cut their teeth. In September for instance, she performed at the Lincoln County Fair in Fayetteville, Tenn. The show was such a success, her team produced a highlight video.

“Joe and I have had an opportunity to go to a lot of small towns,” she said, “Lincoln County being one of the cool really small-town places we’ve gotten to be. We get to see a lot of great little small towns all across America when we’re on tour, and I always feel very welcomed and at home by – you know, the mom-and-pop shops, and even the Lincoln County (High School) Falcons spirit is an example. It’s very welcoming, and we decided to write a little tribute from all the people we’ve gotten to meet, and celebrate the small town way of life.”

“Small Town Paradise” will be featured on her upcoming album, which she plans to release in Spring, 2014. She released her first album “Shine” in 2011, writing one of the five tracks.

Qualify to win Payton Taylor merchandise by
Following BeaverDamUSA.com on twitter and Facebook

“I wrote “Love Don’t Give Up on Me” with Joe Caliva, and that was my first try at songwriting. Ever since then I have just fallen in love with songwriting. I really got bit by the bug. And I think that was one of the biggest discoveries I made after the release of my first album.

“Our next album project will be six songs that Joe and I wrote together, and I’m real excited to get that out there – my debut as a songwriter.”

While writing and recording are challenging, so is touring. And Payton knows a thing or two about life on the road. “We’ve done well over 75 shows this year, and we’ll probably reach pretty close to 100 before this year is out. The 2013 tour season has kind of calmed down a little bit, and we’ve got a lot of really cool shows in Nashville coming up now. Probably after the holidays until March or so we’re going to really work on trying to finish up (the new album), really work on some new material as well.”

She paused, then said with renewed excitement, “Yeah, just nail down this project and get it out there. And then next summer just go out there and do it all over again.”

Doreen Taylor Part 2 of 2

Doreen taylor masthead 2Cover Photo: John Hayes

10 Questions with Doreen Taylor:
The goose bump factor, on being an indie artist and more

Talk about your influences. I early on was exposed to all different types of music. I like heavy stuff, I like classical. I just like music in general. Music is just part of my life, and there’s not really any genre that I can say I really don’t like – maybe rap, I’m not a big fan. But I appreciate it for what it is. But that’s about the only one you’re not going to hear me playing during the day.


Photo: Bobby Quillard

Don’t you have to be southern to be country? That seems to be the common misconception that you can’t be a southern type of singer if you’re not raised in the south, and I totally disagree with that. When I sing opera, I may sing an Italian opera, but I’ve never been to Italy. And yet I can sing it… and do the roles beautifully. Country, honestly is not so much the style, it’s what it says. Country still has something to say versus pop music that just repeats the same line over and over and over again (laughs). I’m a very strong lyricist, so immediately my lyrics lend themselves to country. It just made sense when I did it. It’s like I always say, I didn’t pick country; country picked me.

Which songs on “Magic” are your favorites? It’s hard because I always say that since I wrote them all it’s kind of like picking your favorite child. You might have favorites but you don’t really want to say it because it will hurt the feelings of the other songs (laughs). I can honestly say there are about three that really pop out to me really every time I hear them… I hear “Heartbeat” and that song still gives me goose bumps. I hear “Judgment Day,” and that song still gives me goose bumps. And “Another Rainy Night in Memphis”  — same thing. It’s the goose bump factor I call it.  And if a song still does that to me I know there’s something special about that song. I love my other stuff, like “Good Girls Wanna Be Bad” or “K.I.S.S.” or all these other songs. They’re great songs, but they don’t necessarily move me in such a way as those other three songs do.


Photo: Bobby Quillard

We like “Rainy Night in Memphis.” What are your plans for it? I want to release that. I want to do something very special with that song. We’re actually talking about that right now. That’s my soul. That song is really the closest to me on the album that’s really showing who I am, so I want to do something special if I’m going to do it.

You’re an indie artist. Talk about that. And that’s by choice. I actually have had offers from labels but I deliberately choose not to because I’ve said, ‘hey granted I’m not going to be the superstar status maybe of someone they put millions of dollars behind.’ But at the same time when my fans and my followers – that connection to me is very, very important – and I’ve had meetings, sat there in front of some of the biggest people you can think of, some of the biggest executives and they’ve told me you’re great, you’re perfect. Now change. And they want to change everything about me. They want to change my message. They want to dumb it down. They want to put me into a box and make me like everyone else. And I’m not like everyone else. And I always said if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it my own original way, and sink or swim, I’m going to try. And it seems that people really appreciate that. It’s amazing that I don’t have that machine behind me and I’m still somehow being recognized in the industry. I’m still every day growing exponentially. People all over the world are hearing of me. “Judgment Day,” the video, went viral and got over 400,000 views. I mean, that’s amazing for this little girl from Buffalo, New York, who really isn’t a Katy Perry, isn’t a Carrie Underwood and doesn’t have that kind of exposure or that money behind it, to still be able to do it, it’s incredible.

Visit Doreen’s Web Site     |     Follow her on twitter     |     Like her on Facebook

Why are you enjoying such success at the moment? I think it’s kind of succeeding because I’m not forcing it to go anywhere — just because it’s so new and I really have no expectations. I’m just kind of enjoying the ride and seeing what is this path I’m supposed to take and where is this going to go. And every day, something new is coming up – it’s amazing. I’m getting goose bumps talking about it. It feels like it’s just affirmation after affirmation that this is the right path. People always say it’s an overnight success. It’s not. I joke about that with people and believe me, I’ve been doing this since I can remember; I’ve been somehow in the industry.  But the success of this album and where I’m being recognized as a real mainstream artist who is touring, headlining their own show and winning awards is amazing.

How did you get where you are today, career-wise? My whole career has been very unconventional. Since the day I started I’ve done everything  — maybe because I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m succeeding because I’m not playing by the playbook. I’m just kind of doing what feels normal or feels like what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s like this little voice in my head saying, “Let’s do it this way.” So many ideas I’ve had have been right before I’m going to sleep or right as I wake up. A thought pops into my head and I’m like, “yeah, I’ve got to do that.” And it really seems to be what’s motivating me. The response from the album “Magic” has been outstanding, and when we decided to do the show we said there’s a need to start touring with this. And especially getting out of this area and start becoming like a virus and spreading across the planet (laughs). And it just seems like it’s resonating with people. (Follow the Beaver Dam on twitter.)

Sum up “Magic.” The whole album was written as kind of a biographical story of myself – kind of a story as my journey. Some of it’s pretty, some of it’s not. There’s a lot of negativity. It’s about me as a woman, and it’s about me trying to persevere in an industry that’s really not so great. Buy the CD here. Purchase downloads here.

Put a label on your style. I consider myself more southern rock. I’m country and I consider Southern rock to be country, but it still has that really edgy kind of rock-n-roll sound with a country flavor. So especially my live show, it’s definitely geared more toward that Lynyrd Skynyrd-kind-of-ZZ Top feel where it’s got that southern edge but yeah, it’s still rock-n-roll.

Wait, that’s only 9 questions… Okay, what did you think about Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s? I’m more offended that is what the music industry says is good. It’s offensive to me that we’re supposed to accept that this is what music is now. And I don’t want that. I don’t want somebody telling me this is what’s good. I want to make my own mind up. Maybe I’m crazy that way, but I like to speak my own mind.

Watch Doreen’s powerful video for the song “Judgment Day” here:

CraftBeerClub.com-The Finest Craft Beers from America’s Best Micro Breweries- 728x90 banner