- MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you Byron, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
- Byron Taylor: Thank you for interviewing me! It’s an honor to be here! I started writing music when I was 13. I guess that listening to all of those wonderful artists during my childhood inspired me to become a Singer-Songwriter.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
- Byron Taylor: Well, my primary influences are the Beatles, Toto, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, and someone whom I consider to be extremely underrated, Dan Fogelberg. He wrote some truly beautiful music. When I graduated high school, I started exploring the world of Classical music and eventually studied under the great Thea Musgrave, a world-renowned Composer who studied under the legendary Nadia Boulanger. That’s when I got into composers like Wagner, Prokofiev, Bach, and Puccini. As far as becoming an Arranger, I briefly worked in my early adulthood with Misha Shufutinsky, a great Russian composer and arranger. I watched him arrange one of my songs in a recording studio once and I’ve never been the same. I learned so much from him just by watching how he would put an arrangement together. Afterwards, I studied Composition and Orchestration with Thea Musgrave.
- MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
- Byron Taylor: As a musician, I strive for excellence every time I go onstage or set foot in a recording studio.When I sit down with a song idea, I want to write the best song I can. Of course, I would like my work to be heard by a great deal of people and in this day and age, I think it’s easier for artists to expose our material to the general public more than ever.The Internet is a wonderful tool and resource for musicians.
- MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
- Byron Taylor: Every concert I have ever been to is important because I learn from each and every one.
- MuzicNotez: Your latest release is the album ‘The Byron Taylor Songbook’, what does this release mean to you?
- Byron Taylor: Thanks for asking that question! This latest CD is a retrospective of my years as a Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Arranger, and Multi-Instrumentalist. I tried to assemble original songs that best exemplified me as an artist, then and now. I really hope that people will like it.
- MuzicNotez: You play over a dozen instruments! I imagine this helps diversify the music you create, any instrument you don’t currently play that you’d like to learn next?
- Byron Taylor: Another great question! I’ve always wanted to teach myself how to play the lute. I enjoy listening to Renaissance and early music as well as other forms of Classical music. I feel fortunate and blessed that I can play so many instruments because when I get a musical idea, I can play the different parts at home before I go to the studio and recreate them there. I’m sure you can believe how economically beneficial it is for a self-contained artist not to hire a great number of musicians on a shoestring budget. However, I also love playing with other musicians.
- MuzicNotez: Being a self-produced artist, you can bring your true vision to life. But I’m sure it has it’s challenges too, any tips for other artists out there following in your foot steps?
- Byron Taylor: I think that Shakespeare said it best: “To thine own self be true.” However, being true to own self indeed has its challenges. Sometimes, you get questioned about your musical tastes or choices, but every one is different. One should not be expected to play a certain kind of music solely based on what one looks like. As an African-American artist, I have encountered a certain amount of bigotry, but I don’t let that stop me from walking down my path. I love producing myself because no one is harder on me than myself. If I could offer any tips, I would just say that it’s important to listen your inner voice. It never lies.
- MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
- Byron Taylor: For the past few months, I’ve been writing music for the next CD that I will hopefully release late next year called “The Potter’s Wheel.” However, at the moment, my main concentration is on my latest CD, “The Byron Taylor Songbook.”
- MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
- Byron Taylor: Once again, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be in your magazine and I would also like to thank the fans that have supported me and my music as well as my friends and family, including my brother Lonnie, who has supported me from day one.