Q&A's

Q&A with Taylon Hope

 

Taylon Hope may just be going into her senior year of high school, but the country artist/songwriter is well beyond her years and is forging a very strong, buzzworthy path in a town and music industry that is often unforgiving and usually a tough one to navigate. Earlier this year she once again turned heads with her current single “All The Night We Need,” and with the tease of more new music coming soon we had the incredible opportunity to chat with her about the single, what to expect from her new music, her popular Facebook series #TUESDAYSWITHTAYLON, her upbringing in North Carolina and how it’s helped her most in Nashville, and so much more!

(Interview by: Jeffrey Kurtis

TCM Show Review: Taylon Hope (July 2022)

https://taylonhopemusic.com/

 

1) This past April you released your latest single “All The Night We Need.” Tell us a little bit about the song and its accompanying music video.  

I really loved writing this song so much and how the production of it turned out.  

The song is about living life to its fullest and taking in every moment with the ones that you love. When I was writing the song, I just imagined a group of friends on a summer night hanging out, having fun, and just enjoying every moment together. I think in my mind I was thinking about being a senior this year and just taking in and making the most of the time I have left in high school with friends. So, in the video, you actually see me at my high school with some of my best friends doing things we love to do!

We love hanging out, going to games and dances together, and just talking by a bonfire laughing, and being teenagers. We had such a great time filming the video. 

Bill (co-writer) and I wanted the song to be an upbeat feel-good song! One that could relate to all ages… it could be teenagers, it could be a couple; young or old, and they are enjoying every moment of a beautiful night together. It's a feel-good song. The one you roll your window down and just sing! 

2) You co-wrote the song with Bill Diluigi, who you just briefly mentioned. His name is certainly one that everyone in Nashville’s songwriting community knows. Tell us about that session. Did the song come out quickly or did it take some time to develop? Did y’all know you had something special the moment you wrote it? Etc. 

Bill and I have been writing together since I was 10 years old. He is truly one of my favorite writers ever and we are just great friends! He has been like family to me since I moved to Nashville. Funny we had this write scheduled with three writers and one writer had to cancel. We started to reschedule and then Bill and I were like no, let’s write today anyway. Just felt like one of those days we needed to write. The song came fast! It was one of those that when it started flowing, we knew this was going to be a great song! We love the vibe and the lyrics so much that we sang it together over and over when we finished it. The song came naturally that day and it was one we knew was just meant to be for me. 

3) The song was produced by Smith Curry and Mark Lonsway at Warner Music Nashville. What did they bring into the studio for those sessions that helped develop the sound of the song most that might not otherwise be a part of it? 

I love working with Smith and Mark. They make such a great team! Smith got the song immediately and he is such a talented musician that he just knew after hearing me sing it where to take it. He really helped bring the song to life and to make it that feel-good song that you want to hear with your hair blowing while driving down the road! I remember when the band took off on the song he just said, "Guys we all know where this needs to go"! Then within only a few takes with the band there was the song. One of my favorite moments is watching a song come to life like that. It's MAGICAL! Smith and the musicians that he works with are just amazing and always amaze me with the production and the spin he can put on a song. His production for my songs is always fresh and new and I just love working with him.

Mark is amazing as well and has so much experience as an Engineer and as a performer. Mark gets what it is like to sing and perform which helps so much. Mark has really pushed me as an Engineer to bring out my best vocals and to challenge myself in going beyond what I ever thought I could do vocally. He just does amazing work. I love working with him and singing with him!

I just feel really blessed to work with these guys as their experience and faith in me as a writer, singer, and performer has meant so much. As a host at the Listening Room now for writer’s rounds you can often see Smith come and back up my rounds playing Dobro which is a true treat to watch him play this instrument. He is that kind of Producer supportive and that means so much! I am excited to share some new things we have been working on together as a team very soon!  

4) You’ve also done a lot of work with Kent Wells on the production board. How did that relationship with Kent come about and are you still going to be working with him on any future projects? 

Yes, Kent is such a special person and Producer to me. Again, he is just part of my Nashville family and a huge part of my journey here. I started working with Kent when I was 11 and came to Nashville to start recording some of my songs. A friend introduced me to Kent, and we hit it off immediately. Kent gets country music and like me, he came from a small town and understood what my goals were, and he had very much the same at a young age. I will never forget walking into his office for the first time and seeing Dolly and Reba all over the walls. Of course, two of my all-time favorite artists! I remember I auditioned for him to play piano and not my guitar which was rare, but he really loved it. Kent has been a true mentor in my life and still is. He has produced amazing songs for me and also has taught me many things about just learning the industry. Valuable advice that I will always remember.

Yes, Kent and I will still be working together on future projects. I have been blessed to do several albums with Kent. One of my favorites would be our Christmas album. Nobody does Christmas like Kent! He is so talented and has such talent as a musician and a producer. I love working with Kent and his team. Along this journey of music, I feel that God puts people in your path for a reason and Kent is for sure one of those people. He has taught me so much and I will forever be grateful for that. 

5) Your recent shares on social media have told us that you’re working on new music. What can we expect to hear from the new crop of music that you’re currently recording in comparison to what we already know from you? 

Yes, I am working on new music, and I am working towards the release of a new EP. I feel like this new music is much more who I am as an artist. I feel like I am branching out more as an artist and in who I am. I guess that comes with growing up, right? I am trying new things and working with new writers all the time. This music is fresher and newer and much more my age I feel like. It will always be country music for me, but I feel like my new songs have more of an edge to them and of course, I love to tell stories in a song. So, in the songs, the stories will still be there for me always. I am a huge fan of the women from ‘90s country music. Those ladies wrote stories, and they made an impact on their fans! I really want that for my music but for my generation!

Funny when I write songs, it is like I see the story and video in my mind. When I wrote the song "Weightless" with Kaleb Thomas and Smith Currey I was like oh wow that was so different for me. Again, that push of breaking out of my comfort zone… I needed it. I went home and played the song in my room, just me and my guitar alone and I was like oh my gosh I love this! That song did well for me and made Billboards New First Country Charts. There was a great write-up from Billboard, and I was so excited about this song.

So yes, a new edge for me but still telling and singing the stories that I see when I am writing. The songs have become much more personal to me as well. The more in life you experience it becomes easier to express those stories in a song. Writing is such a gift to me I love it so much! 

6) Is there one particular song that you’re currently working on that we haven’t heard yet that stands out as your personal favorite? If so, which song and why that one? 

I’m going to be sharing one very soon as a release; a song that I really love that I co-wrote with Lance Carpenter. Love writing with Lance… he gets country. We wrote a new song called "Picket Fence" together. We are currently working on the music video and release now. You have to have a great love song for the EP right! Again, another great story in this song, I think! Excited to share this one and hope a lot of couples can relate to this beautiful song! I love the simplicity and melody of this song. Be watching for it is coming soon! 

7) Speaking about social media. Talk a little bit about #TUESDAYSWITHTAYLON. How did that start? Why should people tune in who haven’t yet? Etc. 

"Tuesdays with Taylon" was something I began doing during Covid. Like all artists, when music shut down for all of us it was really devastating. I really couldn’t believe it that we could not go out and perform. Who would ever think we would see something like that, but we did. I missed going out and playing and talking with others so much. So, like most, I went to social media to interact with fans and other artists. It really helped me get through that time. I would have so many fans, family, and friends come on and talk and listen to music. I think it helped us all through a difficult time. It was a way to connect, and I looked so forward to it every week. I missed it so much that I have actually started doing the show again. I had listeners ask if we could bring it back and I really wanted to do that. So, it is a great time to share new songs, take some requests, and just be real and talk with people and see how they are doing. Music is such an amazing way to connect with other people and "Tuesdays with Taylon" has turned into something that I really love to do and look forward to! 

8) Though Nashville is home now, you’re originally from the mountain area of North Carolina. How did being brought up in that atmosphere help shape who’ve become today that you’re now carrying with you into your pursuit of a career in music?

I am so blessed to be from my beautiful hometown of West Jefferson, North Carolina. If you have never been there you need to go! It's truly a little piece of heaven tucked away with beautiful mountains around it that almost protect it.

North Carolina is my home state, and I am so proud of that. Growing up where I did has truly impacted who I am every day. I grew up in a very faith-based community. I started singing in my church and never stopped. Gospel music and Bluegrass is where I started, and I still love them both. I literally started traveling from church to church to get experience in music when I was like 7. I would go anywhere they would let me sing. My first guitar teacher who taught me so much was a champion Banjo and Bluegrass player.  I was so blessed to grow up in a community where everyone checks in on everyone and take care of their community.

Growing up where I am from and being raised by my family there taught me so many important things like how to take care of your neighbor, how to work on a farm, the importance of working hard, humility, and just how to never take for granted the blessings that God gives you. My hometown was my support system, my cheerleaders, and they still are until this day. I don't know if I can ever describe to them how much their support has meant to me. It's comfort you can't describe but you just know they are always there, and you know that the beautiful spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains is always there for you to come home to.

I get home as often as I can to see family and perform. My grandparents and family members are all still there. I just performed at our local summer festival, and it was a blast. To see my teachers, friends, and family out there singing the words to my songs; well, there is just nothing like that really. My hometown helped shape who I am, and they still do! They go with my heart on every step of the journey, and I love them so much!

9) Off subject a little bit. I saw some recent pictures that you took out at Harlinsdale Farm. That’s one of my personal favorite places to visit in town. How do the places like that here in Nashville remind you of home the most when you find yourself feeling homesick? 

Ahhh you know me so well already lol! I do love Harlinsdale Farm so much! Yes, I do go there because it does give me a touch of home! I love the barns and the stables and if you have not seen a sunset there everyone should! My grandparents live on a large farm that I love. So, as soon as I moved here my mom and I were drawn to that farm. I like to go on walks there a lot and I just think it’s an awesome place in the late afternoon to go and think and get away from it all. I also like to go on drives out to Leiper’s Fork often as that as well has that NC feel to it! Tennessee has some beautiful places but if I have my choices of places to hang in Tennessee you will probably find me out in the country or close a farm. I do love living in Franklin. I love the small town feel and the town is beautiful. 

10) What one piece of advice can you offer to someone who is just starting out and trying to break into the music industry? 

My best piece of advice is to know that it’s a journey! For most, it's not going to happen overnight. Enjoy the moments you are in and try not to look so far ahead. Also, make sure you are still having fun while doing music. That is where it started, and you want to keep that love for it! Stay humble. Create a team that loves you and supports you through the highs and lows of music. Challenge yourself,  believe in yourself, and stay true to YOU always!

 

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