Lily Taylor

Thank you for taking the time to have this interview with IMAAI.
Tell us about your music.
To tell you about my music, starts with a conversation about exposure to different sounds and ways of thinking about music in general, and then having the opportunities to explore genres, instruments, composition, performing and recording styles. This project is about capturing something special within a song-form that stems from the diverse set of experiences and exposure to multiple genres in my music journey. Utilizing my voice as an instrument as well as a vehicle for storytelling, I try to create little worlds within each song.

When did you start performing?
I can’t remember when exactly I started performing, it was something I always wanted to do. I went to College of Santa Fe in New Mexico to study Contemporary Music with a focus in vocal studies. After graduating, I started performing original material around town, and eventually moved to San Francisco, CA where I found a bounty of performing opportunities and really started to form my sound using effects pedals and a looping pedal with my keyboard and voice. I performed as often as I could, at art galleries, indie-venues, cafes, underground art shows, drag shows, burlesque shows, and eventually theaters and larger stages.

What do you consider to be your hometown and how does that affect your music?
Answering the question of “home town” is a difficult one for me. I grew up between two cultures going back and forth between parents in Texas and Massachusetts. I studied music in Santa Fe, NM, but really found my footing as a performer in San Francisco, CA. Over the past decade, I have called the DFW Metroplex home, and discovered an incredibly diverse set of music communities to thrive in. I am deeply influenced by the underground music scenes here, specifically in Denton, Fort Worth, and Dallas, TX. My fellow performers are so creative and confident in their skills, one can’t help but be effected by that kind of energy.

What performers have been your inspiration?
Musician Karina Denike has been a huge influence on me. For many years I sang with her in her solo project band, and she taught me the ropes about gigging regularly, how to get paid, and how to get booked. Another performer who has greatly influenced me is Jay Clayton. I was able to take a class with through the California Jazz Conservatory. Her work as a Jazz vocalist and experimental vocalist as well as her book has had an immense influence on how I think about the sounds I am producing. In college I studied with Mirabai and attended master classes with Joan LaBarbara for four years. Their lessons remain with me today.

What do you base your success on?
I am consistently redefining what success is, every show, every recording, every music lesson. When I feel I have found a meaningful form of expression, that is a huge success. When I have been able to make a meaningful connection with someone else, that is a huge success. When I’ve finally been able to capture something in the recording studio, a huge success. When I’ve been paid well – success! I’ve performed incredible shows to an empty room, and I’ve had hundreds of hearts all focused at one time on the rhythm and melody; both experiences can be a success because I’m here to continue to make the music, no matter the obstacles.

What was your latest musical release?
My latest release is a single off of the upcoming album, Amphora. The track is called J&Js. Using a looping pedal, keyboard and my voice, I created a sonic bed that I could draw out a melody. Improvising can capture something powerful, something that seems beyond your being, intertwined with internal music knowledge and experience. I can only hope for those moments when I can capture the idea into a physical song through this dream-realm process. Inspiration can be a tricky thing. I was interested in using my voice as a texture in the song as well as the lead vocal track, and thinking about my voice in extended ways, as storyteller and instrument.

I was inspired by the idea of a vessel as an object and as a metaphor. How artists channel and organize ideas, how we express and package them, how those ideas, sounds, and lines we create bend, morph, and sometimes break. I am the vessel, as well as the song. ‘J&Js’ is part of a collection of 10 songs on the album, Amphora that releases this July, recorded in Oak Cliff at Elmwood Recording in collaboration with Donovan Jones a.k.a. Black Taffy and Alex Bhore. Music Video by video artist and educator Sean Miller using Max/MSP/Jitter to create a complimentary visual experience to the song.

Do you have any news to share?
July 21, 2023 the album Amphora will release on all streaming platforms and the vinyl record and cassette tapes will start shipping! Pre-orders are available now on my bandcamp page.

How can fans find you?

Lastly, please share some final words with the fans.

I appreciate this opportunity to connect with listeners and fellow creatives. I hope that through my music, I can connect with people and make a positive impact in their lives, and hope to encourage others to find their inner voice and never stop trying to develop ideas.