We recently introduced you to singer-songwriter, Maria Taylor, and now she’s back for an exclusive Q&A.
Taylor has a pretty hectic schedule these days to say the least. She just released her new album, Something About Knowing, is busy being a mom to her little boy who changed her whole world, and will be hitting the road in January!
The singer-songwriter plays the guitar, piano, and drums; would love to have one of her songs on Nashville (one of my favorite shows too); and has always known she wanted to be a musician.
I was lucky enough to interview the multi-talented artist and have her answer some questions for us. She was sweet and genuine, and I’m so glad to give you a chance to get to know her.
KIC: For our readers who may be meeting you for the first time, tell us about yourself and how you became a singer-songwriter.
MT: Well, my father is a musician. He played in bands and then started writing and recording jingles when i was around twelve. We had a little studio in the house. I’ve been singing since before I could talk and I started playing piano when I was about seven. Drums and Guitar came a little later, when I was fifteen or sixteen. My favorite thing to do growing up was recording my songs in his studio. I always knew that this was what I wanted to do.
KIC: Something About Knowing is your new album that was released on Oct. 29th. I’ve listened to it several times already, and it’s really great! Can you describe the album in your own words and give us a little insight into the songs?
MT: Thanks!! This record feels different than my other records. It’s happier. I knew there would be some people that would roll their eyes at a new mom’s happy record (like the brits ;) J/K.. but I think those people haven’t really listened. I have been through a lot in my life and it’s always there . It’s tucked in the melodies or harmonies or words. I think that gives it balance. I will always draw inspiration from what’s happening in my life and right now I am content and I think it’s reflected in this album.
KIC: Do you have a favorite track on Something About Knowing?
MT: It changes all the time. I really like “You’ve Got A Way With The Light” because I co-wrote it with my longtime friend, Brad Armstrong. It’s the first song we’ve ever written together!
KIC: This is your first album release after giving birth to your son! Congratulations is long overdue! How are you enjoying motherhood?
MT: Thank you! Oh, man….. I love love it. He has changed my whole world. Nothing could have prepared me for this kind of love!
KIC: Now that you’re a mom, how has your songwriting changed?
MT: Well, it’s hard to find the time to shower, let alone pick up my guitar and write. Now it’s all about using every moment he’s asleep wisely. He also LOVES music, so I play to him a lot. I’ll stumble upon a cool melody or chord progression and grab my phone to record it.
KIC: You are part of the duo, Azure Ray, with Orenda Fink. How was your partnership formed? What is next for you as a duo?
MT: We met in high school and formed a band as soon as we met :) We are both focusing on solo things right now, but I’m sure there will be more Azure Ray in the future.
KIC: Who are some of your musical influences and favorite artists? What is your dream collaboration?
MT: I love Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, Carole King, Carly Simon, Stevie Wonder, Lucinda Williams, Prince…. to name a few. I think that all of my friends who I’ve played music with inspire me and influence me a great deal too. A dream collaboration would be with Carole King, Cyndi Lauper or Lucinda Williams :)
KIC: Your songs have been featured on hit TV series such as Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, and Scrubs. Is there another show in particular you hope to see one of your songs featured on?
MT: I would love to write a country song and have it on Nashville. I call that show my soap opera!
KIC: You are very musically talented playing several instruments including piano, guitar, and drums. Which did you learn first and do you have a favorite?
MT: I learned piano first, then drums and then guitar. I think drums are my favorite, but I end up playing guitar most often.
KIC: I read that you always remove the high E string on your guitar before playing. I thought that was such any interesting and cool tidbit! What is the reason behind this?
MT: Well, one day about 10 years ago, it fell off at a show and I played the rest of the show with it off. Really high frequencies bother me…I always eq my amp so that it’s real bassy and smooth. I realized that I like the way it sounded better without the high E!
KIC: What has been a favorite highlight in your career thus far?
MT: That’s a toughy. There have been lots. Staying up all night writing a song with Michael Stipe is on up there. Playing to a room full of fans who were singing along in China is another. But also, just playing a show with my family while my son was kicking in the womb is on that list too :)
KIC: Do you have plans to tour soon?
MT: Yes!! I’ll be touring the US in Jan/Feb and then Europe late Feb/March.The US dates were just announced! We kick off in Omaha on Friday, January 3rd. You can check out all the dates here: http://saddle-creek.com/tours/.
KIC: Any other projects you have lined up that you can share with us?
MT: I have been working on a record with my good friend Andy Lemaster for years now. I’d like to finish that record next year.
KIC: Anything else you would like to add?
MT: Thanks so much for the support!!
Lightning Fire Round:
All-time favorite song lyrics: Leonard Cohen – “Famous Blue Raincoat” - “Yes and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes, I thought it was there for good, so I never tried.”
All-time favorite country song: Merle Haggard – “Mama Tried”
Favorite song to cover: ”Tell It Like It Is”
Album you’re currently listening to: My brother just put this really strange country record that Ween put out on the turn table.
Favorite non-musical hobby: wine hunting
Current favorite TV show: Homeland
Favorite thing about the Fall season: The beautiful leaves. Fall in the south is the best. Hands down!
Favorite holiday: Christmas. I love Christmas songs!!
Thank-you so much to Maria for the interview!
For more information on Maria, her music, and to purchase her album:
One more thing… Check out Maria’s “Up All Night” music video below: