Payton Taylor

Feed the Band

Feed the Band

Payton Taylor

We live in strange times. A few weeks ago if you told me that a red-headed girl from New Jersey would be starting a renaissance of traditional country music I would have laughed at the idea. Today I feel like a fool. Our next artist on Feed the Band is exactly that woman. Not only is she working hard to bring country music back to it’s golden age, but Payton Taylor also has a heart that’s on fire. It is a guiding light for her and a beacon of inspiration for others.

Payton Taylor was fed classic country music as a young child. This may have led to some sparks, but I think what truly started the fire was her family.  With a close Italian family, I imagine there were many stories told sitting around a dinner table. This, a few of her grandfather’s old records and some heartbreak sprinkled in, created the fuel that turned a little redheaded girl into a first-rate storyteller. Her single “Rhinestone” is a well-crafted song and a glimpse into the fire that drives Payton.

A fire doesn’t burn on its own though. It takes hard work and Payton always seems up for the task. It actually took me by surprise. She is very honest with herself. Probably more honest than I have ever seen another person. This gives her the freedom to ask for help when needed and to offer that same help when able. This character trait has given her a firm foundation on which to stand. This very foundation helps keep her internal flame burning even as waves of noes and naysayers try to extinguish it. Her character was tested on a global scale during American Idol which led to Payton and her sister Taryn returning their golden tickets. The fire that Payton Taylor possesses both musically and personally has affected my life and most likely will yours. I believe country music needs Payton today more than ever.

I was fortunate enough to spend plenty of time with her for this interview. After you get done reading please give the amazing recipes for Sweet Feta Bruschetta and Buttery Herb Garlic Knots a try. Also, be on the lookout for the giveaway at the end. Here is our interview with Payton Taylor.

Tell us about your road to country music.

I’d like to think that the road to country music was paved by my musical family and the influences they constantly surrounded me with. I count myself very lucky to always have been surrounded by an instrument and a song. It was my grandfather’s country records that I always gravitated towards, and they were the perfect songwriting education. After a choir trip to Nashville, everything clicked into place. I sat many hours writing lines, pushing myself through learning guitar and getting up to play wherever I could. After countless trips back and forth from my hometown to Nashville, my family and I finally made the move. I’m forever grateful for their willingness to pick up and move far from home. I honestly would not be here without them. 

If you could not play music, what do you think you would be doing?

I can’t imagine what life would be like without playing music. However, there would probably be a lot less time in minivans driving across the country! I would imagine I’d be teaching. I’ve been lucky to have great teachers!

What is the best thing about your hometown?

Definitely the “Jersey Shore” (the place, not the show). Some of my favorite memories were made there. 

We are always developing recipes here at Southern Fellow; when writing music, what recipe do you use?

When it comes to making music, no “recipe” is ever the same. However, the two constants are always life experiences and a little imagination. As I’ve grown up, songs always seem to make more sense than they did before. I think the greatest song “recipes” can come from the right collaborators and the right time. Sometimes a song idea is waiting for the right room of people to be written. Every person you write with always has their own “signature” to add. 

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Payton Taylor Southern Fellow

What would you want country music to look like in the year 2100?

Ideally, I would love to see country music come back to its roots. What sets country music apart is its ability to tell stories. Historically, it has always been that way. Moving forward, I hope this piece of its soul is preserved and celebrated. 

What is your first fond memory of food?

Food has always been synonymous with family. No gathering would be complete without it. I come from a household full of loud Italians. With that being said, I am sure you can imagine the role food has played in our home. 

There are many young women that may not feel they fit a particular mold when they dream of being a music artist. What advice do you have for these women?

I’ve lived some life in my years, but I don’t quite feel like I’ve lived enough to give the kind of advice a young woman may need. I’m still learning myself. The one piece of advice I feel like I could give is to study. Be willing to learn. Be teachable. There is always a seat at the table for you. 

Your single “Rhinestone” is one of the best I have listened to in a long time. Tell us about it.

Thank you. This song was more of a diary entry than a song to begin with. The opening lines,  ‘Gold record signs will blind you / And boys who can sing with guitars,’ was a reflection of my innocence when I first moved to Nashville. I am grateful this town has taught me lessons through ‘blood, sweat, and tears.’ A diamond is something that can only be formed under pressure. I believe that the years of feeling crushed, under pressure, or in darkness are a chapter of learning who you are and who you want to be as a human being and as an artist. Eventually, it reveals something you never knew you had inside you.

Try these inspired recipes!

Define success.

Everyone’s idea of success is going to look different. There is a flaw with the phrase “making it”. What does that look like? To me, success is being able to create. It is a gift.

What does the coming year look like for you?

2020 looked a lot different in January than it does now. The world is changing every day as we are staying at home. I keep reminding myself to shift my mindset from “I am stuck at home” to “I am safe at home”. Music has kept me grounded through it all. 

If you could write with anyone, living or who has passed on, who would that person be?

I would love to write with Dolly Parton. 

If I gave you a million dollars what would you do with it?

I would want to make a better Nashville for musicians. I would buy a parking garage in downtown Nashville and give Broadway musicians a safe and free place to park. I spent a lot of time playing in the bars on broadway when I first moved to town. Please read the petition below
 “Live music, and thus the musicians performing, on Lower Broadway, are an integral part of Nashville’s tourism revenue, so at the very least they deserve to feel safe getting to and from work every day”- Sasha McVeigh.  

What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear would be being 100 and not doing the things I wish I could have done. 

What fad or trend do you wish would come back?


Is there anything else you want your fans at Southern Fellow to know?

My mom says I got passed down the “cooking gene” in the family, so I am ready to give these recipes a try! Thank you so much for creating a space to tell our stories and inspire us all to get in the kitchen!

That is Payton Taylor, everyone. It’s such an honor to have her as our newest member of the Southern Fellow family. I highly suggest you go check out “Rhinestone” and all of Payton’s music. You can get it wherever you stream your music including SpotifyApple MusicAmazon, and YouTube. While your ears are being entertained, give those recipes a try and enter that giveaway.

We have more music and recipes on the way! Next up we have Americana artist Jess Jocoy with a sweet Mexican recipe. Thank you again and we will see you next time right here on Feed the Band at Southern Fellow.

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