HF® Artist’s Spotlight, Doreen Taylor Talks Creative Process, Inspiration & New Music

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Award winning singer/songwriter, Doreen Taylor’s homegrown grassroots upbringing gave way to a sudden and remarkable career at an early age when her town, family, congregation and most importantly Doreen herself, realized the true power and strength of her voice. While some singers feel performing since childhood has burned them out or shown them the wrong side of the industry, she believes her young start has only made her stronger as a vocalist, songwriter and performer.

With viral YouTube hits such as “Judgment Day”, “Last Call (for alcohol)”, “Heartbeat” and “Summertime” off her breakout, debut country/rock solo album “Magic,” Doreen’s has been called one of the hottest up and coming musical stars by countless publications and television like CMT, the Lifetime Network, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW Network, etc. With a Masters in Opera Performance, Taylor has played numerous leading roles in various companies on and off Broadway and released three albums before taking the jump into country/rock music and wrote all the songs on the album “Magic” which garnered her the “2012 Suggested Artist of the Year” Award from the ‘Song of the Year’ international songwriting competition. Doreen’s music videos, “Last call (for Alcohol),” “Heartbeat” and “Summertime” landed on the ‘Top 100 Country Official Music Videos of the Week’ chart at the same time. A proud supporter of numerous local and national charities, Doreen is committed to making a positive change in various communities and across the nation.

After receiving an overwhelming response from her National 2013/2014 “MAGIC” Tour and selling out dozens of shows across America including Los Angeles, New York City and Philadelphia, award-winning singer/songwriter, Doreen Taylor has been honorably chosen to collaborate with the nation’s leading park advocacy organization, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association , on an anthem for the United States to help advance the NPCA’s mission to protect our National Parks and in turn honor the National Parks 100th Anniversary. She performed the new single “Colors of the USA” to a standing ovation at the “Salute to the Parks Gala” at the Newseum in Washington, DC April 9th. 50% of the proceeds from each download will be donated to the NPCA to help protect our National Parks for future generations and it is available now exclusively at http://www.colorsoftheusa.org

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What inspired your latest single “Colors of the U.S.A.” for the National Parks Conservation Association? And why?

I am a proud American who has always strongly believed in the preservation of our nation’s glory, history and natural resources. My partnership to write, produce and perform my new single “Colors of the USA” for the National Parks Conservation Association was such a logical fit for me; not only as a singer/songwriter, but also as a person who truly believes in the NPCA and all they stand for. Very rarely do I find things in life that just “make sense” and this collaboration just made complete sense to me. I have never been prouder of anything I have ever done creatively than I am of this new song and what it stands for. The fact that 50% of the proceeds from each download of the song will be donated to the NPCA to help protect our National Parks for future generations makes it that much more special and I am honored to be able to contribute my musical talents in such a positive and proactive way.

Share your creative process when working on a new hit single for the air waves.

I don’t typically write music for the sole purpose to be played on the air waves. Of course when I am in the studio producing a song, having the song be “radio ready” is always in the back of my mind, but it isn’t the driving force when I am being creative. I think that artists can sometimes get so caught up in what they think is “marketable” that it can lose the natural creativity and organic flow of the music. There is a fine balance to create a song that is appealing to a lot of different people, but also to have that same song make an emotional impact on the listener. Music is art and art is not something that can be mass produced and watered down. I always stay true to my musical identity when writing, producing and performing. That is the quality that I believe my fans connect most with.

What musicians / artists inspire you most? And why?

I have always been inspired by artists that write their own music. I am not talking about those that just write one line in a song and say they “wrote it”. I also am inspired by performing artists that can also play an instrument and track their own instruments on a song. A great example is Prince on “When Dove Cry”. He not only sang- he played every instrument. That inspires me. I feel that music today has lost its soul. Advancements in recording and equipment in the past decade have allowed music to become stark, overproduced and just flat. Very little has an inspirational value at all and very rarely does a new song come out that really touches people. I miss the days when artists were also musicians and crated music- not just noise.

What do you feel is the most challenging part of being an artist?

Honestly, I don’t think people ever really understand how difficult it is to be a true professional musician. It isn’t about making videos in your basement, putting them on Youtube and hoping for the best. It is a 24/7 job and a job unlike any other. When other people are home on weekends relaxing- you are out working. When others are celebrating holidays at home with your family- you are on the road touring. The list of sacrifices goes on and on. While a lot of my friends that I grew up with got married and had children, etc., I focused on my career and have not. To truly “be an artist” you have to eat, breathe and sleep what it takes to propel you to the next artist. It is an emotional, physical and financial commitment and you can sometimes face 100 “no’s” before you ever hear a “yes”. For those that have music in their soul, then all these things are not sacrifices and for those that hang in there and eventually succeed, there is nothing in this world more rewarding.

Share some wisdom with up and coming artists who are seeking to breakthrough in this music industry (based off of your music history experiences)

Please don’t pursue a career in the music industry because you think you are going to be discovered and become famous. The odds of that happening are about as slim as winning the lottery every week straight for a year. Pursue a career in music because you love it and there is nothing in this world that you would rather be doing. Develop a thick skin, network every chance you get and just always be consistent! If you make a meeting- be on time. If you are hired to record in the studio- be prepared. Trust me when I say that you are always being watched and being judged. If you come to a rehearsal unprepared it is very likely that will be your last. Also remember that this industry is very small and everyone knows everyone. Word travels fast so always do your best and always take pride in every job you do.

Lastly, just to ask… If you could be one animal for a day, which one would it be and why? Also, which one of America’s parks would you want to habitat in?

I think I would be one of my pets; both my cat and dog are totally spoiled and if I were to become any animal, it would definitely be one of them. All their needs are taken care of, they don’t have a stress in the world, they have a warm place to sleep no matter how cold it is outside and they can be sure they know where and when their next meal is coming. Sounds like a good life to me!

I am a huge fan of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. I think it is one of the most beautiful places in this country; if not the world. There are so many amazing sites including the Morning Glory Pool, Old Faithful and the Upper and Lower Falls. It is truly an amazingly inspirational place an I recommend anyone who has never been there to plan a trip soon.

Follow Doreen Taylor on Twitter:@doreentaylor

To hear her music, visit her website atDoreenTaylorMusic.com