Los Angeles based, New York-raised singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jason Taylor has released his new EP 'Creation Creator'. Louder Than The Music spoke with Jason to find out how it all began, what the story behind his new album is, and how he seems the post-pandemic future panning out.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
I’m grateful to be here! I grew up bangin’ on pots ‘n pans in my bedroom. Clearly I wanted to rock out in any way possible. My family didn’t have much money, but my mother taught me generosity and my father taught me to dream without limitation. My earliest memory is of my two older sisters racing me in a stroller from one side of our living room to the other. The goal was to make it a full lap back and forth before the song ran out in my musical teddy bear. It had one paw with a button that played music when you squeezed it. I loved the adrenaline rush, and the laughter. That’s kind of what it feels like to be on stage when the crowd laughs (and cries) along with you. When you’ve got a fast song with a lot of words in it, you find yourself racing to the sweet, sweet finish line of each verse. Anyway, my first memory of being alive had a fun song playing along with our fast-beating hearts, and if there’s no song in the air, there’s always one going in my head.
Tell us about your new album 'Creation Creator' and what the inspiration behind it was?
I wanted to create an album with sounds so big that the listener would melt into the song and forget themselves, even if it was just for one moment. My favorite kind of music takes me over completely. When I’m writing a song and start to feel intense emotions, my eyes begin to cry a little and I know that I’m being taken over by something bigger. I find God in everything and nothing... especially nothing. I write from stillness, and when inspiration hits, I try to get out of the way and let it take me over. I knew when I was writing the acoustic intro to “Feelin’ Me” that it wasn’t little “me,” Jason with a guitar, but Grace that brought those notes through my fingers to my ears, and I was chosen to express them in this form.
One day it occurred to me, “Jason-Creation, Taylor-Creator”. This album is about surrendering as a creation of God, and also the responsibility that comes with being a co-creator here on Earth. We are created and that’s a really humbling thing. I was chosen to be a music maker and help others grow and heal. I’m so grateful for that every day. My lead single “Feelin’ Me” celebrates every corner of my being. Whoever you are, however you were made, and no matter what you’ve done right or wrong, you were created perfectly. The more you can apply radical acceptance to what “is” and maintain faith that this life and all that’s to come is a blessing; a gift...you can start to become a more aligned and powerful creator. But remember, the second you take that power for granted, or try to use it against the highest good, you’ll be reduced to nothing. There are two ways to get there, you can go up, or down...I wrote this album as a reminder to myself of just that. It was really a sacred process with so many synchronicities throughout. The more I worked to align with spirit, the faster and more miraculously it would come together. Creation Creator was also highly inspired by Los Angeles, and the ocean. It’s hard not to be inspired by the people living in a place literally named the “City of Angels”. My relationship to spirit grew exponentially here, naturally the music followed suit.
The album features your single 'Feelin' Me', how did that song come about?
I started to hear it in my head, and it seamlessly took form on the guitar. I played it over and over for at least 20-minutes before looking up at my fiancée with a sort of astonished look on my face and saying “I’ve never written anything like this.” I’ve played it for hundreds of hours now and it never gets old to me. It just dances between my left and right hand seamlessly in a loop. It was the first thing I ever recorded at my LA Sound Soirée studio space. After recording the loop, I set up a mic and belted “woah!” at the top of my lungs. I used that vocal sample in the final recording, too. It comes in with the drums halfway through the intro. I went through several sets of lyrics for the verses, but the hook was always “feelin’ me” sung in a super high falsetto. I wanted to express the way it felt to dive deep into stillness. When I sing “resist the need to be,” I’m really asking “who you would be if you weren’t in battle with yourself?” In the bridge, I sing “you can bring him too.” What I’m saying here is, no matter what version of yourself wants to arise, accept it with compassion. If you don’t fight the darkness, it starts to just hang out beside you, instead of consuming you.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
You are it. This is not a drill. You are an expression of God in formation; a creation. You have all the information of the universe in every single cell of your body. Tune in, the inside is as vast as the outside. You’ve already got all the answers, so just sit still and listen. Creators, Once you’ve come to a resounding YES, go ahead and take action.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
To be honest it started with some real smooth stuff like Amy Grant, The Beatles, Billy Joel, and CHURCH! Shortly after Pink Floyd, came Metallica, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jeff Buckley. “Feelin’ Me” has been on 3 top 100 radio charts for Rock, Adult Contemporary and Indie, so I’d say that’s pretty reflective of my musical inspirations. I love smooth guitar solos over big soundscapes; lots of harmonies, and as many souls as I can fit comfortably on a track. This album features artists and producers who’ve toured and recorded with Colbie Caillat, John Mayer, Mike Posner, Raury, Train, Andy Grammar, Dua Lipa, Macy Gray, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, and more.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I’d say John Mayer, easy. He was profound in my formative years. Continuum was released during my first semester at college. He’s one of the most talented in my book. The perfect triple threat of great songwriter, vocalist, and unparalleled guitarist.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
Since at least high school, I remember that I considered success to be making music with the best artists around the world, for people who want to listen. As long as I keep doing that, I’ll consider my career successful.
What is your favorite album of all time?
It’s hard to imagine a world without Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
I thought about this for a while, I’ll go with “Covered in Rain” by John Mayer because it’s really long, has two awesome guitar solos, and I imagine would be mentally satisfying for someone to listen to such a cold wet song while stuck on a hot island.
What does the next year hold for you?
If you had asked me a few months ago, I’d have said a world tour. I hope to never have to cancel so many flights ever again. Right now I think the hip thing to do for a while is to pop up in cafes, just like it used to be in the roaring twenties. I’d like to play some drive-in shows too. That sounds really cool and potentially more attentive than a traditional show with a pit audience. You can keep up with my show calendar at jasontaylor.com. I do plan to tour around (responsibly). My goal is to help people to feel really good about life and their place in it during these unprecedented times. I’m also continuing to work with some incredible artists. I’m always looking to write and produce songs with passionate creators who want to use their music to raise the love vibration here on Earth. For now I’m deep in the woods, meditating on peace and just that…”what does the next year hold for me?”...and ”to whom do these thoughts occur?”