Following the release of his infectious track “Bang Bang, we catch up with Birmingham’s golden boy – Lawrence Taylor – to talk open mic nights, the buzz of performing and keeping’ it real.
If you haven’t already heard Birmingham-born singer-songwriter Lawrence Taylor’s new track, “Bang Bang”, then the minute you do you’ll be hooked. At the age of just 22 years old, Taylor is boasting accomplished songwriting capabilities, addictive vocals – soothing and gravely in equal measure – and infectious guitar melodies. Whilst his debut track “Waiting For Your Love” garnered him much praise withe the likes of Clash and the BBC, “Bang Bang” has already been crowned Q Mag’s track of the day and is receiving much air time. With his eagerly anticipated EP charted for release later this year, we caught up with Birmingham’s golden boy to talk open mic nights, the buzz of performing and keeping’ it real.
So Lawrence, you’re only 22 and have already built up quite a name for yourself, at what age did you become interest in music?
I’m pretty sure I was born with headphones on, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t listen to music. I remember feeling like just listening wasn’t enough, so when I was 11 my Dad started started teaching me guitar and it all happened from there.
What sort of things did you listen to growing up?
Anything that excited me, but in particular a lot of rock music and its blues & singer-songwriter roots. Everything from Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd through to Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young.
We’ve read you started your music career playing at open mic nights, how long was it until you realised you wanted to take it up professionally?
I was serious since the very beginning, but when I was 19 I moved to London and hit it hard as I could, and I haven’t stopped since. I just did open mics because I could turn up and play, and it was hard to get gigs because I had no following. They were easy to do and a good way to practice and learn which is all that matters in the beginning.
How would you describe the music scene in Birmingham?
It’s probably changed a bit since I was there but from my knowledge it was always a lot of bands, it was good for rock music. I fronted a rock band when I was like 16 and we played some really good gigs around Birmingham.
You’ve been described by The Clash magazine as “mature beyond your years”, how does it feel to already have notable music magazines and record labels so interested in you?
I try not to cloud my head with industry and business stuff, I just want to keep it about the music and if people want to get involved then thats cool. Its great to have the magazines and blogs involved though, especially ones like Clash and Q, it’s a sign that my personal vision is coming together and the songs are giving off the right impression.
You’ve expressed that you take your inspirations from music from the 50s, 60s and 70s and musicians that write about personal experience. What personal experience do you write about?
I dont like to explain my songs too much, I also dont like to plan them. Music needs to be a moment of magic, I just write about whatever I’m going through and talk about how it makes me feel.
That makes sense. So what’s been your biggest musical highlight to date?
The EP that I’ve recorded and am going to release, it’s changed everything for me and I know I’ve found a formula that works. It’s started a fire for me and I’m excited to see what I can make out of the future.
What’s your favourite thing about performing?
Performing is all about the buzz of getting on stage and playing the songs to the fans. It’s the best feeling in the world for me. I’ve always dreamed of playing arenas since watching bands like Metallica play them when I was a kid, it blew my mind. As for festivals I’d love to do something like Coachella or Fuji Rocks one day.
What are you most about excited about for the rest of the year?
I’m excited to get the EP out and start touring, it’s been a long time coming.