Julian Taylor Taking it from ‘Zero to Eleven’

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Julian Taylor is one of those great talents that has a name but has not quite reached his ultimate goal in the music world yet – but his new product is sure to take him there this time.

Born and raised in Toronto, Taylor experienced diversified musical influences, with his Dad being a classical pianist, his Uncle is Brainerd Blyden-Taylor of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Uncle Paul plays trumpet, and the rest of his family all sang in the Church choir, all the while bringing the young Julian up with the music of Motown, Stax and all the other great R & B music of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, that included Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding.  His Dad bent his ear with the crooners (like Nat King Cole) and classics, so the young Julian had a music education that spanned many genres.

“I started playing music at the age of four, taking piano lessons but it was actually overnight camp that turned my head with learning guitar. I was about 10 or 11 by then, and I got my hands on a guitar and a friend taught me a few chords. That was the beginning of my love affair with acoustic guitar and songwriting.”

Performance and movement also came naturally to the young Taylor. “My Mom and Aunt were go-go dancers in the ‘60’s so that is why she played so much of that great music in the house when I was young.  But a huge turning point for me was Michael Jackson and his album ‘Thriller’.  I had to have it all; the glove, the red leather jacket, black penny loafers.  My parents indulged my obsession and bought it all for me.  My re-payment for this was to ‘perform’ for them as MJ in the living room. That was my first applause and I have been loving that part of my career ever since.”

The Young JTThe Young JTJulian Taylor has been around the industry for a while now, experiencing the same issues as so many Canadian bands have before him. “We had our first band in High School, I was 14 years old and we were called ‘Staggered Crossing’. We stayed together and did blues covers and jam band tunes.  I actually came of age, turning 19 on the stage at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.”

They were so good that they got the attention of WEA and the label signed them from 1999-2001, then abruptly dropped them a year into their debut release. “It was devastating for us, we all took it heart and didn’t really recover from the blow. We didn’t know at the time but the record industry was going through major changes. We took it so personally, when really it was going to happen to so many artists after us.  They went completely indie and his very own label Bent Penny Records was born and survived for a while with Maple Nationwide distributing (now known as Maple Music).

Slightly disenchanted with the industry, Julian Taylor took some time off, cleaned up his act, bartended at his local bar (Dora Keogh Irish Pub) and took some time to find his groove again and get over the bruises.  There were many along the road that pushed me along to get back into music.  John Maxwell (co-owner of the Dora Keogh) gave me the Monday night jam, and I have been doing that for over five years now.”

Julian Taylor UnpluggedJulian Taylor UnpluggedHe’s been touring all over Southern Ontario, combining his love of Motown, soul and reggae, combining his talent as a singer/songwriter and his magic as a stage performer. “It gave me a chance to fine tune the band, and we all got time to hone our chops.  The past few years have been all about that.”

The new material from Julian Taylor is 100% pure and the real deal. He sounds like after a long hard, road he is finally where he needs to be.  “Five years ago my world was falling apart.

My relationships were in turmoil, my family was dealing with a lot of stress, and I was a little self-destructive.  Now I have feel like I have it all in my life. I am a father, I am singing, performing and writing some of the best songs of my life. I feel like even though I have already accomplished so much, it is now come full circle. I know this time I have a really good kick at the can.”

Julian Taylor is getting airplay on radio, working often with his band and as a solo, artist and still does not lose sight of thanking his bandmates. Julian Taylor LiveJulian Taylor Live“Jeremy Elliott, Dave Engle, these guys and I are life long friends. I am so grateful and full of respect for them.  Recently we were tearing down after a gig, and while we were wrapping cables a waitress came and said ‘I just want to say thank you to you guys, we are always so busy when you play here I never get the chance to tell how much we enjoy it when you work here’. That means so much to me, building our friends and fan base one at a time.”

So what does the future hold for The Julian Taylor Band? “Keep working, stockpile our coins so we can keep recording one song at a time, continue to release singles and build a new album. We are self-sufficient and the future looks good. We are confident in our ability to perform and the music stands for itself. Our immediate goal is to keep recording. I believe it is only a matter of time now until this takes off, and when it does there is a 20 year history here.”

Check out Julian Taylor and his band on his website and support this great talent.  His music will take you from zero to eleven with every song.

Julian Taylor’s New Release ‘Zero to Eleven’


For more visit juliantaylorband.com