Taylor Kropp is a Nashville transplant originally from Monterey, California. In short form, he became a working sideman with positions as a guitarist for Tanya Tucker, Kristen Kelly, and Josh Dorr. Along the way, he met his producer Seth Earnest, tracked performances on others records, cut his own, and now looks forward.
According to Taylor,
“I had to live in Nashville to make this album, and inevitably find influence from the incredible songwriters and sideman I’ve been blessed to work with. All of these people influenced my record and have shaped me into the guitarist, singer and songwriter I am today. The reality is I could not have made this record ten years ago when I was in High School, even though that’s all I wanted to do at the time. It’s been an incredible two years.”
In this interview spotlight, we speak with Taylor about influences, motivations, his latest project and more.
Full Q&A along with links and streams below. His new album Coming Up For Air is now available.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I grew up in Monterey CA, which is a small coastal town on California’s central coast. It’s about 2 hours south of San Francisco. I would say that my music falls squarely in Americana/Roots Rock. Drawing on the best of the past and working towards creating new sounds for the future!
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going?
I am personally drawn to themes of the old west. My family used to camp yearly in the Mojave Desert, and as a child I would explore the cliffs of the campground and visit ghost towns, old mines and hiking trails. Inevitably, I play music because of these yearly camping trips. On one of those family vacations, I saw somebody playing a guitar around a campfire. It seemed like such mystical and magical thing to me that the image stuck around in my brain from that point on. I remember wanting a guitar as soon as I returned from that camping trip. To this day I still love visiting and traveling through the desert so the imagery that goes with all that is very present in the music.”
The idea that I can make a spiritual and musical connection with people is most certainly what keeps me going.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?
This is my debut record so it’s been nice to start with a totally clean slate and really tailor these songs to the sound that I was hearing in my head. I was trying to make a record that was real and honest but also had themes of hope in it. Hope and joy can be hard to find in music. It’s so much easier to write a sad song then a happy one.
Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)?
The biggest challenge is coming up with a budget to market my music. The asset of a big label is that in an ideal situation they would have PR and marketing team behind you to work the record. I have to do it all myself and somehow make ends meet in my personal life as well as my business.
I think Spotify is one of the greatest things that has happened to music. Because of Spotify there are people all over the country listening to my music that I’ve never met. And they probably wouldn’t have been able to discover me without it.
Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?
I’m pretty active on my Instagram. My username is guitarplayntaylor and I mostly post about music, coffee and cats. My music also available everywhere music can be streamed or bought!
Anything else before we sign off?
I’m really proud of this record and I hope everybody enjoys it! My producer Seth Earnest really crushed it and we had a blast making it. I’m gonna be touring hard in 2018 and have plans to make it to every state in the greater 48!