What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
Country with southern rock and blues influences
Give us a little bio about you.
Country artist and songwriter, Taylor Hughes, is not your typical pop country artist. With southern rock and blues influences, she delivers a powerful, unique, and sassy sound that demands attention. Native of Lexington, Kentucky, she now resides in Nashville where she’s made quite a name for herself. Award winning Gospel singer and vocal coach, Christy Sutherland, describes Hughes’ voice as “rich chocolate cake with soul” along with being said to be “country music’s answer to Adele” in the Tennessee Star. She currently studies under the world-renowned vocal coach, Kati Hendricks.
2021 showed a lot of promise for this rising country star. After releasing her debut single, “Good Taste,” which hit iHeart Radio and multiple other stations, her sophomore single, “Prayin’ to the Whiskey,” got her the attention she truly deserved. She became a co-sponsor for the annual Bourbon Bash hosted by one of the top Bourbon Podcasts in the world, “Bourbon with Friends.” She was nominated for “Emerging International Artist of the Year” in the UK followed by “Praying’ to the Whiskey” being nominated for “International Song of the Year” in Ireland, making the final top 10. She ended the year on a high note being nominated for the Southern Fellow’s “Country Artist of the Year” landing in the final top 5 (her second year in a row.) Her latest single, “High on Something,” is currently charting in the top 100 on the Texas Internet Radio charts and continues to climb daily. Along with this success, she was nominated in 2022 for her first Josie Music Awards for “Female Country Vocalist of the Year” and “Fan’s Choice Award.” Hughes was making waves long before moving to music city though. She has been nominated in the Lexington Music Awards for “best female vocalist,” “best singer-songwriter,” “best country artist,” and “song of the year” winning in 2016, 2018, and 2019. She has opened and shared the stage with artists such as Chase Rice, Riley Green, Morgan Myles, Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies), Sam Riggs, Striking Matches, Leah Turner, Alexandra Kay and more! Though Hughes is her own artist, she’s had her name on a few other song cuts by artists including the track “Pinkies Down, Bottoms Up” on country artist Hannah Wright’s, debut album “Revival.” She is a co-writer on the title track on country-pop artist, Kären McCormick, EP release “Retro.” She is a co-writer on “Christmas in Philly” which can be found on blues artist, Serena Sol Brown’s 2020 Christmas EP. Hughes will also have two co-written songs released in 2023 on fellow country artist Krystal King, debut EP. Hughes has big plans for 2023 with multiple mini tours around the country, festivals, releasing new music, new partnerships and much more. She is entering the new year with multiple nominations in the Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Awards including “Best Female Vocalist,” “Best Country Artist,” “Song of the Year,” and “Social Media Influencer.” She was nominated by fan vote in Country Evolution’s “Artist to Watch in 2023” and received five nominations in the 2023 Lexington Music Awards, taking home the win for “Country Artist of the Year.” She recently received two nominations in the 2023 Josie Music Awards for “Rising Star” and “Multi-genre Vocalist of the Year.” Taylor’s live shows bring the energy, passion, and true country music that fans have been dying to hear. This star is one you should definitely have on your radar!
What made you go into music?
I have loved music ever since I was a little girl. Growing up, music was a prominent part of my life; I was involved in school and church choir, music was always on in my house, and I loved putting on talent shows for my family and friends. Surprisingly, I was a pretty shy kid and young teen so I never told anyone music was what I wanted to do till I was about 18 years old after having a career ending knee injury; I was heavily involved with volleyball for several years and had plans to go to college on a scholarship…the injury was a blessing in disguise! This was really when I started to dive into my true passion for music. I began taking guitar lessons and my teacher discovered I could sing, and he knew there was something special there that the world needed to hear. He told my parents he wanted to take me to Nashville to perform on a TV comcast called “Nashville Spotlight” which was a shock to them because I was always so quiet and never had truly performed on my own. Next thing you know, I’m down in music city, making my debut! This was my first “real taste” of being on stage and after that moment, I knew this was what I was meant to do, I was hooked! The host of the show, the other artists, and fans loved me and invited me to be a regular performer on the show. My parents were so confused because they had never heard me sing on my own, they even asked me if I was lip-syncing when we left! Of course, I was not, and that’s when they knew this was not just a hobby. I’ve been chasing this dream ever since then and have no plans of stopping. The feeling I get from being on stage, singing to fans and connecting with them through music, is what makes me feel alive. It’s safe to say that , if it wasn’t for my guitar teacher, Paul Felice, I may have never stepped on a stage and I’m so thankful for this path God put me on and the people that have been there along the way.
Who are your influences?
I’m influenced by all kinds of music and artists but there are a few artists that heavily inspire me and my music. Miranda Lambert has been a big influence on me since the beginning. Her song writing, her authenticity, the way she tells a story when she sings, her stage presence, I could go on and on. She is unapologetically herself and doesn’t let people try to make her into something she’s not. These are all things I try to bring into my artistry. Other artists that have inspired me are Chris Stapelton, Ashley McBryde, and Lainey Wilson. The power and bluesy qualities Chris’s voice has been something I have discovered in my own sound and are something I’ve really started to dive into. Ashley and Lainey are badass women like Miranda; they are unique and have a story telling quality in their music that I strive to put in my performances.
Are you signed?
I’m not currently signed to a label, but I think there is a lot of power in being an independent artist. More freedom in what I do when it comes to my music and performances but that’s not to say that being on a label isn’t a goal of mine. I think if the right deal comes along then it is something I would do. Everyone’s path is different, and you have to do what is best for you.
You released your new single ‘Jesus and Jail’, tell us more about the single and the meaning behind the song.
My new single “Jesus and Jail” is a song I am so proud of and one that really represents me as an artist. My co-writer, Krystal King, and I wrote this song before COVID, so I’ve been holding onto it for a while now. “Jesus and Jail” was inspired by a quote that I came across and always loved, “I live like Johnny Cash, somewhere between Jesus and Jail.” I knew there was a song here and when I brought the idea to Krystal, she was 100% in on writing it with me. I had the first verse already and when we started working on it, the song came together pretty quickly. It was such a fun song to write, getting inspiration from the famous Johnny Cash but also experiences from my times in college…no I never got arrested but I did push some buttons a time or two; that’s college for you! The song is about embracing your imperfections and not being ashamed of not being perfect; we all have flaws and we all occasionally find ourselves riding that thin line of right vs wrong. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make us a bad person; just having a little fun and knowing or at least hoping, Jesus will forgive you! I also wanted it to be an anthem for the outlaw women in the world. Country music, in general, is heavily dominated by male artists which I myself have been inspired by but there are a lot of badass women out there too. This was my way of saying, “watch out fellas, outlaw country isn’t just for the boys, and not only are we here, but we’re not going anywhere.” “Jesus and Jail” is kind of breaking the glass ceiling for women in music; singing a subject we don’t hear them sing often. This song is also meant to be fun and a perfect one to start your weekend with! It’s rockin’, edgy, and one I think a lot of people can relate to.
Describe the track in two words.
“Jesus and Jail” in two words could be described as “glass ceiling”.
What was the writing and recording process like?
Writing this song was a lot easier than I thought it would be. My co-writer, Krystal King, is someone I write with a lot but she’s also a great friend of mine, so we tend to work really well together. The subject was fun and one that we could create a lot of cool metaphors for so that helped in creating the story for the song. The recording process was a blast too! I knew I wanted to dig into my southern rock influences for this song and when I brought the idea to my producer, he knew exactly what to do and he ran with it. My studio musicians were able to take my ideas and create such an incredible sound and they did it pretty quickly too. It was amazing to see how fast and yet so well done they were able to take what I had in my mind and bring it to life. My vocal producer was awesome to work with as well. He pushed me to dive into my edgy, southern rock sound and to not be afraid to push the envelope. I was really able to let loose and have fun with it and I think that’s so important when creating music.
Who did you work with on the single?
Co-writer: Krystal King
Producer: Smith Curry Vocal Producer: Mark Lonsway Electric: Nathan Keeterle|
Mixed: Bobby Holland Drums: Caleb Gilbreath Acoustic: Devin Malone
Bass: Tim Marks Keys: Billy Nobel
Will we see a music video for ‘Jesus and Jail’, and if so, what can we expect from the creative process?
A music video for “Jesus and Jail” is something I have been discussing with my team and not out of the question, but we’ll have to wait and see. I’m a full-time touring artist and with a heavy writing schedule, trying to find time to do it is hard but never say never! Until then, I do have a lyric video on my YouTube channel so my fans can sing along.
Will we see an EP or Album and if so, what can we expect from the creative process.
I absolutely want to put out a bigger project in the near future. At the moment, singles have been what make the most sense but I’m a little old school so an album would be a dream project. Stay tuned…
Describe each song in two words.
I do have four songs out right now that can be found on all streaming and download platforms. It’s hard to describe these songs in only two words.
- “Good Taste”is a fun honky tonk song paying homage to the classic outlaw men of country music. Two words: outlaw tribute
- “Prayin’ to the Whiskey” is a confession of giving into you vices but always coming back to Jesus. The push and pull between the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Two words: Vice and Faith
- “High On Something” is a unique and powerful love ballad about a long-lasting love that you never want to lose and that you can’t get enough of. Two words: euphoric love
- “Jesus and Jail” is an anthem for outlaw women. Owning your imperfections and not taking yourself too seriously but always making your way back to Jesus because his opinion is what truly matters in the end. Two words: glass ceiling
Do you have any live shows coming up?
I am a full-time artist which is a huge blessing! I stay on the road often and my full touring schedule can be found on my website https://www.taylorhughesmusic.com/tour. I do have a lot of shows in the Nashville area in the month of August, one that I’m very excited about is at The Listening Room Cafe on August 29 at 6PM. I will be hosting this show and will be joined by Sydney Adams, Casey James, and Dustin Collins. Make sure to get your tickets for this, these shows sell out fast!
Let us know where we can get tickets if so.
Tickets for The Listening Room Cafe show on August 29 at 6PM can be purchased on their website https://www.listeningroomcafe.com/nashville-shows but all of my shows can be RSVP/Tickets on my website under the “tour” section.
What else can we expect in late 2023?
There are a lot of things I am working on this year! Of course, I will be continuing to tour not only in my usual spots but also travelling to new cities and states. I am writing new music daily so I am hoping to get another single out before the end of the year. I’m also joining forces with a new team so there is a lot in the works but I can’t spill the beans on everything just yet…stay tuned! My fans can subscribe to my website and receive a monthly newsletter that keeps them in the loop and shares exciting news before I release it to the public.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
This is always an interesting question to answer. As an artist, plans are always changing due to the business constantly growing whether it be a new social media platform, a certain style or sound fans are listening to, there’s a million things that could and will change. We have to be able to adapt and roll with the punches. In five years, I do hope to be touring full time still but at bigger venues and crowds. I really want to be heavily involved with the festival scene, have a full album released along with releasing singles of course. I want to be attending the big awards shows in country music and be nominated for female vocalist, album of the year, song of the year, and more…I’ve got big dreams! I want to be doing what I love, travelling the world and meeting more of my fans and connecting with them through our shared love of music.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
There’s a few quotes that I always try to keep in mind and live by but one that has really stuck with me recently and when young artists ask me for advice, it is, “Comparison is the thief of Joy.” In this industry, it is so hard not to compare your journey with others. We are constantly surrounded by people’s “highlight reels” on social media and we don’t typically see their struggles. It’s important to remember that God has placed us on our own, unique path. We all have different goals, dreams and gifts so it’s important to work hard and focus on yourself, the things you can control and not compare yourself to someone else.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Five things I cannot forget when I go to a gig are my guitars, cough drops, my large hydro jug, my tablet, and a snack.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
I have all kinds of social media accounts that my fans can follow me on!
Threads – @taylorhughesmusic