Interview with Leslie Taylor
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I grew up with a well known jazz musician in Barbados that worked full-time in the business. Music is an integral part of the culture and it was very normal to play an instrument. I picked up a guitar at 6 and it felt so familiar. And culturally an interest in the arts was viewed as enabling you to be a well-rounded person. I have had the opportunity to work outside of the arts in a profession that is all about healing trauma and addressing the reasons why the trauma was there in the first place, and that includes sharing classrooms with learners that are passionate about the same subject. So if it weren’t music it would be some combination of arts, healing and having a good life.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I’m a huge reader, especially since the pandemic has started, and it completely impacts my creativity on all levels and informs the way I see, hear and play music.
How long have you been making music?
I started formal training when I was 13 and continue to study, specifically classical guitar at RCM prep. With the final goal of flamenco
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
Torona, , T. Dot. The 6ix, we don’t have a melting pot we have a beautiful mosaic of sounds, cultures, eras, and for the most part we all get together and focus on the music.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
Pride Shows are amazing, huge audiences, large stages, and great tech. It’s been years since I’ve played live. Looking forward to getting back out there.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Loved the Opera House, and it’s a rite of passage in Toronto to play Massey Hall so that’s the home town fave gig.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I’m guessing they have to be alive. Joan Armatrading, Elton John, Lizzo, Ibeyi, Chaka Khan dream gig.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Study your craft, practice, find mentors, stay humble and kind, and get a back up plan just in case it’s not your time.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Sing a little prayer - To be released in March 2023. I didn’t write it and I know every artist says that it comes from some sort of source that we cannot explain. I had been toying around with these lyrics for a while, had a bit of an arrangement, tried it with some folks, it wasn’t the right feeling but that experience got me to the next stage of writing the song. A couple of years later I put an ad. In for a keyboard player a fellow musician from Spain answered the ad. Very cool dude. We got together once only at a Studio in Toronto and I sang without any instrumentation but the keys to stay in key. One afternoon I sat with the recorded keyboard part and sang the song. It was beautifully weird and I didn’t question how, why or where. I put aside my analytical mind and just accepted the gift. I never saw or connected with the keyboard player again. And he doesn’t exist online, I can’t find him because I wanted to reach out and thank him and let him know how the song had turned out to no avail. Interesting stuff!!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Not there yet
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
Closure for my feelings that’s why I’m not prone to writing ‘angsty’ songs in this period of my life. I’m glad for the lessons, and the joy of being alive.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
Yes, hope, it really is that simple just hope
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Getting the band organized in-process, so we can have an amazing live show Video treatments, getting organized with my social media presence. Release of a 5 song EP in March of 2023. Playing live, and finding people that get and enjoy the music.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Please check out my Spotify Leslie Taylor and thank you for being interested in my work.