Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Taylor Rae
The singer/songwriter’s eclectic style was influenced by a diverse roster of artists that includes Grace Potter, Janis Joplin, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Jewel, Simon & Garfunkel and Steely Dan. In pre-pandemic times, Taylor averaged 200 gigs annually, including the second stage at the legendary Stubb’s in Austin, Hotel Café in Hollywood and Santa Cruz’s Moe’s Alley, Kuumbwa Jazz and the Catalyst. She has also played popular Northern California festivals and opened for artists including Brandy Clark, Kristian Bush, Reggae musician Mike Love and The Stone Foxes.
Originally from Santa Cruz, California (where she won the region’s NEXTies Musician of the Year award), Taylor currently resides in Austin, Texas. Now 27, she enjoys reading, practicing yoga and spending time with her long-haired dachshund, Winnie.
The singer calls her musical style soul and roll: “It’s not really soul music; it’s not really rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a blend of all the roots genres that come from the earliest days of American music,” she explains.
Born in Santa Cruz and raised in the nearby mountain town of Ben Lomond, Taylor Rae Vencill’s eclectic musical journey took her first from California’s Central Coast to Los Angeles. Then, in 2018, she relocated to Austin, which, like her birthplace, offered the space and freedom to be true to herself both as an artist and an individual. Throughout her career she has remained nomadic, traveling countless miles to grace a plethora of stages from iconic Santa Cruz venues Moe’s Alley, Kuumbwa Jazz and the Catalyst, to Hollywood’s prestigious Hotel Cafe and the second stage at legendary Austin nightspot Stubb’s. Taylor has shared the stage with a variety of artists including Brandy Clark, The Stone Foxes, Kristian Bush and Reggae musician Mike Love. In 2017, Taylor won Santa Cruz NEXTies Award for Musician of the Year.
The natural surroundings of her youth have provided limitless inspiration for Taylor’s craft, as have myriad musical influences ranging from Bonnie Raitt and Carole King, to Simon & Garfunkel and Steely Dan, as well as more modern female artists like Jewel, and Sheryl Crow. With that, Taylor found her own musical voice early. She wrote her first song at age 8, taught herself guitar at 12, and played her first paid gig by age 15.
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