Brit Taylor: “Never be afraid to ask”

Love people, love yourself and always believe you are worthy and deserving of achieving your own dreams and goals. I want to inspire people to go after their dreams, no matter how big or how small. As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Brit Taylor. When hard […]

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Love people, love yourself and always believe you are worthy and deserving of achieving your own dreams and goals.

I want to inspire people to go after their dreams, no matter how big or how small.

As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Brit Taylor.

When hard times come calling, they don’t tap at the door to be invited in. They barge straight in and wreak havoc. Just ask Singer/Songwriter Brit Taylor who found her idyllic life suddenly turned upside down, and she was left in a downward spin. It was a new feeling and a scary one. But she called on her upbringing, her faith and her family for strength, and she dug herself out with grit and determination and music.

Capturing life and pain with poetic ease and plain honesty is what the emerging Americana sensation does well. Brit writes and sings about what she lives, what she knows. Real Me, her debut album being released November 20, is a self-reflective, 10-song LP telling of a journey to self-awareness. The aptly titled album has a unique vulnerability that is both empathetic and empowering.

Produced by Dave Brainard, the album is mindfully crafted to capture Brit’s pure authenticity and her Eastern Kentucky roots. By blending twangy guitars, crying steel, emotional lyrics and sultry vocals, Real Me redefines traditional country music.

Brit knows you can’t fake authenticity. Real Me reflects her story and, in some way, it is everyone’s story.

“It took me 30 years to figure out who the real me is,” Brit said. “I’m glad I found her.”

Her four early-release singles from the album have earned positive reviews from numerous outlets including Rolling Stone, Billboard, American Songwriter, Music Row and others. All songs have found their places on playlists from Spotify, Apple and Amazon, including Spotify’s Pulse of Americana, Emerging Americana, Indigo and New Nashville. Taylor has been voted №2 on the CMT 12-Pack Countdown and the №2 most added album on AMA/CDX Radio Chart, tying with Waylon Payne.

With her “luscious alto tone” (American Songwriter) and “her “steel guitar-drenched, laid back” sound that “hits traditional country notes” (Billboard), Robert K. Oermann of Music Row praised her “liquid alto singing voice, with bright teardrop accents.” “I am smitten,” he wrote. “Send more.”

From her first single release, “Waking Up Ain’t Easy,” which shared her journey through depression as her life crashed around her, to the album’s title song, “Real Me,” an awareness of knowing her true self and having the guts to expose it to the world, the album borrows from her roots and blends it with a 21st Century vibe to create her unique sound.

It was the mess of her life that provided her with a personal and professional break-through.

Life started out like a dream.

Born in Eastern Kentucky where the famed Country Music Highway 23 slices through the mountains, Brit grew up surrounded by music — and idols — that she loved. Chris Stapleton, Loretta Lynn, Tyler Childers, Dwight Yoakum, Patty Loveless, The Judds, and so many more. It was a place that gave birth to her dreams and opportunities to reach them.

From her debut on the Kentucky Opry as a seven-year-old, music has been a natural part of her life. It wasn’t really the stage she loved or the fans’ love for her that she craved; it was the singing and the songs. For 10 years — from elementary school through high school, the small-town girl learned and performed on the Kentucky Opry stage every weekend though the summers and Christmas seasons. It was the life she wanted.

Following high school graduation, she packed her bags, her black Karate belt, her dog and her dreams which had become goals, and she travelled that famed Music Highway out of Kentucky and into Tennessee.

She went to work. In her first five years in Tennessee, she not only earned a college degree, she turned a music business internship into a four-year publishing contract with CALIV Entertainment, later Spirit Music Group. It was there, during those next four years, where Brit co-wrote with some of the top names in the business and where Brit and her band wrote and released an EP and toured the United States. She also married the love of her life and bought a mini-farm, firmly planting her roots in Tennessee.

Everything seemed to be going great until suddenly it wasn’t. There was the divorce from a person who was less committed to marriage than she was, the death of her beloved dog, a car break down, the bank wanting her house and the break-up of her band. While it might have made great lyrics for a country song, it made for a hard winter of living for Brit.

With those dreams turned goals still firmly in place, Brit looked deep inside her soul and knew it was time to create the kind of music that was honest to her. Without looking back, she started anew, leaving her publishing deal, her band and her marriage behind.

It took real courage. Forming a small business to pay the bills and feed her mini-farm menagerie of dogs, cat, goats and chickens, Brit was able to become her “real me,” reaching into her heart to create the lyrics and the sounds that reflect who she is.

Just a few months after leaving her publishing deal and just enough time to start wondering if she had done the right thing, Brit found her answer. She was given an opportunity to write with hit songwriter and rock-star Dan Aurbach. “It was incredible,” Brit said. “We wrote eight songs in two days. Dan didn’t try to make me sound like anybody else, he just let me be me. That was the kick of courage I needed to make my record my way.”

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in a small town is East Kentucky, so small we go by County names instead of the city! I’m from Knott County. My mom, dad, brother and I lived on top of a mountain off Kentucky Route 80. It was a beautiful place to grow up. I really miss the mountains now. The roots of country music and bluegrass run deep there. I didn’t come from a family of musicians. Knott County borders US 23 — the Country Music Highway and where Loretta Lynn, Dwight Yoakum, Chris Stapleton, The Judds……. I could keep going… come from!! Luckily, with Kentucky’s rich heritage in Country Music, there are a lot of opportunities for young kids to get involved in performing. In Prestonsburg, Kentucky, there’s the Mountain Arts Center. Once my mom learned I could carry a tune, she started taking me to the MAC for lessons. I later got involved in a tourism show there called The Kentucky Opry Jr. Pros, which was a band of kids from 7 to 18 who played shows throughout every summer and Christmas season. I loved those shows; they meant everything to me. Growing up playing on a real stage for 1,200 people isn’t something most kids get to do. I consider myself super lucky to have been born and raised in East Kentucky.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most interesting story — that’s a tough one. I’d say it was the time I was backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, and I was hanging out with Sturgil Simpson and his crew. I had never met him before. But we started talking about Kentucky and then somehow got on the subject of Martial Arts. We ended up talking about Karate backstage at the Grand Ole Opry for a good while. It was so random.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I am sure I have made lots of mistakes along the way. My funniest story — I’m not sure it was a mistake — but it certainly was all together embarrassing. I was at 12th and Porter in Nashville listening to Chris Stapleton’s rock band The Jompson Brothers. This was before Chris Stapleton was CHRIS STAPLETON, but he’s always been Chris Stapleton to me! I was trying to purchase a CD, and this was during the time people first started using square readers with their phones. The lady helping me purchase the CD was so sweet and patient. I had just turned 21 and was having myself a good ole time. The woman helping me was so nice, and I drunkenly slurred “YOU ARE SOOOO NICE. What is your name?” And she answered, “Morgan Stapleton!” I definitely knew who Morgan was and all the songs she had written. I knew how great an artist she was in her own right and it floored me, so I just blurted out, “Well holy shit, you’re a bad ass, too!” She laughed. I hope she thought I was a charming drunk girl instead of an annoying one.. or maybe both! I definitely learned that someone could be “somebody” at any time at these shows.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m really excited to be releasing my first solo album. I remember reading about Dave Brainard after the Brandy Clark’s “12 Stories” record came out. I knew then that, at some point in my career, I would make a record with him. This entire process of writing, recording and releasing this record has been a real dream.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I think that the entertainment industry has unmeaningfully and unknowingly through the years created a lot of gender roles and stigmas that have gotten ingrained in society as truth. Women stay home and raise babies, women can’t have a career in the music industry and have a family, you have to be young and thin to get a record deal, you have to be white to sing country music, you have to be a male to make it in country music… .

It’s all bullshit, but somehow we subconsciously started to believe it and take it as truth. Now we need to undo it. Women and men are equal. People of all races, religions, genders, colors and walks of life are equal. We need to get that ingrained into society now. I think there are a lot of people now who know this and are trying to do their part to address it. I have to believe it can only get better as more and more people are aware that it’s a true problem that has no basis in truth.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Oh goodness, I feel like everyone overloads a new artist with information when asked about the music industry. It seems like everyone wants to tell you how to do it and everyone has a different formula for success. The ONE thing I wish someone had told me is to listen to everyone with an open mind, think on it, pray on it, and then go with your gut. I feel like I got so overloaded with so much different information and so many different opinions that it froze me into doing nothing at all for a long time. You have to do what is right for you.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Try not to take it too seriously. I struggle with this one because it is not an easy career path. It’s hard to let go of something you want so badly. You have to learn to have more fun and let things go. If you’re having fun and loving the music you’re making, eventually things will happen for the good.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Love people, love yourself and always believe you are worthy and deserving of achieving your own dreams and goals.

I want to inspire people to go after their dreams, no matter how big or how small.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I have a long list of people I have met since moving to Nashville who have be incremental to my success and journey. One relationship leads to the next and I never want to discount any of them. Dub Cornett was the first person in the industry that I met, he then introduced me to Cliff Audretch, who taught me about co-writing and got me started writing with other people for the first time. Later my prior publishers, Billy Lynn and Daniel Hill, helped make me believe I was worth taking a shot on. Then there is Eric Hurt, a past publisher, who randomly booked me a co-write with Dave Brainard and he ended up producing my debut record. Then Dub again for introducing me to Dave Ferguson, who took me to meet Dan Auerbach who I co-peened half of my album with. Cliff Williamson and Joe Dan Cornett introduced me to my wonderful publicist Tiffany Bearden, Julie Forester a co-writer and friend introduced me to Cliff Williamson. The list goes on and on and on. One relationship leads to the next, and they are all so significant when I look back. Not meeting just one of these people would have changed drastically the course I am now on.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

That is an easy one. It is “Never be afraid to ask.” When I was a kid and was contemplating asking someone for advice or for anything, my dad always told me, “Never be afraid to ask. You might get told no. BUT you might get told yes!” He would say “If you don’t ask, you know what your answer will be? That’s right…. NO!” I took that to heart and it has come in so handy in the music industry. I’ve been told way more noes (or gotten ignored completely) than I have yeses. But honestly, after a while, I don’t remember the noes. They’re not important. The yeses are what I remember! The really important part is not to hold a grudge or be upset when you get told no. It definitely sucks and it feels like a gut punch at first, but people have their own reasons for their responses, and we have to respect that. I believe the opportunities meant for someone will come to them.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

DOLLY PARTON. She is everything — smart, talented, beautiful. I would love to pick Dolly’s brain about it all — business in general, the music business, songwriting, God, faith, music, life… EVERYTHING … even what is was like to make music with and to be in the “Trio” and the “Honky Tonk Angels”!

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow me on any of the social media platforms — Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

You can find all the links on my web page at

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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