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Jason Taylor: “There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”

Through my music, I hope to inspire someone to have radical love towards themselves and actually take time to just notice and appreciate their own being. What a tremendous gift you are. All the stars aligned for you and the universe chose you to be here — that’s how powerful you are. You contain the intelligence of […]

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Through my music, I hope to inspire someone to have radical love towards themselves and actually take time to just notice and appreciate their own being. What a tremendous gift you are. All the stars aligned for you and the universe chose you to be here — that’s how powerful you are. You contain the intelligence of the universe in each one of your cells, so tune in to the vibration in your hands, feet and heart. If there’s a positive to this pandemic, it’s for people to have the chance to slow down, take a self inventory, get down to essentials, and be intentional in their actions. It’s like a pattern interrupt. The world is very malleable right now… what do we want to create?


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

Vermont born Jason Ryan Taylor has shared the stage as a guitarist with some of today’s iconic artists, from O.A.R. and Guster, to Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Don Peake of the Wrecking Crew. Jason now lives in Los Angeles with a smooth, funky guitar style that runs a similar course to John Mayer and Santana. In 2017, his band sold an original song to McDonalds, and he appeared in their commercial playing guitar. In addition to his four US West Coast tours (including Lightning in a Bottle with Brenda Carsey & the Awe and Oregon Eclipse Festival), Jason also performed solo headlining shows, building an audience around the world. Last year, Jason performed in Los Angeles, New York as well as Bangkok and Siem Reap, Cambodia while on a volunteer mission to help build schools and teach music to impoverished children in Southeast Asia. His new record, “Creation Creator,” is a testament to self-love, and service with bountiful dynamic sounds of joy supporting prophetic lyrics. Jason has participated in and helped to organize dozens of music events to benefit organizations such as The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society, relief for Syrian refugees, Puerto Rico, and Unlikely Heroes (a non-profit dedicated to rescuing children from sex trafficking worldwide). Jason is passionate about using his talents, efforts and position to “Serve like a Super Hero.”


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

My family is mostly from upstate New York. I’m back here for the Summer after eight years in LA. Most of my early memories stem from my time in Amsterdam, a small town in New York . I would bang on pots and pans like they were drums and I dreamed of having a “rock n roll guitar.” I grew up very American. We used to have school assemblies and sing patriotic tunes. I loved singing with everyone in the morning, I was bummed as we got older and we stopped doing that. Music has always been a nice escape from an awkward home life. I spent a lot of time outside getting burned, bruised and sometimes bloodied up, too. When the weather was bad, I spent a lot of time in my room playing guitar and making music.. We didn’t have a lot of money, but one Christmas, my dad found an acoustic guitar for 25 dollars and that held up for a couple years. I was obsessed with the Beatles and then Pink Floyd and loved to play their music on that guitar.

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

Maybe it’s because I’m a Taurus, but I always try to follow my highest excitement. If there’s something cool I want to do, I can’t get it off my mind until it happens. As a kid, I can’t tell you how many times my parents would have heard me say “I want a rock n roll guitar.” Once I finally got my first guitar, there was no looking back — I’ve been playing ever since.

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

Jesus (from the funk band Lettuce) gave me a blue Kyanite crystal the exact shape of Vermont (the state I was born in). He said “manifest on this, bro” and I focused my energy on my goal to book my first music festival. I had attended the Lightning in a Bottle the year before and had an incredible experience where I really felt I was starting to understand radical love. I submitted to perform shortly after and having not heard back for a while, I let go and decided to give it another shot the following year. It was then I got a call from singer-songwriter Brenda Carsey asking to play in her band. I can remember playing that show on the Grand Artique stage, and thinking to myself “this and greater.” Ever since that moment, my career has had surprises like that. Miracles in divine time.

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 recently received a recording of my first public performance at an open mic at the Van Dyke in Schenectady. I was singing “Why Georgia” by John Mayer and there’s a moment where Mayer sings “and iiiiiii wonder…” My voice cracked really noticeably, but I just kept singing as if nothing had gone wrong. There’s no room for apologies, the show must go on. I applied this lesson many years later during a performance at the “Mint” on Pico Blvd. in LA.. I was throwing kicks in the air too close to the edge of the stage and fell face first off stage right. Didn’t miss a beat, though!

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

I’ve got a single coming out called “Feelin’ Me”, and I’m releasing my remastered album, Creation Creator, through Mi5 and Universal Music Group on August 31st. I’ve been producing songs with artists from around the world, both remotely and in person. My highest flow state is creating music. When the quarantine first hit LA, I started a project on Facebook and Instagram Live where I would write and produce a song on the fly with whoever tuned in. I called it “Track a Tune Together Tuesday’s.” People would send drums and guitar samples, or sing into their phone and send me voice memos. I’d capture over a dozen souls on a song written from a raw, emotional place. It was late March, the world has since changed forever. I still cry when I listen back to those special songs. They’re on my soundcloud if anyone would like to listen.

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 am aware of my privilege and I use the platform I have to amplify underrepresented and marginalized voices. Innovation comes from the mixing of ideas and that can’t happen if we don’t have proper representation in the room. It’s diversity that makes America great. I love you all, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

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

First is definitely gratitude. A grateful person invites abundance into their life. I start my day by saying “thank you” for this day, this opportunity, this gift, nearly every single day. It’s been the most impactful habit I’ve ever created in my life. I don’t just mean thank you for the roses either, each night I try to find the same gratitude for life’s challenges, no matter how dark. If I can be grateful for the lessons that I don’t understand yet, then I can be grateful for the blessings I haven’t received yet, too.

Number Two — Talent, or gifts, only get you so far as first base. Anyone who wants to circle the bases and actually earn points for the team will need to work really, really hard. Malcolm Gladwell calls it 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery. Which leads me to…

Number Three — You must choose to believe it’s possible, despite all the evidence that mounts against you in the present moment. A child doesn’t fall and not get up, they know that one day they will walk, and so you must take the same approach to whatever it is you wish to master. It’s going to be really ugly for a long time, so you have to be okay with suffering in the short-term in order to achieve excellence.

Number Four — Take cold showers. Once you get past the initial freeze up, you begin to feel invigorated. It’s so good for you. From your endocrine system to metabolism, submerging your body in cold water for at least one full minute a day makes your body and mind function at a higher level. It’s better than coffee. Yeah, I said it.

Finally, Number Five — You have to really care. You have to love people. You have to give yourself to the people in your presence. Sure, there’s a time and place for healthy boundaries, but you need to find a way to be in service of others to attract a greater good. It’s that simple.

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

Meditation. My new single is called “Feelin’ Me” for a reason. You’ve got to get in, to get out of the matrix. I actually have an alarm on my phone that goes off every morning just before 9am…it says “I need do nothing.” All the doing in the world will never get you where you want to be unless you are able to maintain your chosen vibration. Every day I sit and I let nature run its course through my being, as best I can. Nature is intelligent, so I highly suggest getting out of your head and tuning in to what “is” as often as possible.

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. 🙂

Through my music, I hope to inspire someone to have radical love towards themselves and actually take time to just notice and appreciate their own being. What a tremendous gift you are. All the stars aligned for you and the universe chose you to be here — that’s how powerful you are. You contain the intelligence of the universe in each one of your cells, so tune in to the vibration in your hands, feet and heart. If there’s a positive to this pandemic, it’s for people to have the chance to slow down, take a self inventory, get down to essentials, and be intentional in their actions. It’s like a pattern interrupt. The world is very malleable right now… what do we want to create?

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?

My fiancée, Lisa, is an angel. I’ve been very fortunate to have strong women in my life such as her, my mom, and five sisters. Life would be pointless without them.

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

There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen must have been talking directly to me when I broke my neck 12 years ago. It’s the cracks in the fabric of our lives that make everything so sweet. It wasn’t until I was hit head on by an SUV a couple years later that I found yoga, stillness, and meditation, out of desperation for a way out of pain. It’s because I’ve been so tragically cracked that I believe I have a hyper-sensitivity to light in life. I really see each occasion in my life as a present to be unwrapped. If I had known the circumstances of my life would prepare me for what I’m doing now, I may have had a better time in my early twenties. Somehow I think I did know deep down, but it takes living through the experience to get the golden nugget on the other side.

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. 🙂

Eckhart Tolle had a profound impact on me with his books. I remember having a moment after reading his explanation that the universe is consciousness becoming aware of itself, and that it’s 99.99999% space. So our entire experience is an illusion based on our limited sense perception. Pair that with Nassim Haramein’s explanation of quantum physics and you’re off to outer space in your own mind.

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