Performance with jazz choir will punctuate major run of success for singer
On Jan. 29 Taylor ’10 will be in the presence of huge talents like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas.
Taylor will perform as one of only 28 students selected from across the nation to sing with the Grammy jazz choir at an after- party for the Grammy awards. She entered the competition for the choir after attending Grammy Camp this past summer. The Camp proved a major boon to Taylor.
There, she was also introduced to the LA Young Star (LAYS) Competition in which she was later named one of five finalists to sing with Stevie Wonder during his annual benefit concert on Dec. 12. Taylor was even featured in a documentary about the Grammy Camp, which is currently in submission on the film festival circuit.
Though she ultimately didn’t win the LAYS, she was thrilled to go as far as she did. At first, she was even hesitant to audition, but her friend Maya, as well as Maya’s mother Roxan, pushed her to try.
“Her voice is a beautiful gift from God. She is humble, but not afraid to showcase her talent. Her drive is natural and comes from within,” Roxan said.
Co-Director of College Counseling Monica DePriest was a key supporter in encouraging faculty to become involved in the competition and vote for Taylor.
“When [Taylor] told me about the contest, I became very excited and wanted to do everything I could to support her,” DePriest said.
After her audition tape was posted online, thousands of votes accumulated in her favor, placing her in the finalist’s category.
Taylor’s talent and work ethic are the reasons why she has accomplished so much, Maya said.
The top five finalists recorded a radio promo that will continually air throughout the holiday season.
At Grammy camp, a young group of all different types of musicians worked with famous musicians over a period of nine days to make a showcase. Taylor believes this hands-on experience gave her more knowledge about working in the music industry.
“It was the time of my life,” Taylor said.
A documentary was filmed portraying Taylor and the other campers. Three of Taylor’s own songs are included in the film, one of which caps off the movie.
Practicing for her big debut at the Grammys after-party has got Taylor just a little overwhelmed.
“The [people working on the show] can give me a random call at any time and ask me to sing one of the songs to make sure I’m avidly preparing,” Taylor said.
Taylor also auditioned for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, a contest in which 150 singers were chosen out of 6,000 nationally. She was awarded a college scholarship for $1,000 and now has the potential to earn up to $10,000.
Taylor will spend a week in Miami from Jan. 10-17 going on auditions recommended by the foundation and gaining media exposure.
Taylor recently received a call-back audition for the Project Spotlight Awards. If chosen, Taylor can win $5,000 and sing at the Dorothy Chandler downtown.
“The PSAs will allow me to make the right connections with college scouts,” Taylor said.
Taylor will hear the result by the end of December.
Music Instructor Ernie Scarbrough has mentored and taught Taylor since the 10th grade. She frequently writes songs during free period in his room.
“The more cool things happen to her, the more grounded and humble she becomes,” Scarbrough said. “She has major musical talent and the potential to do just about anything.”
Maya agrees that the music industry has yet to see the last of Taylor.
“I think that it is her destiny to sing. I have no doubt that she will become a huge success,” Maya said.
Article by Brooke and Sophie.