By Katrina Grant
Payton Taylor, a young country singer from Washington Township, is finding her way through the country music scene with the independent release of her first album.
“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember,” Taylor said. “I started singing country two years ago when I went to Nashville. I wanted to give it a shot, and I fell in love with it.”
“She had been studying Broadway and theater,” Joe Caliva, Taylor’s manager said. “I was her vocal coach at the time, and I thought the country style would better fit her voice.”
Taylor’s debut album was released this summer and was produced entirely in Nashville by Caliva, Taylor’s parents and people Caliva know in Nashville. The album has been receiving some positive feedback.
“The album is doing really well, it’s gotten a lot of positive response,” Taylor said. “We’ve sold a lot of copies on iTunes and received positive feedback from people in Nashville.”
“We did a lot of independent and grass roots marketing,” Caliva said. “We’ve had global responses. We have people downloading the album from Ireland, Indonesia and Canada. There’s been a lot of success independently promoting it.”
For the album, Taylor and Caliva wanted to explore many styles to find the right songs.
“This was an introduction to help me find my voice,” Taylor said.
“We have some contemporary sounding songs on there, traditional country, Payton did the song “Blue” by Leann Rimes and she wrote songs herself as well,” Caliva said.
Taylor counts Loretta Lynn as her number one influence and appreciates what Lynn did for women in country music.
“She was an unpredictable female artist,” Taylor said. “She gave women a good name and shook up the industry and changed it for the better.”
Even though, Taylor is still young and at the beginning of her career, if opportunity came for a record deal, it would be something that would be explored.
“Yes definitely, but I have time to build, improve and grow,” Taylor said.
“If someone came to us tomorrow, we’d have to look at that,” Caliva said. “Record companies have changed though, things have become more digital. Even big name artist are starting to go the independent route. “
In addition to her new album, Taylor has performed in many venues and won various singing contests.
“She performs regularly in the South Jersey and Nashville areas, where she just made her debut at the very popular Nashville venue, The Cadillac Ranch,” Caliva said in an email. “This past June, she won the local round of a national talent contest sponsored by the Chevron Corporation called the ‘Texaco Country Showdown’ – she moves on to the state round this October 29 at Hershey Park in PA. Payton was invited to open for Country superstar, Collin Raye, this past August, and has been invited to open for Country legends, Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan this November 26 at the Broadway Theatre in Pitman. She has also been featured on several radio stations in this area and was recently the featured artist on a weekly half-hour podcast produced by 1210 WPHT’s RJ McKay.”
“Joe and my parents have been an amazing team,” Taylor said. “I’m so lucky to have them.”