The name ‘Kelly Taylor’ triggers a few labels for folks in Indianapolis: student, sister, daughter, friend, singer. Now going into her senior year at Heritage Christian, Taylor has made herself known as the girl with the long, curly hair, adorable smile, and voice that will tug at your heart strings. Strumming her guitar and writing tunes is not just a hobby for her though; it’s a way of life:
“It’s always in the back of my mind. Everywhere I go I see song opportunities, so I’ll grab a pen and write things down. Song inspirations come from everything,” Taylor says. “You really begin to look at things differently. As a songwriter, I see everything as a story, creatively, subjectively.” Taylor has been living with this mindset of a songwriter since 7th grade. Playing guitar, ukulele, and piano, she has plenty of outlets for the songs that play in her head.
Now that she is nearing decision time for her plans for the future, Taylor has really begun to take her songwriting and singing career seriously. And what she’s learning is that it’s not always all fun and games.
“I always have meetings, with my manager, with my parents. It’s a lot more work than my friends understand. They know that I’m always so busy, but what some people don’t realize is that I’m trying to start my career. If I don’t work hard now, I won’t reap the benefits later,” Taylor says.
With all of this hard work she’s putting into her career, she counts on her family for a lot of the support. Meetings with the manager include filling in the parents and asking for opinions and advice. Because of their heavy involvement, it’s important to them that they make an effort to separate her career from family time.
“Sometimes when we sit down for dinner, we agree to not bring up anything about my music,” she laughs. The support from her parents is accompanied by the support from her brother and sister, Matt and Jen. But their support focuses more on her music rather than her career.
“They’re the people I play my songs for first, besides my cat. Matt can tell me what I could do musically to improve a song, and Jen can tell me what I could do lyrically.” With such a supportive family, Taylor feels confident in going ahead with pursuing a career in music.
Because the future still holds many unanswered questions however, she’s willing to weigh all of the options. Looking at colleges is part of her senior year agenda as a backup plan, and she plans on studying (can you guess it?) music performance and song writing. While all of this is incredibly stressful for her, she still has music to comfort her: “When I get stressed, my parents just say, ‘Kelly, go play your music.’ That calms my nerves.”
Other than her music, she heavily relies on her Christian faith to keep her calm and keep her going. Attributing her talent to God, she feels confident that her future, no matter which direction it goes in, is in good hands: “Music is the best way I know how to shine the light that God put in me,” Taylor says. “When I play, I know that music’s not from me; it’s from a greater power.”
Finding strength and comfort in the people around her, her faith, and her music, Taylor is already making waves. Whichever path she decides to follow in the months to come, you can be sure that this is not the last you’ve heard from Kelly Taylor.