A Breath of Fresh Air with Musician Taylor Kropp
Sep 28, 2017 04:00PM ● Published by Nicole Gould
After putting in the work over the years locally, Kropp decided it was time to further his musical career, so he picked up his guitar, moved to Nashville, and began the journey toward his dreams.
“I moved to Nashville two and half years ago because I believed that I got as good as I could get in the local scene. I had reached as far as I could go in my local hometown scene. I played all the clubs and played with all the bands. I toured a little bit with a band out of Boise when I met a guitar player who lived in Nashville. I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life and always strive to get to the next level. Nashville is where all the best artists are and I wasn’t the best anymore.” – Taylor Kropp
Kropp has performed as the sideman guitarist to countless artists including Tanya Tucker, Kristen Kelly, and Josh Dorr. He even performed guitar for several scenes in the feature Netflix film, Believe.
Now it’s his turn to shine as he embarks on first solo tour with his debut album, Coming Up For Air, which released September 15th.
Throughout the album, Kropp gives listeners an authentic sound, filled with strong melodies. This singer/songwriter, and guitarist, hopes to pass along the message of being yourself and giving people that little push they need in order to really understand what they’ve been missing.
You may not know his name just yet, but it won’t be long ’til this California native makes it big.
Catch Kropp’s performance on Wednesday, October 11th, 7 p.m. at Cabaret at Germano’s as part of his Coming Up For Air Fall Tour. Tickets are $10.
How did your interest for music develop and when did you decide it was time to make the move to Nashville?
My interest for music developed in a roundabout way. My family likes music, but they’re not avid listeners. That wasn’t my family at all. As a young kid, most music introduced to me was worship music from church. When I was young, maybe around seven or eight, is when I actually got into it.
Every year, my family had a tradition to camp in the Mojave Desert in California for Thanksgiving. One year, being a boy, I was exploring cliffs and stuff, and when I was heading back to the camp site I saw someone playing the guitar around a campfire sitting on a lawn chair. For whatever reason, at that age, it hit me and I thought it was so cool.
I was eight years old playing Oregon Trail video games, learning about cowboys and Indians, so seeing that in the desert was sort of some quintessential image to me. That was initially what sparked my interest in guitar. I picked up guitar in middle school and made it work. I was really bad for many, many years. I honestly believe I had zero natural music talent. No one in my family has any natural music talent. Any music talent I have is from working at it.
I moved to Nashville two and half years ago because I believed that I got as good as I could get in the local scene. I had reached as far as I could go in my local hometown scene. I played all the clubs and played with all the bands. I toured a little bit with a band out of Boise when I met a guitar player who lived in Nashville. I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life and always strive to get to the next level. Nashville is where all the best artists are and I wasn’t the best anymore.
Looking back, would you say you made the right choice? What has been one of the best experiences living as an artist in “Music City”?
It was absolutely the right choice. The guy I was touring with told me that I don’t have to be scared of Nashville because there were just as many bad players as there were good and you just have to find your niche. There are so many incredible musicians and guitar players in Nashville that are way better than me. But, everyone actually made me more confident in who I am and what I do.
The whole artist thing is new to me. I’ve only been working on my artist stuff for the last eight or nine months. I’ve always viewed my guitar playing as an extension of myself. I found musicians in Nashville that would let me be me in their music. Almost every artist has let me do that. The community is incredible for artists because they’re really supportive of each other.
The coolest experience I’ve had since moving is that I was able to play guitar on a movie soundtrack, which is really cool. It’s for a movie on Netflix called Believe. Sitting in a theater full of people watching it, I thought to myself that I’ll never do anything cooler than that.
Tell me more about your debut album, Coming Up For Air, and what listeners can expect to hear from it? What are you hoping people will take away from this album?
What I hope people take away from the album is that they can be themselves and not let others control or choose your destiny. That’s a big thing in my life. That’s what the title track is about too. The reason I call it, Coming Up For Air, is because people don’t know what they’re missing until they get there, they just need a little push. The record itself is basically a roots, rock, Americana record. It’s a pretty broad spectrum of music, but it’s all cohesive.
I’ve read that you have written every song on your debut album. When it comes to the songwriting process, do you have any particular way you go about it? Where do you pull the inspiration from?
I’m definitely more of an autobiographical writer. Another big thing in my music is authenticity. I definitely don’t have a writing process. Each song is different for me. Some are finished in a day, some in three days, and even some in a year. Usually what it comes down to is showing up with your guitar, a pen and paper, and doing it all at the same time. I’ll be ready with lyrics, melody, and chorus all at the same time.
Out of the nine-track album, what song would you say you resonate with most and why?
It all kind of depends on the day and the mood of the audience that’s watching you play. The first song we recorded is, “Even If You’re Wrong.” That song still resonates with me every day because I wrote that song immediately after the election. I just wanted to try and bring people down to earth. After the election, everyone was hating on each other, it was right before Thanksgiving and I was reading articles about issues of people disowning family because of their views. I thought that was preposterous that an election based on people’s beliefs was dividing our country and families. Everyone’s a person and everyone deserves the same amount of respect and love as the other. That song still means a lot.
Before venturing onto your solo tour, what have you learned working/performing with other musicians that you’d like to apply to your own show? What are you looking forward to most during your first solo tour and what can people expect to see?
I learned from playing with other artists that as an artist you never make any money. As a young artist, I have no pre-conceived notions about making any money. I think it’s important to be prepared. Work on the tunes and if you can rehearse with the band, do it.
People can expect to see an authentic performance. I don’t have a show plan and I don’t use set lists. I just show up and engage the vibe of the room and we start playing. The stage banter and the audience reactions are all nature and I want everyone to have a one of a kind moment. My shows are not the same in every city because I play different songs. That’s important to me to be as authentic and provide as pure of an experience as possible to where the music comes from and to the audience.