Taylor Hughes was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. Although she always loved music and did choirs and shows, her mother was an R & B singer was considered the musical one in the family.
Hughes was an athlete with a scholarship to attend college as a volleyball player when she blew her knee out her junior year of high school and the hope of attending college on a sports scholarship was over.
She asked her dad if she could take guitar lessons. She took a few lessons and her guitar teacher, Paulie Felice, told her parents, “I’m going to take Taylor to Nashville.”
Her parents said, “She barely knows three chords.”
“Not for guitar, Taylor sings,” the teacher retorted.
“I always wanted to be a singer, but no one took it seriously,” she admits.
Her teacher was the first person to recognize her talent and that is the reason she went to Nashville.
She sang for “Nashville Spotlight”, an old TV comcast that showcased young talent from all over the country.
She was up on stage and had never performed solo before. She was singing to a track. Everyone was coming up to her parents and saying how much they loved her. However, her parents weren’t convinced that it was her singing and thought she had lip-synced the whole time.
She continued her guitar lessons while returning to Nashville to sing on that show and fell in love with being on stage and performing.
Even though she is a country music artist, she has a bluesy, sultry quality to her voice which makes her unique in her own right. One of her favorite artists was Christina Aguilera, and you can hear that influence in her rich, rock n roll, alto timbre.
One blog described Hughes’ sound as being “folk” but she (and I) disagreed. “I would describe my music as southern rock, Texas country with a little bit of blues,” she confesses.
“Imagine if Chris Stapleton and Susan Tedeschi had a child and Miranda Lambert raised it. That’s me.”
Hughes got down and dirty with her rowdy first single, “Good Taste” as the song states, I fall for the kind of guy who makes me raise my glass… I blame my good taste in music to my bad taste in men.”
This weekend she releases a song that she wrote with her Dad, “Prayin’ to the Whiskey” She states, “My dad doesn’t have a musical bone in his body.” But evidently, he can write lyrics and Hughes was smart enough to hone in on his talent.
With lyrics One braid in the rosary, just ain’t enough for me/Baptize me the brown water…. Sunday morning I’ll be on my knees/Praying to the whiskey. The song has several references to her Catholicism.
Even though she is a songwriter who regularly writes for others, she knew “Prayin’ to the Whiskey” was a song that she was going to keep. “I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school. I’m a Hughes and we like our bourbon and to have a good time. This song was a fun way to combine the two.” she jested.
She continued, “I’m so happy to introduce my dad to the world as a writer and to share this excitement with him. It’s really something special.”
Any google search will tell you that Taylor Hughes is a darling of Kentucky, especially in the Lexington area. She has received multiple nominations/awards in the Lexington Music Awards, including Country Artist of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Song of the Year.
She explains, “Lexington was all I’ve known for 24 years. My hometown helped shaped me into the person and artist I am today. I spent so many nights playing shows, writing music, and building a following there. The fact that all my fans, all those who have believed in me and supported me from day one, still have my back and want me to succeed makes me unbelievably happy. There is so much talent that comes out of Kentucky and it’s nice to be a part of that.”
The twenty-eight-year-old is now married and living in the Nashville area as she “chases her dream.” Doing so during a pandemic can be challenging but these up-and-coming artists are figuring new ways to get their music to their followers.
“I actually grew my fanbase this past year. I really dove into live streaming which I had never done before.” She is not only growing her fanbase in the US but also in the UK, Europe, and Australia. They are waiting patiently for her to get out and tour again. “I’m just glad they are loving what I am putting out.”
She continued, “Just being on the road is something I’ve always loved. I love traveling. I love the excitement, going from show to show. It would be nice to go across the pond and play.”
In the meantime, Hughes is doing what she can to promote her music to radio stations, blogs and podcasts. The independent artist is doing things her way.
“We (artists) all have the same goal. We just want to share our music with everyone.”
Currently, Hughes is in the middle of a Kentucky tour. She and pal, Audra McLaughlin from The Voice are singing at local joints and smaller venues as COVID allows. She is working on new music, a new website, new branding along with merchandise.
Hughes’ Facebook page says she has a voice like rich chocolate cake, but I think it is more like chocolate cake soaked in whiskey.
I can’t wait to see what else this young artist comes up with.