Songwriter Spotlight: Taylor Simone

Our final Songwriter Spotlight is on Taylor Simone! Taylor also began collaborating with us back when in 2013 when we were a smaller group called LyricLion. She's part of the duo Jazze Belle, which has performed all over NYC and just released an EP. Taylor wrote a new song for this concert and will also be performing one of our favorites, "Lantern."

Did the process of writing a song based on someone else's real life differ from the way you usually write? If so, how?

Yes it did! But not too much. I like to shake things up when I practice writing, and this experience allowed for new ways of discovering to create. And honestly the story I read was so beautiful, my work was the easy part! I have written from other existing parts of text before.

How do political and social justice issues influence your work?

As a black woman, I feel that my music and stories are always political, whether I intend or not. However, I know that I am of the most service to the world and my community when I write and perform. I also know that in order for me to be my best, I have to take care of myself and heal in the ways that oppression has affected me. Getting in touch with myself spiritually and emotionally is what I need to clear out and heal my own pain so I can be the best vessel for others. 

What can artists do to resist oppression?

The one thing that artists can do to resist oppression is to continue. CONTINUE like business as usual since a lot of us chose performing because we like instilling joy and hope and providing a cathartic place for whoever sees us. 

I think we should also keep dreaming, Dreaming when the odds are terrible and the conditions are impossible. It's brave, it's radical and it's necessary. The woman who shared her story with me and the women and femmes who have ever dared to imagine freedom are brave beyond belief.

Check out Taylor Simone singing Lantern with us here:

Get tickets to see Taylor sing with us live here.