You know the old saying, “we’ve seen this artist grow up right before our eyes?”
Normally, we (as journalists) use this phrase to talk about an artist, or band who we saw in their early days, and have now ascended to some sort of stardom.
However, for 24 year old singer/songwriter Taylor Tote, we’ve literally watched her grow up right before us. As a scene, we’ve seen her grow from the teenage frontwoman of Aardvark Smile and then Taylor Tote Band. We saw her as a fixture in the “Under 21” awards category at the Asbury Music Awards.
Yet, Taylor Tote wasn’t just some “youngster” who’d play a few battle of the bands, or the occasional Stone Pony showcase. No, she was someone we all admired because you saw see her putting the work in — gigging wherever and whenever she could, releasing new music every year, and working with the likes of Remember Jones. Listening to Taylor Tote today, as opposed to the seven years ago at the Asbury Park Music Awards, is like listening to a different singer. She’s easily become one of the best pure voices in the scene right now, and her future is insanely bright.
We caught up with Taylor Tote to talk about her participation in Tallie Fest (produced by Makin Waves) a three day multi-venue music festival predominantly featuring 22 female and female-front acts. The festival which will benefit two women-operated charities, Food for Thought and Asbury Park Women’s Convention. We also spoke about her musical “upbringing” in Asbury Park, the evolution of her sound, and more.
My Sound Has Been Liked To: Amy Winehouse, Adele, Grace Potter, Maren Morris, Fleetwood Mac, Lady Gaga
You’ve Seen Me In Other Bands Such As: Taylor Tote Band and Remember Jones
Bands/Artists I’ve Shared The Stage With: Quincy Mumford, Remember Jones, Brian Kirk & The Jirks, JT Bowen.
This weekend you’ll be a part of the inaugural Tallie Fest — a two day, three venue festival featuring female front-acts like yours. How does it feel to be a part of a really cool festival like this?
I’m so honored to be asked and included in such a strong line-up representing women in the music scene! I’m really excited to be performing an acoustic set with my great friend and musical partner, Nick Ryan.
In the same vein, what’s your opinion on the representation of women in both the Asbury Park and New Jersey music scene today, as compared to even a few years ago?
I think the Asbury Park music scene is really great at inclusiveness when it comes to diversity. I can’t speak on behalf of others but I personally have never had an issue in Asbury because I am a woman.
You’ve literally grown up in the Asbury Park music scene — can you talk about it’s changed (in a good or bad way) since you started gigging around the city?
I’ve seen the city change as a whole. I started performing in Asbury when it was some what dead but on its way to the come up again. I was about 16 or 17 when I started performing regularly in the scene and I think it was odd to some people that someone as young as I was performing at places like The Stone Pony or The Wonder Bar. But the city itself as grown into a huge hangout, must-go to spot. It’s a tourist attraction known for the beach, businesses, and now large music scene. The new businesses that have been developed through the years made sure they had a budget and space for live music giving the musicians in town many more places to perform and gain fans which made it really easy to build a community there.
Also, how do you feel you’ve evolved, musically, since those early days?
I’m evolving everyday as an artist! I want to do and try everything as a musician so it’s always changing. You can always expect something different for me which I believe is quite fun! I’m always emerging myself in new projects, collaborating, and working on new material. I’m so lucky to be able to have the basis to do so and meet all of the incredible people I have along the way.
What are you most excited about for in 2020?
New music and a revamped show definitely! I’m also a member of Remember Jones and looking forward to our new shows with new material and hitting the road again with upcoming tours. That’s a whole other side of me I think my fans from my solo projects will really enjoy. I also think fans I’ve gained through Remember Jones would also enjoy seeing the other side of me during my solo project as well. Now that I’m also in New York City, I’m bringing my shows into the area more regularly as well as still performing in Asbury Park!