On the outside, Mesa native, Taylor Jayne looks like any normal 20-year-old girl, but her story says differently.
Her passion for music transformed into a big dream, one that she is starting to achieve, while her talent and her passion has put her on a path that has created great opportunity.
Jayne’s first memories of inspiration started as a young girl listening to The Beatles and Bob Marley with her dad in the car. This exposure to music would serve as the stepping-stone to Jayne’s love of music.
In eighth grade, Jayne picked up the guitar and instantly feel in love. It also opened up the gates to songwriting.
“I tried to write songs when I was nine, but it’s a lot easier when you have an instrument to play with you,” Jayne said.
It was then that Jayne developed a strong vision of what her future was going to be.
“I always knew I wanted to do something in the art field, whether it be music, visual arts or acting, so I was always prepared for performing and putting myself out there,” Jayne said.
After Jayne graduated high school, she followed what she thought was the normal route.
“It made sense to go to college, that’s what people do,” Jayne said. “I knew that I wanted to do something in music so I figured music for college sounded good.”
So Jayne packed her bags and headed for Columbia College Chicago.
“I was thinking that I’d get out there and be playing gigs all over the place in Chicago, which felt like a good, big city to be playing music,” Jayne said.
However, Jayne’s plans didn’t pan out the way she thought they would.
“I ended up making excuses, like doing my homework, instead and it felt anti-productive somehow,” Jayne said.
When Christmas break came along, Jayne made the decision to stay at home in Mesa rather than return to school in Chicago, stating that she felt like she was avoiding what she was trying to do. Though it was a difficult decision, Jayne’s family has been there to support her in pursuing her dreams.
“I’ve had a very supportive family from the beginning,” Jayne said. “The fact that I am living at home and doing music has been extremely helpful. Right now I am taking the time, while I have it, to just get the ball rolling.
While she only attended college for a semester, it did bring it’s payoffs.
“I’m still glad I went out there though because I met a lot of really cool people can connections I still have now,” Jayne said. “My manager, Dick Joseph, goes to school there and that’s how I met him.”
With the help of Joseph, Jayne now plays about three to four times a week in and around the Tempe area.
“I play a few bars, coffee shops and things like that,” Jayne said. “[They are] small venues but a lot of fun with intimate kinds of crowds.”
To Jayne, playing locally has its charms.
“My favorite thing about playing locally is that it feels like your fans are your friends too,” Jayne said. “People start to know my songs and it feels very down to earth.”
Jayne said she loves the interactions with her fans.
“It’s really exciting to meet a fan who comes to one of my shows and says ‘hey you know I went to one of your other shows’ or ‘I saw your stuff on YouTube and I wanted to come see you.'” Jayne said.
While the interactions are great, Jayne said that building a fan base is a slow process and not always an easy one.
“It has its ups and downs,” Jayne said. “Some night there is just nobody there, I have to remember to not be discouraged by it. It’s a constant pull on your confidence, but you just keep doing it and hopefully something will come of it.”
As Jayne continues to try to breakthrough a tough industry, she said she must remain true to herself.
“You’ve got a lot of people giving you advice in all different directions about what you should do,” Jayne said. “I think that the biggest thing is reminding yourself that you can say no.”
Jayne said in those situations you have to trust yourself.
“It’s a mind game sometimes,” Jayne said. “If you know deep in your gut, it’s not something you want to do then you got to go with it. You’ve got to be strong and put your foot down.”
As far as goals go, Jayne has set out practical ones for herself.
“As far as music goes, [I want] to be successful enough to keep doing it and be able to get by,” Jayne said. “I want to have enough of a following to go on tour.”
While it’s a hard road to pave, Jayne is determined to stick with it.
“Sometimes it’s a bit of a grind, but if I remember how much I love music, it’s worth it,” Jayne said. “I know that I owe it to myself to go for it and see how far I can take it.”
You can catch Jayne at Pub Rock Live in Phoenix April 12. Jayne will also be going on her first tour this summer opening for Steff Koeppen and The Articles. The tour kicks off on May 23. Details about this tour and all of Jayne’s other performance on her website.
Her EP “Day After Rain” is available on iTunes.
Check out the video below to find out some of Jayne’s inspirations, what she writes about and her go to tips for making a music video. You can also catch acoustic performances of some of Jayne’s new songs.