If you’re looking for a new artist to stream, we’ve found her for you.
Country artist Taylor Acorn is kicking butt and taking names as she continues to shake up the Nashville scene. Taylor started songwriting when she was just eight, and fell in love with the world country music living in rural Pennsylvania. After getting her start posting cover videos on YouTube, she flew to Tennessee and never looked back.
Back in 2017, she released her first EP, titled Put It In A Song. Since then, she’s been playing shows, releasing music videos, and keeping up with her fans on social media.
To the delight of her fans, Taylor is releasing a new track July 12th, “Red White.” In anticipation of the song’s release, COWGIRL chatted with Taylor about her musical beginnings, her goals, and the brand new summer song.
COWGIRL Magazine: You grew up in Pennsylvania. What was that like, and did it contribute to your love for country music?
Taylor Acorn: Actually, t’s a funny story. My family always moved around quite a bit, so prior to living in Pennsylvania, we actually lived in a suburb of Seattle, and so all of my extended family, like my mom’s parents, they all live in Pennsylvania. My dad actually passed away and that’s why we ended up moving was just to be closer to family. But the summers before, I would go back and forth to Pennsylvania and back home to Washington and then back home to visit family, and then back.
It was definitely a different lifestyle for me, going from being a city kid to living in literally the middle of nowhere, but I mean, even prior to that, I had always taken a liking to country music, but obviously it wasn’t a major part of my life at that time. Then, when I moved and got to be around more of the country people and not really having much to do and everybody was listening to country music, it kind of grew on me and that’s kind of how I got into it.
CG: Was there a moment where you knew singing was what you wanted to do? If so, what moment?
TA: I think I always kind of knew that I wanted to sing and I wanted to perform. I was a very shy kid growing up. Like, extremely shy. I was always really anxious, and music was always one of those things that got me out of that. I would have a hard time having a conversation with somebody one-on-one, but when I got onstage and I was singing for a bunch of people, I feel like I almost turned into a different person. It really brought me out of that shell.
I went to college and chose a major that I didn’t really want to pursue, but I was just kind of doing what everybody else was expected to do. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college where I was just like, “I’m just really unhappy doing this,” and all through that I had started a YouTube channel and I would have my iPhone 4s up on the windowsill of my college dorm and I would just sit there and it was just myself and my guitar, and I could hardly even play guitar at that time. I would just post videos and I think that’s kind of when I decided, “This is what I really love to do, and it’s either: I’m gonna do it now, or I’m gonna go the rest of my life doing what I’m doing and never really know what it’s like.”
CG: You said you came in with a major you didn’t really like. What was it?
TA: So I was actually going for telecommunications, so I was going to be a news anchor.
CG: How did you go from singing songs around your house to being a country music sensation?
TA: I started making YouTube videos without the intention of ever becoming anything. It wasn’t until I met the guy who’s my day-to-day guy now who kind of pulled me out of that and was like, “Hey, you should come to Nashville. You should do music and try to pursue it,” and even though it was something I wanted to do, like I said, I didn’t think that it was ever something that I could.
I went to Nashville one time and I had always been writing songs, so I took those songs and we recorded them and it was almost like the stars had aligned at that point, where I don’t usually like to bring God into things, but it was almost like an act of God. Like, “Oh my gosh, all of these things make sense now.” It was just really natural in the studio, and writing for me just kind of came naturally, and we put out the songs, and I ended up getting a publishing deal kind of out of nowhere. So, I’m still really new to everything. I don’t want to say I got lucky, but in a sense, I really, really did.
CG: When did you write your first song, and what made you decide to write it?
TA: I’m gonna take you back to when I was eight when I first started writing. So I said my dad had passed away, and when he passed, we got these little boxes where basically, they have these little slips of paper in them. My dad was a really big writer. He loved writing. Not poems, just little short stories and things like that. So, it was really cool that they put those pieces of paper in there and I could write to him everyday and that’s when I kind of started writing songs.
The first time I ever wrote was one for him and it was just about my mom, and my brother, and my sister, and how we were feeling at that time. I can’t even remember how it goes now, but I put it in the box.
CG: What country music stars inspired you to get into the industry?
TA: I would listen to a lot of the Dixie Chicks, and Sara Evans is a big one. I always really admired her. Faith Hill. I really looked up to the ‘90s country girls for getting me started. A lot of it goes to Garth Brooks, too, because he was obviously an artist that my parents listened to a lot, and I remember we used to have his cassette tapes and things like that and I would just sit there and listen to them. I think that’s what got me into really liking country music is those older country songs.
It kind of comes from all over. I don’t think I really have one artist that I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I want to be this.” It’s different pieces from all these different artists.
CG: How do you think social media has affected your career?
TA: I think it honestly has a lot to do with it. I think if I had never put out the YouTube videos, I obviously would have never met Cade, who’s my day-to-day, and I think social media is one of those things where it’s so awesome because you can reach so many different people that you would have never thought you could ever reach. If I didn’t have social media, I would have never been able to meet Alex, who was at Play It Again Publishing, who was the company that reached out to me and was like, “Hey, we want you to come in.” So, things like that I really thank social media for because if it wasn’t for that, I probably would still be finishing school or I might not have even been in school at all.
I think it has really helped my career a lot, but it’s also hard. Keeping up with social media accounts is really hard, especially now, when everybody is so good at social media.
CG: How do you feel now looking back on the first covers that you posted on YouTube?
TA: That’s really funny that you ask that, because I was going back and watching them the other day. Honestly, it’s kind of crazy to think of where I am now versus where I was then. I had no idea that any of this stuff would ever happen to me, and that’s when I was still learning how to play guitar and I was just watching videos on YouTube of how to play guitar and just playing covers.
Like I said, it was just on my iPhone 4. We didn’t have cool editing or audio or anything like that. My voice back then was not the greatest. It’s kind of cringey to look at it, but it’s also really cool to see how much can happen in just a couple years’ time. I’m really grateful for those videos, but at the same time, I kind of wish they weren’t out there because I feel like I’ve gotten so much better.
CG: How would you describe your new single, “Red White”?
TA: “Red White” is really fun. It’s up-tempo. It’s kind of about how I lived when I lived in Pennsylvania. We were from a really, really, small town. We had a McDonald’s and three stoplights, and you could get through the entire town in five minutes total.
When you’re a kid and you’re growing up in an environment like that, you kind of make your own fun, and that’s what we did. We would go and we would drive around on backroads and we would all hang out together and just go out to the middle of nowhere and have a bonfire or go cliff jumping or something. Everything we did was very much outside. I think that’s kind of “Red White” is. It’s about being from a small town and embracing that and going out and having fun and making the best of that situation. It’s the summertime when you’re a kid. It’s a very happy song. It’s very fun, and very happy, and kind of like a freedom song for me.
CG: I definitely hear that in the lyrics of the song and even the tempo. It’s so “summer.”
TA: Yeah, it’s a very “summer” vibe.
CG: What are your favorite line or lines from “Red White” and why?
TA: I really like the first line, “Cooler full of ice from the corner market/Twelve pack of Lite is what we poured on it,” because back in the day, when you’re in a small town and you’re young, you kind of make your own fun. I look back on it and I just laugh because my life now is so much different than it was then, and it’s nice to be able to reminisce on those times when I was young and kind of crazy.
CG: Do you have any personal goals, aside from your professional goals?
TA: One of my personal goals would be obviously to give back as much as I can. That’s been something that I’ve always been very adamant about, even with my music and stuff like that, so I would love to do something for charity or set up an organization where you can go and the proceeds go to a cause. I think that’s one thing that has always been heavy on my heart, is just making sure you’re doing something to help the community. So that’s something that I’ve been thinking about pursing.
I’m a big advocate for mental health, I think because I’ve been through a lot of situations where… Obviously when you’re growing up and you go through breakups and things like that. When you’re young, your mental health is such an important thing. So that’s something that on the side I’ve been planning out and something that I really want to see through and make sure that I’m doing something to give back to the community.
CG: That’s wonderful that you’re thinking about that.
TA: There are so many homeless people here in Nashville, and I’m not used to seeing that. I was like, “I could probably go and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” I just want to go and do something more than myself.
Obviously I want to continue with making music and being able to communicate with my fans on a different level than just the music aspect. I want to do something more than just that.
CG: What’s on the horizon for you? What should your fans expect?
TA: Obviously we have “Red White” coming out, and then hopefully we have some more new songs coming out after that, and then I would love to be able to get out on the road and play more shows and be able to meet more people. I’d love to go on tour. I’m definitely excited about what’s coming next.
CG: Is there anything else you’d like your fans to know about you?
TA: That I love them. Honestly, it’s been really crazy. I feel like I have the best fans in the world. We haven’t had a giant push or anything, and I think I’ve done well because of the fans. They’re just so awesome. They continue to listen to the songs. I just want to say thank you to them, because if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would be where I am.
Stream “Red White,” releasing July 12th, and listen to Taylor’s other music, including her EP, Put It In A Song.
About Taylor Acorn:
A powerful voice making waves in country music, Taylor Acorn doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t singing and writing songs. What started as a few cover songs being posted on YouTube has since led to her debut EP “Put It In a Song” amassing 19 million streams. Billboard likened Acorn’s music to having the same charm as Taylor Swift’s early hits, suggesting that it’s about time another Taylor takes country music by storm. She’s been named by Billboard, CMT and Pandora as a country music artist to watch and has shared stages with Dustin Lynch, Old Dominion, Chase Bryant and Adam Craig among others. CMT says the artist “has an ear for writing hook-driven, radio-ready, pop-country hits.” The singer/songwriter’s latest single “Red White” is set to release on July 12. Upbeat and fun, the new single is an anthem for summer and showcases Acorn’s pop-country sound. For more information about Acorn, visit tayloracornmusic.com. You can follow Acorn on Instagram and Facebook @tayloracornmusic, on Twitter @tayloracorn and at youtube.com/tayloracorn.