Country rock star Doreen Taylor talks music and obstacles as a female artist

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As a trained classic musician, Doreen Taylor has made her way into the country rock scene after numerous roles on and off Broadway in Phantom of the Opera and Ragtime, a Master’s Degree in opera performance, and being commissioned by the Golden State Pops Orchestra in Los Angeles to write a piece and perform it with the Orchestra in LA. After back-to-back national tours, where she developed as a singer and stage performer, she decided to delve into the mainstream to perform her “one-woman show” in Atlantic City and Las Vegas casinos.

“I would combine hours of tireless vocals with dancing routines as I sang anything—from Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Joan Jett, Def Leppard, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Idol to Pussycat Dolls and Lady Gaga, etc.,” Taylor told 429Magazine.

She describes herself as “eclectic” with the ability to produce unusual and never predictable songs, combining different sounds, styles, and feelings. At the same time, she strives to deliver a message through her songs.

Her current album, “Magic,” stands as her solo country rock debut. The Magic tour offers a theatrical experience that Taylor said “will rival the hottest show in Vegas or Broadway.” The first show in Philadelphia at the World Café Live sold out. A second bonus date was added afterwards, which also sold out; and there is now talk of a third Philadelphia date.

“To say this has been a whirlwind is an understatement…The reviews have been extraordinary and I am so excited to take this show on the road and let the rest of the country see what we have done here on the east coast!”

Despite her success, Taylor discussed difficulties of being a female artist in a male-dominated industry. Though things have changed somewhat over the years, it is “not nearly enough” for her yet.

“Being an independent artist by choice and ALSO a woman has been a battle that I cannot even adequately describe. I have had to endure pressures and criticisms that a male artist would never even dream of.”

However, with the cards being stacked against her, Taylor held on to her principles, never sacrificing her beliefs or morals to get ahead, and now her achievements are “that much sweeter.” Image and sexuality have been a struggle for many women in the entertainment business, but Taylor firmly holds on to the idea that “success in this business does not equate to having to exploit sexuality.”

“If you have real talent and the ambition to continue on even when times are so tough, a woman in this industry can succeed and not have to rest on the age-old ‘sex in your face’ routine.”

Her definition of sexy is classy, and emphasizes that there is nothing wrong with having sex appeal. Being tasteful rather than overly suggestive is a concept she believes must be embraced by society, as each time a woman puts herself in that position, it “sets us back about 200 years.”

“If we as a group stand up and rest on our real talents, maybe we [women]can start to be treated and looked upon differently. Strength = success.”

At the same time, finding strength while being so exposed to the public eye presents another challenge. Shifting into the mainstream has altered Taylor’s life and perspective in herself and her career.

“You open up your life to be criticized, critiqued and dissected under a microscope. Mastering the dichotomy of having both the ability to be strong in the public eye versus being vulnerable (aka real) is a slippery slope.”

However, through surrounding herself in work and personal life with real people, she is always able to “be herself.”

“They keep me grounded and they keep me real. At the end of the day, the key to success in this business is to always find the separation between the two worlds and be able to find a healthy, positive balance so that you can persevere when others are trying to cut you down.”

In view of that, Taylor disclosed that this career path should only be taken for love of it, not for image, ego or material reasons as the chances of that happening are “slim to none.”

“Do it because it is in your blood… your soul. It is like the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat. You need it to survive. Then, and only then, will you be able to find the true happiness of what this world is about.”

This open mentality is where she finds her inspiration. In that space, she absorbs as much as she can and is often surprised from what she takes as her muse.

“Crossing over to country rock is where my heart has always been and I truly think I have found my home and where my career has been heading all along. If you completely open your mind, you will be AMAZED at the depths you can reach in your soul.”

Taylor’s song, “Perfect For Me,” has been widely revered by the LGBT community. And though it was not written in that context, it has provided inspiration about “loving yourself no matter what others think you should be.”

“That is the beauty of music—being able to touch others in a way that maybe otherwise could not have been reached and I cannot imagine a better honor.”

429Magazine

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