Interview: Taylor Henderson
No longer known as ‘that guy from X Factor’, Taylor Henderson is coming into his own as one of Australia’s most promising upcoming singer- songwriters. With a number one double platinum single and a number one platinum album under his belt, Taylor has already achieved the success that some artists can only dream about. Not only has he won fans over with his smooth vocals, but he has also won people over with his charisma and nice guy persona.
With a brand new single to be released soon, Taylor took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to RenownedForSound.com about the single, his time on The X Factor and what’s coming up next for him…
Melissa Redman: How are you and where does this interview find you?
Taylor Henderson: I’m good thanks. I’m in Sydney at the moment, doing promos, interviews and radio shows for my new single.
MR: Your new single When You Were Mine is about to be released this week. What sort of sound and emotion were you going for with this single?
TH: I’ve spent a lot of time on this song, I didn’t want it to be the second Borrow My Heart you know? I think it’s sort of a cross between Ed Sheeran and Matt Corby, maybe a little like Passenger. Then again it’s got a bit of a swing, it’s pretty catchy. I worked a lot on the lyrics for When You Were Mine. I made sure that there wasn’t one wasted word, there’s nothing put in there just to fill time. The lyrics are all connected and I feel that’s what makes the song very strong. If you liked Borrow My Heart you’ll like When You Were Mine.
MR: Who would you say are your musical influences and why?
TH: Ed Sheeran is definitely one of my main influences, he’s another guitarist but he also sings from the heart. His lyrics are very deep but the songs are still hits on the radio, so that’s the sort of style I’d like to go with. My dad has been another big influence because he taught me how to play the guitar. I feel confident that playing an instrument leads to better songwriting, because you can experiment different melodies and keys. I also like John Mayer, but I’m always open to listening and learning to new people and getting new ideas.
MR: What do you feel is the most important aspect when writing a song?
TH: People listen to music to connect, whether they’re having a night out or going through a bad time. I think honesty is really important, like the first time you meet someone. I find honesty really admirable. I think including honesty in your songs makes them more than just a catchy tune. It adds some heart and soul if you think about empathy whilst writing.
MR: Do you find it difficult writing songs with other people, or do you find it makes the process easier?
TH: Sometimes I get a bit worried about sharing a song I’ve written that’s really personal, but I really love collaborating now. Sometimes you might get stuck on a certain part then other people can help and you can bounce ideas off of one another. There’s been a few times when I’ve thought that a song hasn’t really sounded like my style, but I’ve ended up loving it.
MR: After being a contestant on Australia’s Got Talent in 2010, were you a little hesitant to audition for another reality show?
TH: Oh definitely. It was really scary, actually. I came third, my dad came second, but I didn’t get anything out of it. You go from having this whole production crew around you to suddenly being on your own and it was really tough. So when I auditioned for The X Factor that was sitting in the back of my mind. But I knew that this was what I wanted to do and just decided to go for it. I think after AGT I knew how to handle myself, knew to go after opportunities and that’s why things were different.
MR: Do you have an album in the works? If so, can you give me any sneak peeks like a song name or something?
TH: Yes I do and I’m really proud of everything I’ve written for it so far. I think I’ve taken some risks with some of the songs, but everything has a lot of soul and depth. I’ve been pretty secretive about it, so I can’t tell you a song name, but I will tell you that one of the songs is about my sister. It’s about something that happened to her as a kid, and it’s all about growing up and the innocence of a child. Sometimes kids need to be heard and I think that this is a very powerful song.