Country Next: MaRynn Taylor
We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with MaRynn Taylor.
MaRynn Taylor; Photo by Kristin Barlowe
Rising country artist MaRynn Taylor is claiming her spot in country music. Hailing from Michigan, the country spitfire identified with the country lifestyle all her life, having been surrounded by The Great Lakes in Michigan. Her current music reflects the feelings of spending warm summers by the water either with friends or while in a new relationship.
Taylor became hooked on music and performing on stage at an early age. Once she was old enough, she took her powerhouse vocals and bubbly persona and headed for Nashville. But it wasn’t until 2019 that Taylor got a foot in the door of country music. Her shot came when she attended the annual CMA Music Festival. It was there that the hope for a 60-second audition led her to landing a recording and publishing deal with Black River Entertainment.
“Somebody handed me a flier that said, ‘60-second spotlight.’ I was like, ‘Oh. What is this? This seems cool,’” Taylor tells Country Now. “So this label was putting on this thing where whoever you were, an artist, musician, songwriter, you could go in and sing 60 seconds of whatever you want for this label at CMA Fest. I was like, ‘I want to do this.”
That 60 seconds ended up becoming a life-changing experience for Taylor, who is now out with her debut EP, Something I Would Do. The project features five songs, four of which were co-written by her with some of Nashville’s most notable songwriters. On the project, fans can look for the bubbly title track, country radio single, “Every Single Summer,” the dreamy “Slow Dance in Headlights,” the top 40 hit, “I Know a Girl,” and the nostalgic “Boxes.”
It seems Taylor’s experience has come full circle as she returned to CMA Festival in 2022 to celebrate the release of her EP on the same week she turned 21. Luckily for Country Now, the talented songstress took some time out of her schedule to chat all about her musical journey, debut EP, and more.
Read on to find out more about MaRynn Taylor in this exclusive Q&A below.
How did you begin a career in country music?
The first CD I ever got was Fearless by Taylor Swift. That was the first one I ever bought with my own money. Then, I started purchasing CDs by Carrie Underwood, JoDee Messina, and Trisha Yearwood. I became obsessed with the ‘90s women’s country music era. I wanted to be just like them, and I have memories of trying to be like them in the music video for ‘Heads Carolina, Tails California.’ I remember sticking my head out a window and my hair blowing everywhere and loving that feeling. I also fell in love with the storytelling and realness of country music. I would enter myself into talent shows, and at age 12, I was begging bartenders to let me play in their bars. Around that time is when I caught the bug for being on stage. Then, when I was 15, I knew that music was what I wanted to do and thought I could move to Nashville and pursue this as a career.
Were your parents always supportive of you pursuing music as a career?
Yes! They were always very supportive. My dad played music in church and stuff. When I went to church as a kid, I thought all those guys were a big deal. I wanted to be on that stage. It’s a hard career to get into because people don’t talk about it. But, I fell in love with music and wanted to be just like those women I mentioned. It was something that my heart wanted to follow.
You moved to Nashville in 2019. How did you navigate the country scene when you moved to Music City?
I had no idea what to do when I got here. I moved to Nashville in March of 2019. I was 17 years old. All I wanted to do was make friends, especially with those who knew how to write songs. Everybody told me it’s a 10-year town. I was like, ‘OK, cool. I’m ready for that. I want to learn and soak it all in.’ So the first step of soaking it all in was The CMA Music Festival in June of 2019. I spent the whole day there. I saw so many artists on all of the stages downtown. It was awesome. I was on the steps of The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum toward the end of the day. It was raining, and my feet were sore. I was like, ‘I want to go home. I’m tired.’ But, somebody handed me a flier that said, ‘60-second spotlight.’ I was like, ‘Oh. What is this? This seems cool.’ So this label was putting on this thing where whoever you were, an artist, musician, songwriter, you could go in and sing 60 seconds of whatever you want for this label at CMA Fest. I was like, ‘I want to do this. Where is this? I’m not going home yet.’ I rushed back into Music City Center. When I found them, I noticed they were packing up. They were done for the day too. Come to find out – I was five days underage. Many things could have stopped me, but we ended up having a conversation, and they let me in. I played a little more than 60 seconds that day, and that label signed me in November of 2019 to a record deal and publishing deal on Coffee Country & Cody, the 650 AM radio show for the Grand Ole Opry. I bawled like a baby. It was surreal how it happened. I’m so blessed with the people I met that day. I am excited about what’s to come.
You moved shortly before the Global Health Crisis. How did you go from navigating that time to releasing your EP?
I was confused. I think everybody was. I was like, ‘Well, what do I do now?’ I had been planning for shows with the songs I wrote over those months. I tried to take it as seeing the silver lining. I used it for writing all the time and being in the studio, and I focused on my craft, who I was, and what I wanted to say. I think part of having that time helped me because I feel like I wouldn’t have had the songs I have now. I wouldn’t have had the EP that I put out in June. It would have been different. So part of me is looking at the positive of having that time of working on all of that.
How does it feel to have new music out now for the fans?
It feels incredible! I mean, my heart is in these songs. All of me is in these songs, whether the idea came from something random or a part of my life. So, writing them, being in the studio, seeing them come to life – when you have a work tape of the songs with just a guitar, you don’t hear it until it’s a whole band in the studio being creative and putting different licks in different spots. I think seeing these songs come to life before my eyes is cool. Hopefully people will relate to it because whether you cry to it or want to roll your windows down in your car, there’s a song for each of those feelings in the EP.
The title of the EP is Something I Would Do. How did you come up with that title, and what does it mean for you?
The focus track of the EP is a song called ‘Sounds Like Something.’ I’m a huge fan of the show Friends. I was watching an episode with the character named Ross. He said, ‘It sounds like something I would do.’ I was like, ‘That’s cool. I might as well write that down.’ I felt like that was a saying that hadn’t been written about yet. So, my next writing session was with Jason Earley and Colton Venner, and we wrote that song. I wanted Something I Would Do to be the title of the EP because all of the songs on there are something I would do or say or feel. The EP is very me. So, I felt that title was fitting for the EP. Plus, it highlights the song, ‘Sounds Like Something.’
Was it difficult to whittle down songs for the EP?
It was. I never had to do that before. A lot of thought and care goes into it because it’s like, ‘Well, do these songs match up?’ It was tough because I wanted as many songs out there as I could have. Someday I will release an album, but right now, these songs fit me. They say what I want to say.
Tell me about ‘Every Single Summer.’ How did that song come about?
It was the summer of last year, and I was in the writing room with Jason Earley and Jonathan Gamble. I am a Michigan girl who grew up on The Great Lakes. I was spoiled. I will not put my feet in the Tennessee lakes here because I don’t know where my feet are stepping. I can’t do it. I know that probably makes me a brat. I was telling them I miss the lakes and the beach there. A lot of people don’t believe me. I tell them, ‘It’s like an ocean but without sharks. It’s great!’ So, I was feeling nostalgic about summertime, and going to the beach with my friends, and having fun at the lake. Jason had thrown out the idea of ‘Every Single Summer’ because that’s what I think about every summer. It was like, ‘Okay, cool. Let’s roll with that.’ Now, every time I sing it, I think of those times, and I get nostalgic and happy.
What was the inspiration behind the song, “Boxes”?
So, I wrote that song last year in May. I was moving out of my parent’s house and into a studio apartment. It did not hit me that I was moving until I started packing up my bedroom. I was noticing all of the stuff I had grown up with. My whole childhood was in that room. It was hard. I had to take what I needed and leave everything else behind. Figuring that out is when I got emotional because I was leaving a lot behind. I was starting a whole new chapter in the city alone. So, I had a write that week. I went in, and I was choked up about it. It was a sad time for me. Having to put my whole life in cardboard boxes blew my mind. During that time, I grew up pretty quickly. I learned to let some things go, and I was having a hard time figuring out how to do that. We wrote that song in like an hour. It is probably one on the EP that I am most excited about. It is near and dear to my heart.
What do you want fans to take away from this EP?
I hope people can relate to it. I hope it will make them feel something. Whether they cry because they’re missing their home and have to move on and start a new chapter or have a crush they can’t get over or want to roll their windows down because it’s summertime – you need a song to do that, so maybe it could be mine. I want people to fall in love with it. I hope people see my heart and how much I’ve put into these songs.
You recently opened up for Sawyer Brown. Can you tell me about that?
I love him! We’re friends too. Mark Miller has taken me to the Grand Ole Opry backstage to watch him perform and everything. He’s been someone I can go to for advice, which is cool. And I’m a huge fan of his. So, getting to open for them, there’s a lot of pressure because they’re so good! They know how to work with an audience. I’m just so glad to be able to do that. It’s pretty awesome!
What is the best advice that you’ve received as a music artist?
I think the best advice I have gotten so far is that it is ok to make mistakes. Sawyer Brown’s Mark Miller did give me that advice. Kelsea Ballerini also told me that advice early on in the game. I was not signed yet, but I was talking to her. She told me that, and I did not understand it yet. But she was just like, ‘You’re going to make mistakes. But, you will have to learn that it’s OK.’ At the moment, I was like, ‘Nah. I’ll be good.’ I was naive to all of it. Now that I feel like I’ve been in it for a few years, I am still learning. It is ok to make mistakes and learn from them. So, I think that’s the best advice I have received.
What’s next for you?
So this is the first body of work I’ve put out. It is the one I’m most proud of. I’m hoping fans will love it when they listen to it. With radio and everything, that’s been a huge thing so far. Also, look for me on social media, where I post all my updates.
Fans can keep up with MaRynn Taylor on Instagram.
Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.