KAYLA TAYLOR: In Conversation

SUSAN FRANCES: Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Kayla Taylor is a southern gal who, when it comes to torch songs and jazz standards, can sing with the best and surpass them.  Her new CD 'You'd Be Surprised' is the follow up to her 2005 release 'A Night at Pacific & Vine' and features a sophisticated array of classic tunes that she delivers with the warmth of a nightingale and the intimacy of a soul singer.

Singing came naturally to Taylor.  She recalls, "Two things happened that motivated me to be a singer.  First, personally, I thought I was going to be the next Liberace.  I played piano my entire childhood.  I was visiting a cousin in Memphis with my family and I was playing a song for her that I had been working on, 'Rainbow Connection'.  She said, 'Wow that's great but there's lyrics there.  How come you aren't singing?'  I didn't have a good reason so I sang and played the song and she ran down the hallway of her house shouting 'Mamma come quick!  Kayla can sing!  Kayla can sing!'  That was a really cool experience.

Second, I was playing flute in the middle school band.  I loved playing the flute and was really good at it.  On the last day of school this guy in my class asked if he could see my flute so I let him.  He was kind of a 'bad seed', always getting into trouble, but I figured what's the harm?  Well, when I got home and opened my flute case so that I could practice, the mouthpiece was missing.  That boy had stolen the mouthpiece to my flute and my sweet parents didn't have enough money to buy me a new one.  So I told my parents 'From now on I'm going to sing because no one can steal that from me!'  There weren't any calculated moves that motivated me to be a solo artist over a backup singer.  It just sort of happened that way.  At the age of fourteen I started getting hired to sing at weddings and funerals and it took off from there.  My dream gig, though? I would love to be one of Bette Midler's back-up singers.


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