Ben Taylor's Request for SOPAC Audience: 'Volunteer Your Ears'
Saturday, February 23, 2013 • 2:08pm
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Talent clearly runs in Ben Taylor’s family.
His father and mother, James Taylor and Carly Simon, are both musical icons, and his sister Sally is also a performer. Ben, too, is a singer and songwriter with a voice very reminiscent of his parents’.
While it would be easy to define him as simply the next generation of a musical dynasty, doing so would be a mistake. After releasing several albums, Ben has proven he has plenty of skill in his own right. And on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Ben Taylor is sharing that talent with South Orange.
“It means most of everything to me,” Taylor said of his music. “It’s my livelihood. It’s my favorite pastime. It is my favorite language. It is my favorite method of expression.”
Taylor said that “Listening,” his latest album, was inspired by life, love, family and a degree of existential crisis. However, Taylor said he doesn’t have any particular favorite subjects to feature in his music. What matters to him is being honest in everything he writes about.
“I think that everything in the world has a song,” Taylor said. “If you study it long enough, you can find a song in not only every tree, every branch, but every car and every person and every fish and every cupcake, et cetera. So I think that really the job of a songwriter is to just find the song in things.”
Growing up as the son of two legendary musicians, it would seem natural for Taylor to follow in his parents’ footsteps. But Taylor said he didn’t know he wanted to pursue a career in music until he was in his mid-20s, a decision his parents supported.
Though he has tried to distance himself from his parents at times, Taylor said the more he embraces his musical heritage the happier he is.
“I feel like it’s a very favorable comparison,” he said of being likened to his parents. “I’m flattered.”
Yet Taylor has established a successful career of his own, one he said hopes will improve even more as he grows as a singer and songwriter. Now that career brings him to SOPAC, where he said people should go for an “extraordinarily entertaining” night of music.
“I’m a good storyteller,” he said. “We’ve got some phenomenal musicians… And we’ve got an album called ‘Listening’ too, so we’re going to do a little listening symposium if you’ll simply volunteer your ears.”
Tickets cost $25 for the general public and $20 for SOPAC members. They can be purchased by calling 973-313-2787 or going to http://www.sopacnow.org/544/ben-taylor. For more information on Ben Taylor visit http://www.bentaylormusic.com/.
The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.