Artist of the Week: Kel
The drive, hard work and passion have brought Kel Taylor and Emma Harvey to their niche in music.
Two songwriters with like-minded interest are taking Nashville, Tenn.’s music scene by storm and are ready for more.
How did you form? How did you get your start in music?
Taylor: “Emma and I were both in the same Towering Traditions group, and it’s funny because we went through the whole experience without really talking to each other. Eventually we played our first Curb Café show, which was an interesting experience. We eventually ended up recording together and released a series of promo videos, which evolved into playing even more shows together.”
Harvey: “I would say that I hitched my wagon to Kel just because she had all of these songs written for her EP, “Nightfall,” and I just kind of added my own instrumentation to her music and slowly began writing songs with her.”
Where do you draw your influences?
Taylor: “Nickel Creek’s musicality blows me away. They’re just so smart in the way they craft their songs. I don’t think style-wise I would relate to them, but how smart they are with their music is something I want to emulate.”
“Style-wise though, now that Emma and I have begun writing together we want to shoot for something similar to The Oh Hellos. At the end of the day, though, we like to joke that we’re like almost 10 different genres.”
What has been your biggest accomplishment as a group so far?
Harvey: “We’re really proud of the videos we put together promoting Kel. We did five videos in two days. We would start in the morning and not finish until around 5 p.m., all while not having anything to eat in between. It was a grind.”
Taylor: “I had recorded a full-length in high school, but I really feel that this new EP allowed me to explore my creativity as a songwriter.”
“The new EP was also recorded at the house songwriter singer/songwriter, Jon McLaughlin, which I believe had a huge impact on spurning our creativity and how the record turned out. What was great though, was we didn’t have a producer, so we had free range on how we wanted the EP to sound.”
How have your experiences at Belmont driven your music?
Harvey: “I remember coming to Belmont freshman year and seeing how driven everyone one was and how hard they practiced. It challenged me to rise up to that level, so I would get up early in the mornings and practice and focus on writing songs.”
Taylor: “Yeah I agree, coming to Belmont you see how much work and dedication it takes, and you have to rise to the occasion. I love this so much that I have to sacrifice some of the fun and I know that if I want to make it, I have to stop doing this in part for myself and start doing it for others, and that really drives me.”
Do you have any big plans for the future?
Taylor: “Well, to be honest, we’ve been almost exclusively preparing for this show at Exit/In on Nov. 17, so we haven’t had much else to focus on. Right now, though, we are in the process of changing our whole lineup to where Emma and I are both co-writers and singers for the music. We’re also opening for Jon McLaughlin in December, and we’re really looking forward to that. We also want do some touring in the future if it’s possible.”
Be sure to keep up with Kel on social media, and to see them live on Dec. 4 with Jon McLaughlin at Exit/In.
PHOTOS: Hadley Sintic