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“Something else I would recommend for young girls pursuing a life in music is to go for it. Don’t hold back and don’t have regrets.”: My Conversation With Chloe and Taylor Turner

My wife and I have two young kids and we think they’re the best. But I have to say, Kat Turner’s daughters Chloe and Taylor are pretty awesome.

If only I had been this mature, insightful, articulate, and motivated at their age…

Enjoy.

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Where do you live now? Aren’t you living in a town that’s perfect for aspiring artists?

Taylor: We just moved to Nashville about two weeks ago! Last summer we begged our mom to take us down to Nashville for a week, and while we were there we played a few open-mics and looked at a couple of colleges. I’d visited other colleges, but the minute I walked onto campus at Belmont University, I knew that’s where I wanted to be. Later in the year we kind of came to this fork in the road. I was headed down to Nashville, but Chloe had two more years of high school. We had several family talks about what the next move was since Chloe and I performed our music together. If we lived so far away for two years, there was no way we’d survive as a duo. She ultimately made the decision to come down to Nashville with me, and we are so fortunate to have a supportive mom who has made this possible for us.

We adore Nashville and are excited for all of the opportunities to play in front of crowds who are in love with country music like we are.

Chloe: Nashville is the perfect place for us right now. There are always things going on and there are always people to meet. Networking is crucial in a town like this one. Meeting people who are in the business is important, and you can learn from people who have a lot of talent, or find someone with whom you want to write music.

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: When did you two start performing, and what inspires you?

Taylor: Two years ago, Chloe started posting covers on YouTube. At one point I suggested that she write her own songs because everybody and their brother sang covers on YouTube. She made a few attempts at it, but came back to me saying it just wasn’t working out well. I wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I asked her to teach me a few chords on the guitar. Shortly after, I wrote my first song, “Glass Slipper.” I showed it to her, and I think she said something along the lines of, “that’s cute.” So I taught her the song, we got out our little digital camera, and made our first post to YouTube as a duo.

One of our mom’s co-workers Patrick held an open-mic session at a place called Parkway Grille. He asked her to come and check it out, and she jokingly said, “Can my girls play?” and he goes, “Oh, sure! Of course!” And that’s how we landed our first public performance. That was around April of 2010.

From that point on, I started writing songs like a mad man. I’ve always been a ‘writer’ but my earlier works were in the story/novel/newspaper categories. Songwriting clicked like no other form of writing had before. It allowed me to tell a story, be poetic, but not make it 500 pages long. Which, in some ways, can be more difficult because you have to mash every feeling, moment, emotion, into a very short time frame.

But nothing is fun without a challenge.

I get inspired by a million little things. Sometimes I write from personal experience, sometimes about the experiences of people around me. Then there are times when I’ll get caught up in somebody else’s moment and it makes an impression on me. If I’m writing about someone else’s experience, I have to relate it back to myself in some way so it’s real because at the end of the day, we’re the ones performing it. And if we’re not feeling it, nobody else will.

Performance-wise, we played around Minneapolis and St. Paul at places like the Wild Tymes and Acadia. We also performed at the Variety Show and Chloe’s choir concert at our high school. Chloe’s school schedule made it a little difficult for us to sit down and practice or play around the city. Most nights she would be up pretty late studying and doing homework. She was also a part of the Varsity Competitive Cheerleading team, which took up a lot of her time.

We are ecstatic that summer is here, to say the least. Once we get completely settled into our new home, we’ll have time to just soak in our creative juices and play, play, play.

Choe: My mom always had music playing when we were growing up, and Taylor and I have been singing together basically our whole lives. I’ve been in choir ever since a choir was available for me to be in. Even when all my classmates hated choir, I always loved and had a passion for singing. I love the feeling of being able to hit a note that I couldn’t hit two days prior and just hearing how far I’ve progressed through the years. Just about anything can inspire me. Since I don’t do much writing, I find my inspiration in other music—the strum patterns, the vocal techniques, the harmonies…

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: What advice do you have for young girls who are interested in pursuing a life in music?

Taylor: Love it. It can’t just be an, “Oh, I enjoy playing music.”  You have to really LOVE IT if you’re considering pursuing a life in music because it literally has to be your life. You can’t do it because you think you’re going to become famous and make a bunch of money; that just isn’t realistic. I remember my mom asking me, “If you could only live the way we are living now, and you didn’t make a dime more, would you still choose music?” Those are the kinds of questions you have to ask yourself.

Pursuing music involves a lot of playing in bars and cafes, practicing, and networking. You start from scratch and build up from there. Use social networking to your advantage (facebook, twitter, blogging, etc.) because the more people who know about you, the better. YouTube is a great outlet to let followers put a face to the music. You have to be very pro-active and get out of your comfort zone. Play open-mics, look up events for singers/songwriters/performers (whatever your niche may be) and take hold of every opportunity. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a bad opportunity.

When it comes to performing, don’t worry about being nervous. We have both been performers for the majority of our lives (gymnastics, theater, orchestra, choir) so we’re used to being in front of a crowd. What I’ve noticed is when I don’t have at least a little bit of nerves, I don’t care about what I’m doing. Being nervous simply means that you care and want to do your best.

Also, engage your audience. Don’t be afraid to look your audience in the eye. Closing your eyes or staring off into space (or at your microphone) makes it impossible for you to connect with your audience or for them to connect with you. And have fun with it! Dance a little, move around the stage. Give it your all because you can’t go back and re-do it. There’s no worse feeling than getting off the stage and thinking that you could have given a better performance.

Chloe: I agree with what Taylor said.  A couple of days ago, a friend of mine (who is also an aspiring musician) asked me, “So is everyone down there trying to get famous?!” I get the feeling that many people think it’s the only reason I want to pursue music. Frankly, the chances of that happening are very slim. Being able to play music for the rest of my life and make a living off it is my ultimate goal. But trust me, if success comes our way, of course I wouldn’t push it away (: People who plan on having a career as a musician can’t bank on the idea that they’re going to make it big.

Something else I would recommend for young girls pursuing a life in music is to go for it. Don’t hold back and don’t have regrets. I made the decision to move 15 hours away from my friends and start a whole new chapter of my life. 20 or 30 years from now, I don’t want to look back on my life and say, “what if..?” or “I wish I would have..?” I’m trying to get through life with the least amount of regrets.

Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Thanks, Chloe and Taylor.  And for you, dear reader, you can find Chloe and Taylor at:
chloeandtaylorturner.com
twitter.com/ChloeandTaylorT.

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