As the saying goes, ‘Patience is a virtue’, and it’s one that British musician, songwriter and emergent pop star Lawrence Taylor holds true. Three years after first achieving critical and popular acclaim – and having spent much of the intervening period redefining not just his music but his entire approach to making it – he returns today with the redemptive new track and flawless live video ‘Poor Boy’, via his new home of Glassnote Records.
Showcasing his smooth performance skills and sultry vocals it nods towards the likes of Rag’n’Bone Man and Sam Smith but captures his own irresistible flair, its uplifting musical hooks belying the foreboding lyrical questions of loyalty as he doubts “Would you still love me if I was a poor boy?” It’s something that’s deeply personal to the singer’s journey so far.
It was in 2016 that Lawrence Taylor released his breakout debut EP Bang Bang. At its height the EP clocked up around a quarter of a million streams a day and led to an explosion in fans and tastemaker approval.
The title-track was made Q Magazine’s Track of the Day, earned spots on numerous Spotify playlists and engaged listeners from the UK, Europe and North America. The following track ‘Chains’ secured his first Radio 1 play with Annie Mac and was tailed by the EP’s closing number ‘Robyn’ which was premiered globally by Zane Lowe on Beats1 Radio and saw him featured as BBC Radio 1’s Introducing Act of the Week.
Further support came from the likes of Clash, Wonderland, Pandora and Radio X, and with his keen sense of style and undeniable good looks, high-end fashion brands came knocking including a partnership with Tom Ford. However, despite the acclaim and commercial success a series of unexpected music industry setbacks proved a complication on the path to a mainstream breakthrough.
Having moved to London and developed his own sound via a gruelling round-the-clock grind of playing open mics at night and working supermarket shifts all day, he had finally tasted success and ended up playing shows across the UK and USA, but by the end of 2017 he had been forced to fire his management when he ended up broke and alone in a rundown LA hotel.
“I thought I finally had my break, then everything came to a halt and seemed like it was starting to fall apart,” he explains. “I lost trust in the music business and the people who helped me open the doors that are so crucial at the start of an artist’s career. This eventually bled into my personal life as I felt like I was rolling down the side of a mountain, after once standing so high on top of it.
“I started to question if they would really have my back when I needed them most. It’s true that nobody wants you when you’re down and out, but I did find hope in the few people who do, and always will have my back, and for that I’m forever grateful.”
Sparked by this revelation Lawrence wanted to avoid the temptation of just repeating his previous musical output in a quest for renewed success. As the tangents, twists and hardship of life and a fickle music industry threw up obstacles, he became ever-more determined to ensure his music remained honest and from the heart. This led to exploring ideas and sounds, both alone and in collaboration with producers. ‘Poor Boy’ is the result and is the first track from a brand new EP, out later this spring.
Grappling with fresh ideas and ways of working, the new music is bold and beautiful and showcases Lawrence Taylor at his rawest. “I write pop songs, but I want to break the current formula. I want to get behind the system and find my space”, he says.
Stepping away from the traditional singer songwriter traits, Lawrence’s charismatic live shows come with a full live band experience, something which has derived from his rock roots, where he learnt to command crowds while playing in various hard rock bands throughout his early teens back home in Birmingham.
And with both a brand new record label and management team to help navigate the treacherous waters of the music industry, that three year gap between his debut EP and its astounding follow-up proved to be an enriching and formative experience.
As that other saying goes, ‘The best things come to those who wait’ and now Lawrence,
with his desirable, rebellious charisma and stylish charm, is set to once more be stealing hearts across the UK and beyond, positioning himself at the forefront of the next class of contemporary, forward-thinking pop stars to grace your senses.
To find out more on Lawrence Taylor, follow him online on Spotify, YouTube, Facebook,Twitter, Instagram.