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You may not know who Aaron Taylor is but you have probably heard his song "Lesson Learnt" in the new ad for the Apple Watch that released this year. Up until today, the London singer has remained anonymous, delivering multi-layered, funk-driven R&B without ever putting a face to the name. Now, after the release of his latest EP Better Days, Taylor is here to share a little of his identity with us as he told us about the project and what else he has in store for us in 2017.
What's your story? How'd you get started?
I've been making music since I was quite young. I just practiced and practiced, I tried to produce for other people and it didn't really take off. I learned a lot from the church and it became apparent that I had developed a sound. I released the first EP Still Life in January and everything snowballed from there.
Who were your influences growing up?
Definitely the church. I listened to a lot of Kirk Franklin, and then obviously neo-soul people. D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Musiq Soulchild.
How did "Lesson Learnt" end up in an Apple TV ad?
They actually just randomly hit me up. I just got an email one day asking me if I owned the track, probably an advertising guy from Apple. They told me they wanted to use it for a commercial and that was it. There was no pitch or anything, it was just the right timing. I didn't have management or anything at the time, all I did was upload the song on SoundCloud. No team, nothing. Maybe one blog had written about the song.
What would you say is the difference between your EPs Still Life and Better Days?
Still Life was made in a short period of time, it was just the feelings I was having during the end of last year into the beginning of this year. I didn't have any expectations. I love making music so I was always writing and with the stats going up on the first EP I felt it was the proper time to release another. Everything felt better for me, so that was the concept behind the new project.
What're your plans for 2017?
Just more music. At the moment, I want to get another EP out sometime next year. It's kind of hard to plan it but music will always be the focus.
Who are some of artists today that inspire you?
I'm listening to a lot of artists from Chicago. I am enjoying Noname, Eryn Allen Kane. I'm also checking out Anderson Paak.
What's your ultimate goal with music?
The goal is always to make music that will change people's lives. Being the soundtrack to their lives. I guess I just want the music to live longer than me. Something for people to feel and enjoy. Music that can be played and shared anywhere.
When was the moment where you felt that you could do this for a living?
[Laughs] I still don't think I can. I'm still trying to do the best I can and make music the best I can. I don't know if I've gotten to that point.