Artist Spotlight – Taylor Torrence
Intention, motivation, objective, purpose, plan are key words to be successful…
… some people wander aimlessly while others are laser focus but when it comes to local DJ/producer Taylor Torrence, he has chosen his mark and his direction has been moving toward that goal since. Are these traits a prerequisite for success, so far, we are seeing Taylor’s star rising quickly as he has gone from a local talent to headlining. I believe he is on the right path but after speaking with him and understanding his focus even more, nothing will get in his way.
First all thank you for sitting with me today. It is a busy night for you as you are on open and closing duties for Exchange LA. How does it feel to play in one of the best clubs on earth? Do you still get nervous playing?
Thank you, so I was thinking about that today as I was making some edits to the set and I just took a moment and I sat with the feeling that okay, like Exchange LA is one of the best clubs in the world… [if you are] into electronic music you’ve heard of Exchange LA. I have played here before, but I still get nervous because it’s an important [gig]. It’s always going to make me nervous; I think and I’m glad that it makes me nervous. I was telling my wife on the way here. I’m nervous right now. And I’m glad about that because whenever I have an opportunity like this, I think maybe this will be the last time, and that way I’d never take it for granted. Because who knows when this opportunity might arise again, this might be the last time I play. So, I go in playing like it might be the last time, that way I fully enjoy and fully cherish the moment.
You were starting to make some headway pre-pandemic. In your opinion, how did the pandemic affect your career? And how has post-pandemic been on your career?
That’s a really interesting question because I got my first ASOT spin in March or February of 2020. So, I’m like a month before the pandemic really hit. And I was so excited when I got that spin and then that track was one of the future favorites on the show and then literally like three weeks later, the pandemic. It was crazy. I definitely was very disappointed. I was like, are you kidding me? Like, I just got this going, I finally started getting some momentum. But my approach was I didn’t want to slow down. I wanted to take this momentum and just do what I can.
So, 2020 actually was a very big year for me. I’ve put out a lot of music. I got a couple more ASOT spins, I got some great support, and you know my music did well that year. So that year, two of my tracks were on Armin‘s year end mix. So, despite the fact that I was putting out a lot of music and not playing any shows, it was a good year for me.
Danielle: Yeah, I think that was the way to go for any artist in 2020.
TT: Yup, if you didn’t put out music in 2020, what were you doing?
Talk about music, do you have any new music coming out that fans can be on the lookout for? Any big collabs in the works that we can know about?
So yes, I’ve got one coming this year, it’s called Turbulence and it’ll come out in the Fall around Dreamstate. I think it’s one of my favorite tracks that I’ve made. I’m exploring a little bit of a different direction with that track and that’s going to be leading up to a very, very large project early next year that can’t say too much more about.
The past year you have become a resident for Dreamstate. Describe to us what it feels like for you to be a part of the Dreamstate residents? Dreamstate is arguably one of the biggest trance brands out there, what other brands do you want to be a part of?
So first, I just want to say Dreamstate is one of the world’s pre-eminent trance brands. What they do, especially at the flagship event is just amazing, it’s one of those things that once you go, you know that there is nothing else quite like Dreamstate. It’s a tremendous honor to even have the opportunity to work with the team and play shows that are branded with Dreamstate.
As far as other brands, I’d love to have a release on Anjuabeats. I always loved what they’re doing. As well as Armada and one day have a release on Arminda. I think those are brands that as trance fans, we all look up to. But I really feel that Dreamstate, since it started in 2015, It’s becoming one of the leading trance brands amongst all the legacy brands out there.
You have made it well known of your journey and leaving NYC in 2017 to pursue music full time. What has been your biggest learning for taking that plunge? What advice would you give others? If you could go back, would you do anything different? Why or why not?
I used to be a lawyer in New York City, and I gave that up to pursue music more fully. I teach music production, I play shows, and I produce. I have a job; it’s still teaching other people how to produce music. And the biggest thing for me that was a challenge or that was unexpected, was going from a life where my day was very structured. From going to a very structured life to a life where I wake up in the morning and I don’t have to answer to anybody. It comes down to me, my time and structure my day because there’s no one that I’m answering to and so that can either be a great thing or it can lead to days where I don’t really do anything. And those first couple of months after I quit my job, I had a lot of days where I felt like I didn’t really maximize it because I wasn’t used to the responsibility that it takes to not have a schedule. And now I’ve been very [strict] about managing my time to [ensure] I’m staying productive with a schedule for myself…So, if I had to do anything differently, I wish I would have learned that lesson sooner. I could have even been more productive that first year because I spent a lot of days just messing around on the internet and playing video games and it’s like, oh my God, I should be producing music. Thankfully, that is in the past.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing the same plunge?
So, in addition to what I just said the other thing is, I feel that it’s important to really have confidence in your product and your production skills, in your marketing, make sure that this is something that you realistically can do, and try to diversify your income. Streaming, teaching, mixing and mastering on the side, those kind of creative income streams are important. But also, don’t do it too early. Like you want to make sure that you really thought this through, [You want to think] Is this something that I’m ready for? Because I think for a lot of us producers when you’re first starting, you don’t know what you don’t know. So, you should continue to develop until you’re at a point where you really truly have confidence in what you’re doing.
You consider yourself an electronic music producer. You do not specify a genre. Is that on purpose? How would you classify the music you make? What are your thoughts when it comes to genres?
I’ve always been a trance fan. It’s always been what I know, my first love, and I would describe my music as trance music. But the reason why I try not to use a [single] genre…it’s because I don’t want to create a situation where I necessarily feel like I’m pigeonholing myself. If I have other Inspirations, I want to feel the freedom to be able to do that. Like, I really enjoy what people are doing with the blending between trance and techno right now. And if I want to make a couple techno records that still has a trance influence, I feel like I should have the freedom to do that. If I branded myself as exclusively a trance artist, I don’t want to confuse people by saying that in doing something else, so if I keep the genre open-ended, I have the freedom to do whatever I feel inspired to
Do you feel other artists have hindered their careers by this?
I think a lot of people unfortunately have pigeon-holed themselves and stifles them, but also, I feel sometimes a fan base can also stifle the creativity. So, if you can keep it open and creative, I think as a trance fan we have hope for the future because we cannot expand and cannot bring in a younger audience, we’re in trouble. We must be flexible and at the end of the day I’m an electronic music fan more than anything else, right? I love, I love house music. I grew up listening to a lot of Deadmau5, so it’s not just trance, and I can appreciate a lot of different stuff. And I feel like I want to have the freedom to be able to explore that if I want to.
Finally, if you could only live by one motto, what would it be and why?
Okay, this is a good one. I have a favorite quote that I remind myself of all the time. It’s how you do anything is how you do everything. So how I interpret that is everything you do in life you need to bring the same energy with intention to the small tasks, like the dishes or your laundry, and that’s going to carry forward to the other tasks that you do in your life. So, I try to go through every day with some level of intentionality and excellence. Because again, how you do anything is how you do everything. So, I live by that motto.
Danielle: I absolutely love it! Live your life with that intent. Thank you so much. It has been a pleasure getting to know you over the last couple years as well as tonight. Thank you