It’s not wholly inaccurate to suggest that the UK is yet to produce contenders that can match the might of North America’s neo-soul stars. To date, the likes of D’Angelo have been relatively unchallenged from their UK counterparts.
Enter Aaron Taylor.
It would be easy to mistakenly think he has originated from some “Hopeville” in an East Coast state. That’s not to say the sound is contrived or mimicking in nature - there’s an authenticity that suggests Taylor possesses an old soul. Perhaps Taylor was somehow lost in transit.
Whatever it may be, Taylor is on to something. The self-penned and self-produced songs are familiar but don’t venture too far over pop music’s threshold. The funk tinged sound is underpinned by his gospel roots, ultimately producing a soul sound that stops neatly before Zone Pastiche.
Taylor’s describes his musical knowledge as a result of the classroom and the church. “Growing up at home I was fully immersed into gospel music; that’s all my mother played. At around seven years I began classical guitar lessons and that’s around the same time I began to develop my ability to play by ear. It was around 10 years old that I began the piano.” Formal education followed throughout school and university, while Taylor simultaneously honed his songwriting abilities at home.
2016 was good to Aaron Taylor. Songs from his debut EP, Still Life, paved way to syncs with global ads for both Apple and Victoria’s Secret. Co-signs came in from Annie Mac and Mistajam (BBC Radio 1) and the blogs soon followed with write-ups praising the new sound. His second EP, Better Days, further showcased the breadth of his potential and writing, touching on more social and political issues that time around.