Taylor Anderson

Name: Taylor Anderson

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Age: 28

Title: Musician at St. Nick & The Sounds, VP of RenewPHX, Music Director at Grace Community Church

Married/Single: Married to Libby Anderson for 1.5 years

Kids: None

City you live in: Tempe, AZ

A typical day in my life includes…

writing and recording music in my office, programming music for either a gig, Sunday morning service, or a new St. Nick & The Sounds track. Scattered throughout my day are meetings, some admin work (which I probably failed to try and get someone else to do), and lots of listening to music. At the end of the workday, I’ll go home for dinner and depending on the night, head off to a night meeting, a gig, or just binge watch Netflix with Libby. We are huge fans of The Office. I’ve seen it at least 8 times all the way through.

I was born…

in Portland, OR. In many ways it is the opposite of Phoenix: lush and green, but usually wet and grey skies. Although I do miss my family at home, Phoenix is where my heart is.

My favorite thing about Arizona is…

the community of people I do life with. Phoenix has really become my home, even though I am not from here, it’s been almost 10 years since I first moved to the valley. I made most of my closest friends my freshman year at ASU. We’ve watched each other go through many milestones like career changes, marriages and soon, raising families. Life in community is awesome!

I’m listening to…

Lucifer’s Eyes by TOLD and Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean the last few days. They’ve been on repeat. I often listen to a song and try to understand what elements make each song really pop. I love the steel drums in Lucifer’s Eyes and the Yamaha CS80 synth used in Caribbean Queen. One of my favorite bands, Vulfpeck, released their album The Beautiful Game last year and it has been a go to of mine lately. They are so funky and fresh in everything they do.

My family…

lives in rural Oregon. Both my wife and I grew up in the country and we love getting into open country and forest, hiking up to waterfalls or lookouts when we visit the great Pacific Northwest.

If I could have dinner with anyone it would be…

definitely Brian Wilson. I am a huge Beach Boys fan. My wife and I went to see him perform the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds last year at the Celebrity Theater, and it was an incredible experience. Even though he is aging in his career, you can still see and hear the sparkle of creativity in Wilson’s elegant expression. I dream of making an impact on music the way he has.

One thing I cannot live without…

my lil’ wife. I’d be alone and no one would get any of my lame jokes.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a singer. Dreams really do come true! I envisioned myself singing before massive crowds of people, performing and entertaining all over the world. I started taking lessons when I was 8. I remember singing soprano arias by Bach as a boy tenor and I loved it! I never practiced as much as I should have, but I ate slept and breathed music. I had gnarly ADHD growing up and the only things I could pay attention to was listening to preaching on a Sunday morning (ironically) and listening to music. In junior high, I would put on my big ass headphones and Walkman and drown out everything else. I sang all through high school in choirs and musicals, festivals and singing competitions, and when I graduated I went to ASU to study opera. Unfortunately, the ADHD kicked in and I lost my scholarship, so I dropped out and started a band. The band didn’t work out, but we moved our efforts to starting RenewPHX, a worship gathering in central Phoenix. I ended up going back to school and finishing my degree in music at GCU in 2014. Ever since, I have been playing gigs, writing music, and leading worship at various churches around the valley.

I’m inspired by…

people who search for truth and beauty in a way that really reflects excellence. So many talented artists and musicians, teachers and preachers exist. There’s so much in the world to be learned and understood. Erwin McManus in his book, The Artisan Soul poses this question: “Who is an artist? Anyone who has a soul”. From scientists and mathematicians to painters and actors, we are all born with the gift of creativity. The most extraordinary piece of work is our own life. That is a beautiful thing. Being a follower of Jesus, I naturally love the story of a Creator so in love with his creation that he himself comes to earth to save it, but I also think it’s not just church people who hear and feel the passionate heart of God. I think there are plenty of people that wouldn’t call themselves “church people” who capture the beautiful essence of true love. A lot of times, I think they paint a clearer picture of grace than christians do. I am inspired by what is beautiful, excellent, and good.

The one person who motivates me is…

honestly, God. Disclaimer: I’m not one to push religion on people, I think it’s tacky and inauthentic. Open and vulnerable conversation about what each other believes and finding mutual understanding, is so much more important. That being said, I really admire Jesus. I love the stories in the Bible where he partners with people even though a lot of the time they’re just as screwed up or confused as I am. Their stories evolve, they begin to find their identity through relationship with Jesus. I love stories of people being given a second chance and the opportunity to grow and become truly who they were made to be. I get really excited encouraging and empowering people towards their destiny. There’s just something so brilliant about seeing how God made others. When I see the world through his eyes, I love more, which leads me to creating more too.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

making cargo shorts illegal. No one actually uses that much storage in a pair of shorts.

The perfect day would be…

spent in Disneyland, open to close. My wife and I did our honeymoon there and it was literally (insert Chris Traeger) the most magical week of my life.

My first job…

was as a janitor at Rainbow’s End Preschool when I was 12. It sound’s like there should be gold or leprechauns somewhere in there, but it was more like cleaning up little turds…

My favorite escape…

is either on a beach somewhere in the sand, watching live music, or the creek by my parent’s house. There’s something really soothing about running water.

My life…

has a lot of The Office jokes scattered throughout it.

I’m currently working on…

fine tuning my songwriting and producing skills.

Always

make time for yourself. Keeping your sanity is important to being sane.

Never

give up on the things that make you passionate about being alive.

Favorite quote…

is currently “Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever.” – Brian Wilson

Biggest dream…

is to write, tour and play music on an international level while serving as a resource for creatives to find self-love and identity. I’ve always loved music and helping people run after their dreams. It’s easy to get caught up in all the fame and popularity of the entertainment industry and I want to create a safe place where celebrities or whoever feel safe to be themselves and not used for their gifts and talents.

Pet peeve…

is ignorant political posts on Facebook. Unfortunately, no one’s ever changed their political view based on my awesome POTUS memes. Also, chewing with your mouth open.

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