Raised on the smooth sounds of reggae and R&B in South Florida, Christina Taylor did not get into country music until her late teens. Her family relocated to North Carolina when she was 8, where influences from Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and Miranda Lambert began to slip through her subconscious.
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“I always loved to write and sing everything, and then I came across a guy named Eric Church and he blew my mind,” Taylor tells American Songwriter over the phone.
After convincing her parents to let her continue high school online, a 16-year-old Taylor had recorded her first songs, with sights set on Music City. By 18, she was making the six hour trip to Nashville twice a month, crashing on couches and absorbing everything the creative community had to offer. At 21, she made it official, officially becoming a full-time Tennessee resident.
Her determination surmounted in her debut EP, That Girl in 2017. On Friday, July 2, Taylor will share a more sophisticated side of that girl, with the same grit, and a few extra years of experience under her belt. Premiering today (July 1) exclusively on American Songwriter is Taylor’s new single, “I Got That From You.”
“‘I Got That From You’ is about how we become who we are as people, through family, genetics, but also life experiences — relationships, specifically heartbreak really shape us,” she says.
To write this song, the emerging artist got in the room with two songwriters she looks up to. Co-written with Lynn Hutton(Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Riley Green) and Kelley Lovelace(Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Joe Nichols), and produced by Ben Phillips, the song is Taylor’s first release in over a year.
She released Christina’s Covers Vol. 1 EP, which featured her version of hits from Post Malone to Jason Aldean and the successful duet “As Good As You Look (feat. Brett Kissel)” — another Lovelace collaboration. Following the EP, Taylor planned to take a year off to hone in on her writing. So when the pandemic swept in mid-March 2020, not much changed for the artist.
“I was very confident when I first got to town because I hadn’t necessarily been told ‘no’ yet. So I was writing, having a good time. Reality hasn’t set in,” says Taylor. “But before the pandemic, I started getting no’s, and it gave me pause.”
Grinding throughout the year, 2020, Taylor says, is when she gained the confidence and self-assuredness she needed to bring her artist forward into the next chapter. Taking her time, Taylor did her due diligence in detailing a plan for the delivery of her new work.
“I Got That From You” is the first glimmer of Taylor’s bolder artistry. By allowing herself space to grow through collaboration and introspection, the artist reemerges as a mature version of the talented girl who arrived in Nashville a few years back.
“As an artist, you’re constantly evolving,” says Taylor. “We’re human beings, too. We change all of the time. I was looking for the wiser version of myself. I was 23 when I released my last song, and now I’m returning as my 25-year old self. There’s a big difference between the two. I’m still young, but I wanted to show that maturity with a song that has substance, but is still a roll-the-windows-down jam.”
Take an exclusive first listen to Christina Taylor’s “I Got That From You,” below. Pre-save her new track before July 2, here.