Taylor Topham, a Burnham On Sea musician, is one of Britain’s hottest local prospects for a high-flying music career – and King Alfred School’s Samara Siviter catches up with him in this interview.
Having only switched to a full-time music career two years ago, he has released a debut EP, played several gigs and has a rapidly growing fan base.
2020 was truly a year like no other. No matter who we are, or where we are, we had to adapt to so many changes, in such a short space of time.
Being separated from our family, friends, teachers, being asked to stay at home, being told that playing to a live audience wouldn’t be possible, these are just some of the countless challenges that we as a society have faced in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Amid these times, I have interviewed Burnham musician Taylor Topham to discuss his music career, his release of his five track debut EP “Learn How To Love” and his views on mental health.
Firstly, I opened the interview by asking where his passion for music had come from and why he decided to become a full time musician.
He says: “I’ve been passionate about music for all my life really, ever since I was about nine or ten years old, but didn’t make the decision to pursue music as a full-time career until two years ago, after I quit my full time job overseas.”
“I would say that over the past decade, I’ve experienced an array of moments, like seeing others busking in the streets, that made me decide that this is the career that I was meant to pursue.”
“As a musician, I enjoy the freedom of expression the most and the emotional outlet, where I can shut all my emotions away and write music from it.”
I followed this up by asking whether he would ever consider joining a band and globally tour if his music gained more attention.
“Yeah, I would consider joining in a band,” he responds. “Being an independent musician can be quite lonely sometimes, to be honest with you.”
“If I ever did, it would be a three or maybe four piece with instruments, under the name ‘Taylor T’.
“I definitely would undertake a global tour, I’d make sure I’d have a good Tour Manager and a solid band though.”
After discussing his music career, I then switched to focus on mental health by asking about his own experiences and ways he has overcome his mental struggles.
He says: “Yes, I have experienced several episodes – I find that most of these are due to my inability to adapt to change, I’m really bad at adapting to change you see and my struggle to integrate with societal norms.”
“I have been to see a GP and have been prescribed medication in the past to improve my coping capabilities.”
“Luckily, I’ve had a really supportive family around me and have found coping mechanisms, such as positive reflection work and exercise, and reaching out, which I have found really benefit me.”
Afterwards, I asked about Taylor’s views on the stigma surrounding men and mental health.
He said: “I don’t think it’s a stigma as such, I think it’s more of a masculinity crisis to be honest with you. For me masculinity is about being open and honest about how you’re feeling, emotionally and mentally.”
“I think the problem is that men are attached to the idea of being emotionally and mentally strong, and that they don’t want to show how they’re feeling.”
Finally, I asked about his new EP ‘Learn How To Love’, and the influences that came behind the album.
He says: “Learn How To Love was in fact written four years ago, a friend of mine gave me a sheet of music for the melody, and I just didn’t do anything further with it.”
“The album talks about life and relationships, with one song ‘Home not Hollow’ being influenced by returning home from travelling.”