Senior pursues pile of passions

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Senior pursues pile of passions

The Southerner

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By Lauren Scott

Senior James Taylor ‘the third’ is adamant about a few things: one, not being mistaken for the other James Taylor. Two: having a single room in his home inhabiting nothing more than a Steinway; and three, that the roman numerals at the tail end of his name not be forgotten.

Taylor is the third of three ‘James Taylors’ in the family, and is too well acquainted with being compared to the ‘Carolina in my Mind’ singer.

“If I had a half of a penny for every time someone referenced me to “the” James Taylor, I’d be a millionaire,” Taylor said. “The jokes were funny when I was a youngster, but they get old after a while.”

Taylor and the singer do have two major thing in common: a devout passion for music as an art and an uncanny ability to create it.

The singer-songwriter, who picked up the piano at age seven, says music has been passed down in his family for generations. His father’s side, he says, began what transcends a long line of “musicality.”

“My family is… musical,” Taylor said. “They tell me that my great- grandfather loved music, wrote songs. He didn’t want it to stop with him. He prayed to that he would have musical children and grand children… I’d say his wish was granted.”

His grandfathers both played piano and composed songs. They had an innate knowledge and aptitude for music. Taylor feels he inherited a little bit of that talent.

“He’s very talented,” said Amber Eldridge, a close friend of Taylor’s. “I have never met anyone with such a natural talent for music.”

A ‘frequent churchgoer’ in raised in a ‘religious household’, Taylor contributes Gospel music to laying the framework for his musical abilities and interest.

“That’s my bread and butter,” Taylor said. “It’s the style of music I’ve grown up under.”

“I believe that the little talent that I do have is God given. I find myself having to return that back to Him in some way—that’s expressed through, I suppose Gospel music and just being inspired to try to enhance that.”

He said he appreciates the genre’s ability to create so many ‘styles within the style’ and also its ability to reach the hearts and souls of people of different ages and walks of life.

Aside from music, Taylor has several other passions that he would like to pursue. He often relates music terms to biology analogies, which reflects his interest in the science. He has also considered careers in the medical field, meteorology (his father’s suggestion), and most recently criminal justice, because he is “frequently intrigued” by lawyers.

Despite having a plethora of interests, at the end of the day, he says, music is still his ideal nine to five.

“Music is a great portion of my life,” Taylor said. “So, it’s definitely in my plans to continue my pursuit of [it] as a professional career. However, I want to pursue [other interests] as well. In essence, if music was my 9-5, I’d be good with that.”

In addition to being known as the ‘music man’ of the senior class, another facet of Taylor’s personality makes him just as noteworthy: his wisdom.

“James is wise beyond his years,” Eldridge said. “He’s my go-to for advice. I can talk to him about anything.”
He also prides himself on his ability to give relationship advice to his friends.

“It’s funny,” close friend Senior Kenny Cochran said. “James is always giving our friends advice about girls! He’s never the one calling me about that kind of stuff.”

Senior Alex Cantrell, another close friend, agrees.

“It’s effortless for him,” Cantrell said. “He always knows exactly what to say at exactly the right time.”

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