Taylor Kelly
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Taylor Kelly

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band R&B Jazz





Kelly holds immense power with her voice – both delicate and mighty with each word sung. Her cadence and style stir listeners and provides them with comfort and warmth, something ever-present on “Maybe.” The track’s beginning is a calming one with syncopated beats that lead to Kelly and her signature tones. These two layers play off each other to perfection. With each passing second, the harmonies present enchant, making one hard-pressed not to be lost in the majesty displayed. This is the song’s strength, and it allows for a weightless experience where listeners float alongside the melody, Kelly acting as the guide.

Nearing the halfway point of the track sees a bit more force from Kelly herself, things starting to increase in intensity. Then it slows, building up for the finale in a lush and gorgeous manner. And then the last 30 seconds hit. It’s an onrush of instrumentation and vocal harmonies that will leave all speechless. The breathtaking end is adorned with passion and emotion, each beat a further dive into a wonderland of self-actualization where the result is always the same: it’s going to be okay.

Many tracks and stories were born out of the madness of these past few years, but Kelly stands out. “Maybe” offers a nonpareil smoothness with its soulful touches and rich textures, and when combined with the dulcet tones of Kelly, it makes for a track worthy of praise. There’s been a lot of wrong with the world recently, but Kelly brings us a reason to smile, reminding the world it’s okay to feel this way. We’re not alone. - Adrian Vargas

"Taylor Kelly: Burning Bright"

Watching ‘American Idol’ religiously during my adolescence and well into college made me believe I could hear the “it” factor Simon Cowell often spoke of. I knew Chris Daughtry would go far beyond the ‘Idol’ stage from the second they showed him in a promo. Today, I still like to think my skills in that regard are sharp because when I heard Taylor Kelly I thought, she’s got IT.

See, pop music is tricky. So many artists rely on the music that encases their vocals because well, their vocals aren’t strong enough to carry the song. That’s why artists like Adele, Mariah, and Celine are far more than pop music icons. They’re artists, and I know one day everyone will say the same about Taylor Kelly because her soulful R&B-pop sounds are next level.

Now gear up because talked about this talented singer’s trumpeter background, how she wound up in Philly, and what’s to come from her as the rest of 2020 unfolds… - Kendra Beltran

"Jazz-tinged singer-songwriter Taylor Kelly embraces messy breakups on “JWYTK”"

Philadelphia singer-songwriter Taylor Kelly has returned a stunning new single, “JWTYK,” that speaks to the pain and possibility of breakup. Kelly was highlighted by The Key in 2017 in “Items Tagged Philadelphia,” a series in which we shout out the best Bandcamp new releases that are tagged #philadelphia. Her new single is as strong (or stronger) than her previous releases and establishes Kelly as a brassy, mystical, soulful force to be reckoned with in the Philly music scene.

Kelly is originally from Rochester, NY but her sound is rooted in glamorous jazz club scene of New York City, Chicago, or Philadelphia. “JWTYK” — or “Just Want You To Know,” if you’re not into the whole brevity thing — tells the story of a relationship that has reached its end. Without shying away from the pain of a romantic ending, Kelly spins a tune that is both honest and optimistic about the process of moving from one chapter of life to another. Her voice echoes that of Eryn Allen Kane, Lianne La Havas, or the indomitable Cecile McLorin Salvant, while her songwriting is all her own.

Lyrics like “You made it so damn easy to be loving you / but I lost my head somewhere / And had to find the truth” are emblematic of Kelly’s complex story telling. This isn’t a “I’m better without you” song or a “please come back” song. It lives in the murky gray area in between conviction and regret that is far more accurate to the lived experience of leaving someone you once loved. Kelly says it best, “I’ve set you free /Just want you to know / I’m there.”

While her light, yet sure-fire vocals take center stage, Kelly is backed by bright guitar rhythms, full bodied brass, and joyful keys. If you like Taylor Kelly’s “JWTYK,” you’re in for a treat because she is set to release a full length album called Up, Up And Away in August. Until then, keep an eye on her Facebook page, see her live at Bourbon and Branch tomorrow (more info here) and listen up on as many of her soul, jazz, electro pop beats as you can find. - Izzy Lopez (WXPN)

"Up Up and Away by Taylor Kelly"

If Erykah Badu and Beyoncé had a little Neo Soul Jazz baby, you would probably end up with the lovely sounds of vocalist Taylor Kelly whos new album ‘Up Up and Away‘ brilliantly showcases Kelly’s talent. The ten track album encompasses a breadth of work that is complex, multilayered and simply beautiful. The pure emotive passion that flows so effortlessly from Kelly’s voice truly hits you at the core of your soul. A full band of talented musicians, in harmony with one another, paints the lovely backdrop that is the supportive foundation to the lyrics which in turn tell their tales with an honest depth of emotions.

Taylor Kelly is an extremely skilled vocalist and songwriter and it’s evident in every second of ‘Up Up and Away‘. The care and attention to detail just shines through. ‘Up Up and Away‘ is an exceptional album and it’s available almost everywhere so go check it out! You can watch the music video for the single ‘Taco Night’ (feat. Mic Stewart) down below. As always, if you like what you hear then let’s keep good music coming by supporting these artists. Remember to follow the artist and spread the word! Artists Links below. - The Music Below


Maybe - Single, released September 24 2021

I Am - Single, released October 11 2020

The Fire - Single, released March 6 2020

Up Up and Away - LP, released August 1 2019

Do U Feel Me - EP, released June 23 2017

Change of the Weather - EP, released March 17 2015

In The Meantime - LP, released Jul 19 2013



Born and raised in the suburbs of Rochester, NY, Taylor Kelly is now a fixture in the vibrant Philadelphia music scene further honing her introspective take on jazz, soul, and funk. She combines her smooth, powerful, technically-informed voice with a full horn section, addictive hip hop and electronic beats, and complex arrangements she writes herself with help from long-time collaborator and trombonist Mike Rilli. Both a vocalist and trumpet player, her sound is a dynamic blend of several established genres: she melds the improvisational looseness of jazz, the rhythmic earworms of funk, and the moving resonance of soul to carve out a niche all her own. Kelly names Stevie Wonder, Chet Baker, Roy Hargrove, Art Farmer, and Erykah Badu as influences, integrating strong melodic contour and intricate harmonies into lyrically personal and sonically anthemic tracks. 

 Kelly is a Berklee College of Music graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Music. Along with her band, she has released four albums and shared the stage with Moonchild, Becca Stevens, Neal Francis, Bahamadia, and Georgia Anne Muldrow. She was a finalist in the PHL LIVE Center Stage for R&B in 2018, has amassed over half a million listens for her single “California” on Spotify and has uplifted, inspired, and energized thousands of ardent concertgoers at hundreds of live shows with her unabashed authenticity and immersively freeing performance style. Previously, Taylor was the front-woman (Tayoncé) of Jay-Z/Beyonce tribute band For the Record, who had the unbelievable privilege of opening up for Salt N Pepa at Boston's ThrowBBaQ at City Hall in July 2014. Kelly has an unyielding, marrow-deep commitment to self expression through music and will continue to transfer this passion to her listeners and live audiences with her upcoming 2022 EP, ‘All I Need’. The first single, ‘Maybe’ released September 24th 2021.