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The excitement that surrounds the annual Key West Songwriters Festival isn’t restricted to our 2- by 4-mile island, the place locals and guests pore over the schedule every year, purchase tickets and make plans to see as most of the 200+ acts as attainable within the 5 competition days, operating now by means of Could 5.

“Oh, it’s not simply folks in Key West who’re speaking about it. The excitement in Nashville begins each spring, with folks all over the place asking, ‘Are you going to Key West this yr? What days are you in Key West? Had been you there final yr? Did you see such-and-such?’ The Key West Songwriters Competition has fairly the repute in the absolute best manner,” stated Nashville singer-songwriter Payton Taylor, who’s right here this week for her seventh songwriters competition.

Payton Taylor works on a tune on a balccony at The Marker Resort throughout a previous Key West Songwriters Competition. CONTRIBUTED

“I used to be solely 20 the primary time I got here down for songwriters,” she recalled, laughing on the casual “training” that the Key West music scene supplied a younger lady who had grown up in South Jersey, and satisfied her dad and mom to maneuver to Nashville when she was 15 and intent on constructing a music profession that was already displaying promise.

“Now it’s a household custom to return to Key West each spring,” she stated, talking with the Keys Weekly on April 29 from the backseat of a minivan subsequent to her grandmother, Arlene Iannacone, whereas her mother, Denise Coccia, drove, and her sister, Taryn, rode shotgun. 

Taylor will carry out on the Lighthouse Inn and Laborious Rock Cafe this week, and, like most different musicians and followers, will catch as many different units as attainable and make plans with different songwriters once they all return to Nashville.

“I co-write loads of songs in Nashville, which I describe as quite a bit like velocity courting — you bleed your coronary heart out for just a few hours with folks you barely know and hope a very good tune comes out of it,” she stated. “And the Key West Songwriters Competition gives loads of alternative to fulfill folks and make plans to put in writing collectively. Typically you’ll get again to Nashville and have these random Google calendar dates in your cellphone,” with solely a foggy reminiscence of the individual you’re supposed to put in writing with, she stated laughing.

“However actually, there’s loads of cool connections to be made they usually all lead again to Nashville,” stated Taylor, who acquired a golden ticket to seem on American Idol when she was merely auditioning as an accompanist to her sister.

Her efficiency was featured on “Good Morning America,”  Billboard, Hollywood Reporter, Style of Nation, and Sounds Like Nashville. Taylor, now 27, has opened for Charlie Daniels and was invited to the Grand Ole Opry stage by William Michael Morgan. 

Payton Taylor performs dwell in Key West on the Lighthouse Resort on Friday, Could 3 at 4 p.m. and on the Laborious Rock Cafe on Saturday, Could 4 at midday. CONTRIBUTED

She credit her grandfather’s nation music albums for her “previous soul” model. She and her household made the transfer from South Jersey to Nashville in 2013, when Taylor was 15, however when requested about the perfect a part of her hometown stomping grounds, she doesn’t hesitate to explain the Jersey Shore (which is nothing just like the North Jersey Shore city depicted within the cringe-worthy actuality present).

See Payton Taylor dwell in Key West on the Lighthouse Resort on Friday, Could 3 at 4 p.m. and on the Laborious Rock Cafe on Saturday, Could 4 at midday. Try her music at PaytonTaylor.com. And for an entire competition schedule, go to keywestsongwritersfestival.com.

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