Member Profile

Julian Taylor

Julian Taylor doesnt fit in a box. He never hasand more power to him. A Toronto music scene staple and a musical chameleon, Julian Taylor is used to shaking it up over the course of 10 albums in the last two decades. Of West Indian and Mohawk descent, Taylor first made his name as frontman of Staggered Crossing, a Canadian rock radio staple in the early 2000s. These days, however, the soulful singer/guitarist might be on stage one night playing with his eponymous band, spilling out electrified rhythm and blues glory, and the next hell be performing at a folk festival delivering a captivating solo singer-songwriter set. His songs have been placed in shows like Kims Convenience, Haven, Private Eyes and Elementary. Hes been invited to perform at two Olympic Games. The soulful blues, rhythmic soul, rootsy rock riffs and troubadour-esque folk songs that comprise his music are worth putting your busy life on hold for. In everything he does, Taylor has carved his own path, creating genre-free music with a generosity of spirit and a strong belief in the healing powers of song. Off stage, Taylor recently ventured into radio; when the Indigenous radio station ELMNT FM opened in Toronto in 2018, Taylor became the stations afternoon-drive host.
Taylors journey began in a musically artistic family: his father plays classical piano, while his cousins on both sides of his family sing and play music, and his uncle is the conductor of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, which focuses on Afrocentric vocal music. Taylor started piano at age 5 and learned acoustic guitar over summer campfires. In 1995, while still in high school, he formed the band The Midnight Blues and started playing open stages in North Toronto. That band morphed into Staggered Crossing who were signed to a publishing deal in 1997, and their self-titled debut, released in 2001, spawned four rock radio singles, including top 10 hit Further Again.
When Staggered Crossing split amicably in 2007, Taylor started anew as a solo artist with two albums of rootsier material, while grinding it out on the cover band circuit in small towns across Ontario. In 2014, he launched the Julian Taylor Band and this time, all bets were off: all of Taylors myriad influences were on the table, masterfully combining and updating vintage sounds that inspired him to create bold, innovative new songs. Modern pop, vintage R&B, smooth soul, and the rocknroll swagger he was known for, were all tied together with an intense devotion to craft and a collection of some of Torontos finest musicians. JTB have three studio albums to datetheir acclaimed debut Tech Noir, released in 2014, the double record Desert Star released two years later and 2019s acclaimed Avalancheand have no plans to slow down, although in 2020 Taylor revisited his solo career with 2020s contemplative The Ridge.
Toronto poet Robert Priest describes Taylor and his work as the kind of artist forever in the zone, the voice limitless, the songs full of feeling.