Sean Taylor: A Glimpse into the Life of Independent Philly Musicians

Chasing your dream is hard work, sometimes lonely, but a whole lot of fun.


A Citywide Community

Meet Sean Taylor, the New Jersey native who’s stirring up Philadelphia’s music scene with a blend of hypnotic vocals, jazz- and soul-inspired beats, and a complementary range of moving lyrics.

What brought Sean to Philadelphia? He recently graduated from Drexel with a focus on the business side of music, and decided to stay because of the warm nature of the city: “the community here has been amazing in terms of getting started [as a musician]. People are welcoming; I’ve never felt alone in Philly.” Sean says his favorite venue to perform at so far has been the Trocadero, and not just because he used to work there.

In the Meantime

Though the desire to be a musician didn’t come to Sean until high school (where he developed and honed his skills as a vocalist), he was always musically inclined. He started playing guitar and drums in the fourth grade. He’s carried that rhythm with him ever since, moving to Philadelphia for college, and to jumpstart his career in the industry.

In the meantime, Sean works in healthcare to supplement his income. The most difficult part to him is not focusing fully on music, but he knows his time will come. It’s also pretty tough to devote attention to both the 9 to 5 grind, and a creative work after hours.

A Jazzy New Chapter

Sean offers us the details for his latest EP, Valleys, which released at the end of September. This work is a combination of jazz, soul, and singer-songwriter tracks with an homage to psychedelic music. Sean also hints that he takes inspiration from producers/artists Kanye West and Frank Ocean. Someday he’d like the opportunity to dissect their thought process behind the making of a hit track.

Making music isn’t all fun and inspiration; often it takes a toll on other aspects of Sean’s life. He explains, “it can mean isolation from other things. It’s hard to maintain focus because there are always distractions around. I feel like I’ve gone off the radar a few times to produce new music and work on recording.” That hasn’t stopped Sean from pursuing his dream, though. He says he’s trying to stay active both in and out of the studio, which means a constant search for new venues to play at, opportunities across social media, and, of course, recording.

Look Forward with Confidence, Back with Confirmation

Aside from the time it takes to create, Sean also tries to remain positive despite some bad experiences within the industry. He’s still coming to terms with the fact that making it will be no easy journey.

In the (potentially) distant future, Sean has his sights set on the horizon beyond Philadelphia. He’s eager to explore the avenues of music that boast a greater audience: LA and New York are notable examples, though there are quite a few cities that Sean believes are worth living in.

Sean’s advice, aside from not to get discouraged and to keep moving forward, echoes the curt and sensational musicians that have made it to where they are now by being, well, vocal: “screw what other people say; go for your dream.”

To test your knowledge on all things musical, check out Sean’s recommended deck above: guitar chords.