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JAVA March 2018

Taylor Upsahl Phoenixs

Taylor Upsahl Phoenixs Music Prodigy Heads West By Mitchell Hillman 8 JAVA MAGAZINE

You used to hear tales of child stars “growing up in public,” but rarely do you get to see it firsthand. Taylor Upsahl has done exactly that over the last five years in the Phoenix music scene, and it has been one of the more fascinating evolutions to witness. Upsahl released her stunning debut album at age 14 in 2013, showing both her brilliance and a precocious wisdom that shone well beyond her years. At 16 she released her second album, Viscerotonic, which was every bit as strong as her debut, while clearly more mature and emotionally powerful. For the most part, both records were her vision as a young singer/ songwriter finding her way, harnessing the natural gift of her voice and impressing with her talent on guitar. Last year Taylor Upsahl rebranded her music as UPSAHL and headed in a much different direction with her third record, Unfamiliar Light. In four years, Taylor Upsahl went from child prodigy folk singer to teen alternative chanteuse, and JAVA has followed her every step of the way. After graduating from Arizona School for the Arts last June, Upsahl decided to focus solely on music, which has resulted in two amazing singles over the last six months. But young people grow up and move away, and now UPSAHL has just relocated to LA. “I’ve been wanting to move to LA for a while now,” Upsahl said. “I feel like really trying to make it as a musician has a lot to do with the location that you are in, and LA happens to be a place where many musicians and collaborators live. So in order to continue to do what I love, I had to relocate. Now that I’m living out here, I’m able to do a lot of sessions and write as much as possible, which is what I’ve always loved doing. Even though I miss my family and Phoenix, I’m really happy living here.” With ambition and talent on her side, Upsahl seems to have a clear vision of what she wants out of life, which is something she’s always seemed sure about whenever we’ve spoken to her. “I moved out here completely by myself,” she said. “I came out here to write and create as much content as I can as a solo artist, but I’m still trying to find my footing in the LA scene as a musician. Ever since I was little, I’ve always dreamed of being a famous musician, so that is what I will be working towards until I get to that point.” Part of finding her footing is setting up the right environment and creative space, which may sound silly – unless you’re an artist: then you understand that need completely. “I just finally found the perfect place for me to move into,” she said. “Currently, my short-term plans are to make my new house look like an interior design heaven! I know it sounds lame, but I thrive off of my environment and surroundings, so having a perfect living space that sets a certain vibe is very important to me. In order to write and create, I need to be surrounded by positivity and creativity, so I’m trying to put together that environment for myself.” A year ago, she released Unfamiliar Light. Sometimes it’s an artist’s third record that becomes a real departure, and that record felt like a turning point for Upsahl at the time. Last August, she followed the album with “Can You Hear Me Now,” which was a continuation of that same exciting trajectory. “Since changing my artist name to UPSAHL, I’ve had a much clearer idea of what I wanted to become as an artist,” Upsahl said. “‘Can You Hear Me Now’ helped to put my foot in the door as an indie/pop/ alternative artist, which is very different from the music I was releasing under ‘Taylor Upsahl.’ That song is a message to someone on the other JAVA 9 MAGAZINE

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