Julian Taylor
Lisa MacIntosh

Julian Taylor Shares Hopeful Message to His Daughter on 'Opening the Sky' [Premiere]

Award-winning singer-songwriter Julian Taylor shares a message of unconditional love on "Opening the Sky," the latest release from from his forthcoming album Beyond the Reservoir (out Oct. 14).

Taylor says the song, equal parts loving fatherly advice and a forever promise, was written as a message to his daughter. ("Mind your manners, always say please but don't bow down to nobody," Taylor sings. "Bloom where you're planted and don't take anything for granted.Good things don't come easy/ Don't expect that they do / The wind will guide you.")

"Women are the givers of life and have an incredibly powerful gift inside, filled with love, courage and strength," Taylor tells Wide Open Country. "I felt like I wanted to say that in this song, and let my daughter know that, whatever happens, to keep her head up and wear her heart on her sleeve, and, if there's unjust things happening in the world around her or to her, to stand up for what's right and believe in herself. No matter what, I will always be there for her whether it is in the flesh or in spirit. I hope the song is transformative and exudes this feeling of unconditional love for everyone."

Listening to "Opening the Sky" below.

On Beyond the Reservoir, the follow-up to the 2020 album, Taylor, who's of West Indian and Mohawk descent, explores identity, resilience and strength.

"The reservoir, for me, symbolizes a lot of things," he says in a press statement. "Water helps seeds grow when you plant them. I come from two cultures that are still here. I think about that feeling of growth, of identity, of healing, and water symbolizes a lot of that. At the same time, so too the other elements—earth, wind, and fire—all of them play heavily in this record at some point. There are some really sad moments, some really in-depth moments, and some really hopeful moments in this record. It's a conversation piece, like The Ridge was."

"When I became a teenager, I didn't want to be Black, and I didn't want to be First Nations. I almost wanted to be white. I just didn't want anything to do with my family, and I rebelled against my family and did things that weren't so great for me, health-wise and mentally," Taylor continues. "But that's okay, I got out of it.So, the reservoir is a real place where we would all congregate for a long time when I was teenager for park parties. And when the police used to come, they used to zero me out all the time, and chase me. I got 13 stitches in the back of my head from somebody smashing me with a bottle and things like that. So, it's a bit darker. But the other thing about a reservoir is that it's a stagnant body of water. It's not flowing. So, 'beyond the reservoir' meant the river that keeps going."


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