Twenty year old Geelong boy Taylor Henderson is making his mark. After being a finalist on X Factor in 2013, Taylor’s star has been on the rise ever since.
‘I remember trying to get gigs around my home town,’ laughs Taylor. ‘I used to have to busk in the street.
‘I went to this bar, and man did I try to get a gig there, and when you go back the fourth time you start to think maybe they don’t want you here!
‘I tell you what – they have been trying to get me back to play in that bar for a long time now!’
Although Henderson is aware that his hometown rejections are probably what propelled him to a bigger playing field.
‘I am grateful for the NOs because if it had been YES I probably would be still in Geelong making $27.35 a gig!’
While on the weekly Talent Show Henderson learnt to perform under pressure.
‘I soon learnt that it doesn’t matter whoever is on the show because you are all on the same level, you are all there competing, and at the end of the week you have two minutes on the stage to prove why you are there. Wherever you finish up on that show is almost irrelevant; it’s up to the individual to maintain their career when you leave.’
According to Henderson, that’s when the real work begins.
‘I am still the same. I remember when I got off the show and until now whenever I do a gig I still think, gee I hope someone comes! I say to my team, is anyone out there?’
For Henderson it’s an anxiety with positive results, as his shows have been selling out around the country.
‘Walking out to 1,000 people is incredible – I guess one of the amazing things – when you walk onto a stage. I don’t know what they’ve seen; maybe they’ve followed me on a show, and maybe they like my music and whatever they have built up in their minds.’
Being on stage feels very natural for Taylor.
‘Sometimes when you are on stage, it’s nothing like you as a person, and I know what it’s like on X Factor – I was nervous and I’d get on stage. It’s a very intimidating vibe because when you have to get it right. Now when I tour and when I am on stage, it’s not that there are mistakes but if you are singing a song and someone yells out it’s great because you can muck around, or stop the band or have a chat!
‘I am such a perfectionist, and everyone gets to that point when they are in the comp; when you get it wrong and you feel like going into hiding. It’s funny because I never would have said this a few weeks ago but when you do stuff up there is a side of people that relates. When I was on the show I tried my best to be the best I could be. Even my new album is a testament to that: it’s about me, it’s my own songs.’
Henderson walked off X Factor straight into a deal with Sony.
‘I read the contract carefully. They shook my hand and said congratulations you are a recording artist. I feel like I have been writing this album my entire life. Some songs are from last year, some from years ago. It’s raw, and I wouldn’t be comfortable singing any of those songs if I didn’t mean it. It’s nerve-racking putting an album out; you count down the days until it comes out. If I had sold one copy it would have been fine because it was exactly what I wanted it to be, but for it to crack number one… I think how does this dorky little kid like me get that? It’s crazy, I am in the company of people I have listened to as a kid!’
Taylor is currently touring his latest album Burnt Letters and appears at Bangalow A&I Hall on Sunday with support by The Voice finalists Gabriel and Cecilia. 7.30pm show. Tix $40 and available at kupromotions.com.au.