Posted by | Ray Cornelius

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words so when Harlem-based soul singer Russell Taylor went looking for inspiration for his upcoming studio album, he found it in the most unlikely of places. Surprisingly, it wasn’t found in the classical art work of his neighboring Schomberg Center in Black Culture nor did he find it walking up and down historic Lenox Avenue.  Instead, Taylor found inspiration for his album at home and on his television screen.

Like many of us, Taylor is a faithful Scandal  ‘gladiator’ and carves out just enough time in his busy recording schedule to watch the popular Thursday night drama. It was while he was engrossed in the love affair between ‘Liv and Fritz’ (played by Tony Goldwyn PageImage-519264-4202024-_DSC0384.jpg908and Kerry Washington) that Taylor developed feelings for the song which he combined with some previous musical notes and lyrics. After going back to what he called his “bank of ideas” Taylor began piecing together what would eventually become the first single and title to his third independent project, War of Hearts.

“I’m a moody son of gun so I create in all different ways. If I see something that will give me a phrase I will go and write it in my notebook or iPad like the picture of a mother with her child at the playground or two lovers airport or someone who is sad on the train.  Sometimes the words come first or the music will come first. With War of Hearts  my producers and I were just talking about a feeling and then the first note came on the guitar which led to the words and then the situation. I went back to my bank of ideas and pulled up a phrase that turned the coin, ‘another line in the sand’  that’s in the second verse or ‘another battle to win,’” says Taylor.

“Another feeling that added to song was the television show Scandal. The way that the President and Olivia have this super intense love affair, it seems only pure the way they feel for each other but it’s so many things wrong with the relationship. It’s like a War of Hearts  this battle of love and this needing to be together. All of these things sort of played into the creation of the song—my mood, what I see, the bank of ideas, and my feelings. It’s a multi-disciplinary approach to songwriting.”

Taylor’s War of Hearts  debuts today on Amazon and from the final analysis, the combination of his feeling mixed with Liv and Fritz’s dysfunctional affair makes for one good record.

Click on the link below and enjoy!

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Photography Credit: RussellTaylor.net 

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