His audition: Taylor Alexander, 25, of Nashville, auditioned by putting a country acoustic spin on Cher’s “Believe.” Adam Levine was the first to recognize the song and turned his chair as soon as he did. Surprisingly, he was the only coach to turn, meaning Taylor became a member of Team Adam.
His background: He’s from Flowery Branch, Ga., and says his parents always played Garth Brooks and a lot of country music as he was growing up. That rubbed off on him, he says, and he wrote his first song at age 11. But the country music ended when he was a freshman in high school and joined up with some friends to start a punk band. “I think I was just having that rebellious streak, but I started getting kind of bored of it, mostly because I got tired of hearing my parents say, ‘Boy, you’re going to ruin your voice if you keep screaming like that.'” Alas, he wound up back in country music. Next came a band called Young America. After about five years, he moved to Nashville, where he took on various odd jobs before landing a couple of residencies as a solo artist.
What the show didn’t show:
* In his Voice bio, Taylor said his musical interests stem from his dad’s interest in opera and musical theater.
* During a conference call with the media, Taylor said that arrangement of Cher’s “Believe” is one he and Young America started performing around 2012 or 2013. “I thought it would be novel, it’d be something to talk about,” he said about performing it for his blind audition. “It’d be a great opportunity to turn a song that I thought was really well-written and really cool kind of on its ear a little bit so that you could hear it from a different perspective.”
* Head to CD Baby and you’ll find a six-track self-titled EP released by Young America back in 2010. Taylor said the band started recording the EP when he was just 17.
* Young America released a second EP in 2013 that Taylor describes as traditional country with an alternative bent. The first, he said, had more of a folk-rock sound with some rootsy country mixed in.
* Young America also provided a song called “Don’t Turn Me Away” for a 2014 short film called “Here the Vultures Wait.” You can check it out on Bandcamp.
* Last summer, Taylor released his first music as a solo artist, an excellent three-track EP named after the single “Real Good at Saying Goodbye.” You can check out a live version of the superb “Wishing My Life Away” from that EP below.
* Taylor says he’d describe his solo music as traditional country. “It’s usually a little bit more like something like Merle Haggard or George Jones or Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, that sort of world. I usually say traditional country. Or I just say country and let somebody else tell me what they think it sounds like.”
“Wishing My Life Away” (from his 2016 EP)
“Sorry for Growing Up” (original)