Taylor Phelan is a songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and indie-rock artist. Phelan was raised within a tight-knit musical family in his home state of Texas and began to play guitar and write his own songs at 16, cutting his teeth at coffee shops. He started his professional career as the founder and frontman for the Chicago-based alternative band, The Canes. In 2014, Phelan was a favorite contestant on the seventh season of NBC’s hit reality series, The Voice, an experience that revealed his tremendous talent as a solo artist. In 2015, shortly after signing with the indie label, Native Nine Records, Phelan gravitated back to his southern roots and teamed up with Nashville-based producer Joshua D Niles to work on his first collection of solo material. Now touring the country with a powerhouse backing band, his debut EP will be released in Summer 2017.
Born in Dallas, Phelan was raised with two sisters by a single mom. His father spent time in jail and left the family when Phelan was just twelve. His mother was an accomplished vocalist in her own right and taught him a lot about his voice from an early age. He said, “I had a pretty southern family. Around the holidays, everyone would gather around the piano and sing songs from old hymnals. There were quite a few musically inclined people in the family back then.” Although he was born into a musical family, it wasn't until he was a teenager that he realized his own knack for it. In order to accompany himself, Phelan learned how to play guitar and at sixteen began writing his own songs. For the next few years, he worked and played in coffee shops and threw newspapers at night. By the time he graduated high school, he had chosen not to attend college and chased music instead. His pursuit ultimately led him to Chicago where his career really began to take shape. While working outside the city and sleeping in a tent to save as much money as he could, Phelan stumbled upon a gig as a hired studio vocalist. While in-studio at one of his first session, he met producer and renowned keyboardist, Bobby Scumaci. The two became friends and Scumaci eventually invited Phelan to live in his recording studio. In his new creative environment, Phelan spent the next year and a half writing songs and conceptualizing a band that would later become The Canes.
In 2010, Phelan left his studio home and moved to Chicago in search of bandmates. The Canes final lineup formed late 2011, when Phelan connected with three guys from around the country. Upon their first meeting, they signed a lease on a tiny practice space. Before their first rehearsal, Phelan and the band were booked for a show at the legendary Double Door in Chicago. A friend of the band, NBA shooting guard Kyle Korver, hosted a charity concert in January 2012. The Canes performed in front of a sold-out crowd, opening for the Seattle based band, Barcelona. Immediately, The Canes had the attention of the Chicago music scene, where few bands have broken into with such regard. The following year would prove to be a successful one for Phelan and The Canes, including two independently funded national tours, a development deal signed with private investor, Helen Rich and Medallion Media Group, the two-part release of Cupid and The Atomic Bomb and the interest of several independent record labels. In March of 2013, citing personal reasons, The Canes announced they’d be taking an extended hiatus. The band never regrouped and officially disbanded early 2014.
With the support of his wife to "get back into music", Phelan auditioned for season 7 of NBC’s The Voice. According to him, “I really didn’t expect it to go anywhere. We’ve all watched these shows and we all know it's a long shot.” But once again, Phelan was determined to stand out. His ‘Blind Audition’ was arguably the most impactful performance of the season and one of the most watched, with nearly 6.5 million views on YouTube alone. All four coaches including Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine turned their chairs in hopes Phelan would pick his/her team for musical guidance. Phelan chose Pharrell Williams as his mentor. Over the next couple of rounds, Phelan continued to impress the panel of superstar coaches. Gwen Stefani praised Phelan, stating that watching him perform was like “watching a peer.” When Phelan lost to Luke Wade in the ‘Knockout’ round, all of the celebrity coaches were once again fighting for him to join their team. This time, Phelan made the more obvious choice and picked fellow band-guy, Adam Levine. Although it seemed he had a very promising future with Team Adam, Phelan’s journey on the show came to a shocking end when he was eliminated after his Top 20 live performance. Although he was cut earlier than anticipated, he said “I have nothing but positive things to say about the show and my experience. It’s given me an amazing platform and I feel very blessed to have worked so closely with Adam [Levine] and Pharrell.”
Phelan met his now wife Nikki in the summer of 2011. In the fall of 2012, the couple wrestled with the success of The Canes and the band’s tour schedule during Nikki’s pregnancy. Addison Day Phelan was born in March of 2013 and in the following summer, Nikki and Phelan were married in a private ceremony just outside Chicago. In the interest of their growing family, the two decided to move away from Chicago, closer to relatives in Texas. With previous experience as a graphic designer, Phelan took a corporate job as a creative director and temporarily put his music on hold while the couple transitioned into parenthood. The two are expecting their second child in December of 2016.
I'm actually kind of shocked that you didn't want to watch me eat a bowl of warm peas! That's disgusting. Who wouldn't want to see that?
Help! What should I have for lunch? (I'm counting on you ...)