WENDY TAYLOR AIMS BEYOND HOUSTON
SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 Taylor-made for singing: Wendy Taylor has a big, booming personality that’s matched only by her big, booming voice. She’s likely to give you a bear hug and laugh hysterically at an off-color joke before piercing through the crowd with a soulful ballad or a high-energy pop tune. “I’ve been singing as long as I can remember,” Taylor says. She has sparkling blue eyes, a shock of red hair and a commanding, throaty speaking voice.
“I have never in my life wanted to do anything but music. From the first time someone asked me as a toddler what I wanted to do, I knew.”
Others have taken notice. The Houston native on American Idol (Season 10) earlier this year and was a finalist in the local Pride SuperSTAR competition. Think Bette Midler’s brashness, Pink’s fierceness and a touch of Aretha Franklin’s soul, all in one voluptuous package. “I definitely admire Bette Midler. The woman can sing anything, and she is hilarious,” Taylor says. “I have a lot of respect for the careers of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Cher and Elvis. I would love to have a legacy like that.”
It’s a tall order, but Taylor is relentless. She auditioned for The Voice last month but didn’t make the cut. And when Idol returned to Houston for the first time in eight years just a few weeks ago, Taylor stood in line with friends for another shot. She has “no comment” about how she fared this time around — which seems to bode well. (Contestants who make it past the first few rounds are prohibited from talking about it.) The new season debuts in January, so keep your eyes peeled. “There is a lot that people watching do not see. Being a part of the competition is a completely different view than being a viewer,” she says. “The behind-the-scenes made for some of the absolute best memories for me.”
Meanwhile, Taylor is promoting Hold Me Down, a collection of three originals she recently issued physically and digitally. (An official release party is in the works.) It’s a glossy pop affair that highlights her impressive vocal power. Standout tune Real Good, Real Bad is about “the duality that exists in every woman” and could stack up against anything on Top 40 radio. (It could slip in effortlessly on albums from Rihanna, Pink or Kelly Clarkson.) “Houston definitely makes it difficult on an artist. But I’m a bit of a rebel,” Taylor says. She’s also a mom to three boys (and a soon-to-be stepdaughter). Taylor met her fiancé, a paramedic, on one of the “worst days of my life” — when he arrived at her house fire in January. “There isn’t great support for live music here in comparison to other cities. It’s even harder to get people to listen to originals. Everyone wants to hear songs they already know. “I made it a goal to take over Houston with my originals and performances. If I can break open the doors in Houston, where it isn’t exactly friendly to a new artist, I can take over the country.” Spoken like a legit superstar. Wendy Taylor When: 7 p.m. Friday Where: Kings Harbor, 1660 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood Admission: Free; wendytaylormusic.com