>> Taylor Johnson spent his formative years in the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada where he wrote songs and performed in various indie rock bands.
At 18 years old, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he studied music, business, and began ghostwriting songs professionally. He has written songs for artists across many genres like: pop, country, hip hop, and rock. Some of these songs have topped the charts in countries all over the world.
Although always thankful to be continuously working in the music industry, Taylor felt a large part of his artistic freedom, and general happiness, were being compromised when he was working as a ghostwriter. A longing for writing more personal, meaningful songs and performing those songs was ever present. With that, Taylor began writing and performing as The Hope State. Check out his guest blog post below about learning what makes him happy and fighting the urge to "fit in."
“I have been trying to figure out who I’m supposed to be for as long as I can remember. Trying to fit into some shape that everyone around me can seemingly do effortlessly. When I started playing music I thought I found my shape, but that shape continuously morphed and eluded me... but little wins along the way kept me engaged. Which is probably why music is the only thing I’ve stuck with. A small reward, followed by endless doubt until I figure out the next step. A constant puzzle only endured by the persistent masochist. Maybe masochism is my shape.
My heart has always been with music, although sometimes I forget. It’s easy to forget and get distracted. Especially when you have the attention span of a fruit fly (which was the shortest studied attention span according to my quick internet search). I could analogize this quick internet search and how it quickly turned into having nineteen tabs open, all comparing various human and animal studies to my brain. I start with one thing, and before it’s done, I’m somewhere completely different and have no idea how I got there. It’s constant questioning. Why am I doing this? Do I still love doing this? Did I ever love doing this? What else should I be doing? Often times I never have answers to these questions... until another little win happens and the constant questioning completely disappears. When someone reaches out to you and tells you your music helped them in some way, when someone comes to your show and sings the words to your songs back at you, once these moments occur, if it’s in you there’s no question of not doing it. There’s no turning back.
I spent most of my life on medication, trying to figure out what was wrong with me and then trying to fix it one way or another. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, ADD, dyslexia, addiction these have all been part of who I am. I’d like to hope it’s not most of who I am, but it certainly occupies most of my rumination. I first started writing to help understand these things, even before I knew what they were. As we all know, it helps. When I started writing for other people, I stopped looking inward and started focusing on fiction, and creating feelings and stories for other people. An incredible gift to be able to be employed as a songwriter, but I couldn’t have been more unhappy. I felt I was just keeping myself from what I knew truly made me happy, always looking for excuses to distract myself from that. Which for better or worse is what has led me back to the stage and forced me to start creating with The Hope State. I’ve got a long way to go but I refuse to sit still. I refuse to give myself excuses, I’ve already wasted too much time on that. The only thing that has kept me sane in my life is writing and the only thing that has kept me happy is performing. There’s a long journey ahead and I look forward to the challenges it brings.” <<