Saturday, May 25, 2024

Country Music Newcomer MaRynn Taylor Opens Up About New Music, Her Opry Debut And Her Special Relationship With Her Grandparents

MaRynn Taylor is a country music vocalist from small town Rockford, Michigan. Drawn to country music’s emotion, storytelling, and honesty, MaRynn grew up wanting to create music that was both inspiring and relatable.

Named one of CMT’s “Next Women of Country” (2023), MaRynn has more than 33 million music platform streams and 12 Telly Awards under her belt. In June of 2023, she had her debut on the coveted Grand Ole Opry stage. She returned just a few weeks later for a second performance. 

In 2020, she released her debut single “Dads and Daughters,” followed by her debut EP Something I Would Do. The EP offers listeners a glance into MaRynn’s life in Michigan, in both the past and present. One of her next playful singles, “Make You Mine” reached the top 60 on Billboard Country Airplay Charts. 

Just last summer, MaRynn became an Alzheimer’s Association Celebrity Champion in honor of her grandparents who struggle with Alzheimer’s. A portion of the proceeds from her song “i love you, remember” go to the association’s efforts to fight against the disease. 

MaRynn has also made multiple appearances singing the National Anthem at NFL games. In October she returned for her second anthem performance and her debut halftime performance during the Buffalo Bills vs. New York Giants matchup. She went on to perform the National anthem at the Buffalo Sabres hockey game, solidifying three professional sports appearances in less than 48 hours.

MaRynn has a new EP coming out in May titled Get To Know Me. The EP will include one of her most vulnerable songs yet. 

We chatted with MaRynn at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville about her new single, her debut Opry performance, and what she does in her downtime on the road. 

Tell me a little bit about “Small Town Spinnin” that just came out. 

It’s about my hometown, in Rockford, Michigan, a very small town. If anyone’s from a small town, they know that talk goes around. Gossip is a thing in a small town. So, I wrote this with my friends, Erin Kinsey and Josh Kerr. We wanted it to be fun. There’s a lot of fun lines in it, but I also put some lines in there that are very specific that only people from Rockford might know. I was teasing it on sites like TikTok and Instagram, and people have seemed to really dig it.

What’s your perfect day in Rockford, Michigan?

There’s a place called the Corner Bar and it’s right in the little downtown area. There are hot dog eating contests. I’ve never done one, but in an hour or something, you eat 12 hot dogs. They’re all free, and then you get your name on the wall. So, there’s a bunch of names on the wall as you go in. The hot dogs are so good, but I cannot eat all of them. That’s one of my favorite unique things about Rockford.

Well you’ve traveled and you’ve toured across the U.S. Any hidden gems you found across the country?

I love North Carolina. I just went there on a content shoot for my EP that’s coming in May, and I just found out that there are sand dunes there. They’re beautiful. I love the beach. The little shops are super cute. We went to this little town called Manteo. That’s where we shot the “Small Town Spinnin’” visualizer. We went to this little antique shop. I just love little beach towns like that. They really make me feel like I’m at home in Michigan. I’ve always gravitated towards North Carolina for some reason.

When I read your bio, I couldn’t figure out if you were trying to get out of your hometown or not. Growing up, I wanted to get out of my town. I think it’s natural to want to go somewhere else.

I feel like I had to get out to really appreciate it. I felt like I left without saying goodbye. I left to Nashville and I’ve lived here for five years now. I kind of realized how special it was because I actually got to go back last year and it was great. 

We pulled the tour bus up to my old high school, and I went in and said hi to my old choir teacher, and hopefully made the small town spin a little bit by doing that. I always love when I get to go back. They’re welcoming. I just remember the people that did support me are still there and still supporting me, and it means a lot to me. So, any chance I get to go back, I do now. 

You performed on Sunday Night Football, the Bills vs. Giants. 

It was awesome. I’ve got to sing at a Bills game twice now. The first one was a playoff game against the Bengals and sadly they lost. I got to sing recently at the Bills vs. Giants game, which was actually aired on TV. They showed the anthem and it was so fun. It was cold, but it was worth it. I love getting to sing the anthem.

What’s your perfect tailgate?

I love some buffalo wings, maybe some pizza. I don’t know why I’m just thinking about food. Maybe some cornhole. Someone’s got to be grilling something. Maybe some drinks. Bills Mafia does it right, though. 

You didn’t dive through a table, right?

No, I mean, now I’m more acclimated with Bills Mafia. I feel like I definitely would. Somebody get me a table. I will jump through it. 

You performed at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time last year. What’s your favorite memory of the Opry?

Well, it’s been one of my bucket list things to do, to get to step in that circle where so many greats have stepped in as well. I got to sing a song that I wrote called “01,” and it’s a song that’s to my younger self. I always looked at it as, I’m not the only one making my Grand Ole Opry debut. It’s that six-year old little girl singing in her bedroom. I felt like I got to bring my little self along with me. She got to make her debut as well.

You’ve mentioned listening to music growing up. Who were your country music inspirations?

I love Carrie Underwood. I love Taylor Swift. I love Keith Urban. I love James Taylor and John Denver. Songwriting and vocals are just something I’ve always really, really been drawn to and geeked out about. I just studied it. 

Have you always known you wanted to sing?

Oh, yeah. Ever since I was little, I just loved performing. I’ve always loved singing and playing guitar. I got a guitar when I was ten and just learned how to do that. A lot of kids in my school probably thought it was kind of weird, but I did it anyway. Until I moved to Nashville, I found out I can have friends that will support me in what I do. It’s always been my love and it’s always been something I can always fall back on. 

What do you do in your downtime on the road?

I normally go find somewhere unique to eat. I always ask ‘Where’s the hole in the wall, the local place that everybody goes to that’s always packed?’ I feel like that’s where the heart of the town always is. I always love doing that.

We know you have new music coming, but what else has 2024 got in store?

I’m releasing an EP that’s coming out in May. It’s called Get To Know Me, and the actual song “Get to Know Me,” is probably the most vulnerable song I’ve ever put out. It’s about a really real situation, and it’ll be a weight off my shoulders. 

When I do put it out, that person will know it’s about them, which is kind of scary. But I’m excited for it to be out and finally get to say what I want to say. Hopefully other people can relate to that feeling.

When you travel, what are your must pack items? 

I’m an over-packer. I’ll pack like six pairs of jeans if I’m going for a weekend, just in case. I’m such a girl when it comes to that. I’ll pack more makeup than I need, more t-shirts than I need. I got a huge suitcase and I just dump my life in it. I still forget stuff. There’s no perfect way to pack. But I just overpack.

Do you have any tours coming up? 

I’m just doing one off shows at the moment. I’m doing radio shows. I’m doing shows here in Nashville, like songwriter rounds. Any chance I get, I’m on stage. I just had a show in Birmingham on March 8th. 

You work with the Alzheimer’s Foundation. Why did you choose that organization?

Both my grandma and grandpa have Alzheimer’s, and thankfully, they’re still alive right now. I wanted to write a song for them called “I love you, remember” and it’s close to my heart. It’s another one of those vulnerable songs. It’s about when my grandpa, for the first time, didn’t know who I was and he got really frustrated. 

He was like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. I feel like I know who you are, but I don’t know who you are.’ I just said, ‘You know what? I love you and that’s all you need to know.’ That’s when I got the idea for the song. 

I feel like it touched a lot of people. Most of the proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Association. I’m proud to be on their team because I feel like it’s not talked about a lot for some reason. It’s hard to talk about, but I’m happy to talk about it and show it. 

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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