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Taylor on kid and school issues - Got Soul? - A Taylor Hicks Community
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Taylor on kid and school issues
I typically don't like posting articles here, because I think everyone here would have come across them already, but this was just one of the better and more insightful Taylor interviews I've read, so I've just had to post this.

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http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/celebs/interviews/taylor.html

American Idol Taylor Hicks knows all about being an underdog! He went from being “that gray-haired old guy” who looked and sounded different from all the other contestants, to winning the chance to record and release his first album, Taylor Hicks. Now that his lifelong dream has come true, Taylor bares his soul to IML, opening up about his music and the role it played during the challenges he faced growing up.

IML: First of all, congrats on the album! Is there a particular song that has a lot of personal meaning for you right now?

Taylor: I would say “The Right Place.” That song means a lot to me artistically because it’s a summary of all the things that have happened to me. It’s one of my favorites on the album, and I think it’s a good representation of me.

IML: So most IML’ers are in middle school. Tell us: what were YOU like in middle school?

Taylor: I had already started getting gray hairs! And I was pretty much a class clown. Just really goofy!

IML: Were you ever bullied when you were younger?

Taylor: I definitely got bullied a little bit. I remember one time, there were some people in my class who said they were going to beat me up and made me scared for about three or four days. I just remember being nervous that they were going to come beat me up, and they never did! I also remember trying to make the situation less scary by being goofy…and goofy helps!

IML: You’ve been making music since you were a kid. How was it an outlet for you growing up? Did it make certain challenges easier?

Taylor: Music was a big outlet for me. Being able to play an instrument and sing was definitely a good way for me to escape things I was dealing with: family issues, growing up, being a kid and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. Getting to high school was a big deal, and being able to play an instrument and be a part of something like a band really helped me to get away and helped me deal.

IML: Why do you think it’s important for young people to find a way to express themselves through music or another form of art?

Taylor: It relaxes you! It makes you feel like you’re good at something.

IML: You stuck to your dreams through a lot of tough times in your life so far. Why do you think hanging on to your goals is so important, even if they never happen?

Taylor: Life throws many curve balls, and if you don’t swing…you’re never going to hit any!

IML: During the American Idol competition, the fact that you were so popular with kids and teens was a surprise to some. Why do you think young people came on board the “Soul Patrol”?

Taylor: I think maybe they were pulling for the gray-haired guy! No seriously…I think it was something about me being “different,” and young people understanding what being different is like. I think that’s the connection I involuntarily made: letting people know that it’s okay to be different. When you’re growing up, you feel different from other people at some point or another. I think I connected with young people because I looked different or had a different quality about me.

IML: What would you like young listeners to take away from your music?

Taylor: I would like them to understand that it’s real music! It’s got real instruments and they’re just really good songs. You can understand the lyrics and the words and the music and they all go together.

IML: Is there a cause or charity that you’re passionate about these days?

Taylor: I’m involved with Kid One Transport and Studio by the Tracks in Alabama. Kid One literally transports kids to better health by giving them transportation they may need to get medical care. Studio by the Tracks is an art outlet for mentally challenged children. I can connect with not having all the advantages that other kids have growing up, and because art was such an outlet for me in that situation as a kid, that’s where my heart is.

IML: What was your family like when you were growing up?

Taylor: It was a very rocky road for me. There were definitely curveballs in my growing up, from a family aspect. My parents got divorced when I was in second grade. I moved around a lot. Actually, I went to about four different schools when I was in fourth grade.

IML: Wow! That’s really tough. How did you keep yourself together during that time?

Taylor: Listening to the radio and doing extracurricular things helped. Playing soccer, being in a club. I really got into my school and the people at my school, because my home life was not really “all that and a big of chips.”

IML: Who were your role models during that time?

Taylor: There were a few teachers who were just great. One of my science teachers was really cool and I had some friends and family around that time who were good to me.

IML: What advice do you have for kids who might be experiencing similar problems?

Taylor: Have faith, and enjoy school as much as possible. Because school takes a big chunk of your day! So find things you like to do, find subjects and activities that you like, even find your favorite food you like to eat. The little things count in a big way. Finding the “big” in little things can carry you a long way.

IML: That’s great advice! Thanks, Taylor, and good luck!

Taylor: Thank you!

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