“I don’t make music for myself. I make music because I think it’s a need in the world.”
Taylor Andrew Alford, otherwise known as TaylorMade, is the producer/performer behind Made in America: The Visual E.P. Taylor describes his project as a musical autobiography that communicates America’s current state of blackness through his own experiences as a black male.
“Negus” feat. Indigenous Soul, a song he previously released on SoundCloud and remastered for Made in America, is a sneak peek of what what we can expect from his first E.P. Lyrics like:
“Listen we don’t pick cotton no mo’…listen we don’t got masters no mo”
“Praising God cuz I made it to this campus”
“This melanin on my back became a target to police cuz I’m black”
“Hopped off the slave ships and built an empire.”
are only a few examples of how thoughtful and lyrically appealing TaylorMade is. His music isn’t just entertainment, it’s edutainment. With topics like police brutality, mass incarceration, and racism, TaylorMade’s songs get to the core of contemporary issues affecting African Americans today, while contextualizing them within U.S. History.
“I want to use my music as a platform for social justice to challenge stereotypes. I want to communicate the state of blackness in society.”
TaylorMade’s progression as an artist stems from his development as a student of African American Studies at UCLA. Through his studies, Taylor was able to “grow conscious of deeper issues” affecting communities of color in order to compare these issues to his own experiences.
“My brother is in prison for something he didn’t do. He was misidentified so I try and analyze situations like his in my music.”
TaylorMade began making music in the 9th grade, putting together beats and showing them off for his class, though he admits that his first beats weren’t very good. “I started off with music because people thought I couldn’t do it. They were always teasing me…As I got better all the teachers and people came to me asking me to make them music for their events, that’s when I realized I could make a career out of it.”
Currently, TaylorMade finds support with his family and the UCLA community as a whole. With his newest project, he wants to incorporate as much of the UCLA campus as possible. Alongside his E.P, TaylorMade plans to release a 25 to 30 minute film that features different UCLA students. The film will be the visual representation of his music so that listeners can “see exactly” what he’s talking about in each of his tracks.
“Beyoncé inspired me to release a music video with each song.”
Some artists TaylorMade is inspired by include: Tupac, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole. Made in America: The Visual E.P, a year in the making, is set to release in March 2016 and will have a total of 8 tracks. To help professionally mix and master his music, TaylorMade has set up a gofundme page to ask for support from the community to help “do his music justice.”
For more information on TaylorMade, his music, his process, and his future projects please visit his website at taylormadeyoulook.com.
TaylorMade – Producer/Rapper
3rd Year UCLA African American Studies Major, Music Industry Minor