Kicking off the new year on a positive note, Taylor Guitars has partnered with a roster of some 50-plus artists from across the musical spectrum to write, record and release an original song called “I Know What Love Is.” Created in response to the economic struggles introduced by the coronavirus pandemic, the song represents a philanthropic effort on the part of Taylor and our artist family to support individuals and families whose livelihoods were impacted by closures and cancellations across the world of music.
Both around the world and here at Taylor, music has always played a key part in helping us through difficult times, creating a sense of connection and community that perseveres even when our traditional ways of making, sharing and performing music have changed dramatically. For this project, we hoped to channel that same spirit into a song that would both lift spirits and provide tangible support for those experiencing hardship as a result of the pandemic.
To hit the right notes, Taylor in-house content producer Jay Parkin, who initially conceived of the project, enlisted the help of singer-songwriter and guitarist Keith Goodwin, known for his work with indie folk band Good Old War. Goodwin had previously penned lyrics for an unreleased song, words that took on new meaning when his grandmother died as a result of COVID-19 complications in October of 2020.
“We were shooting for this ‘Hey Jude’ meets ‘We Are the World’ vibe,” Jay explains, “and the song itself felt good, but this was always about supporting musicians and bringing people together. Once we started reaching out to the music community and began to get the parts back, we started to see how the pieces all fit together to create an anthem of hope for 2021.”
From there, Jay and Keith turned to Gabriel O’Brien, a sound engineer and recording expert who has frequently collaborated with Taylor for creative projects in the past. Gabriel began the process of tracking, mixing and mastering the song. However, hearing the final product, the team decided to take it to the next level.
Drawing on connections across the music industry, Jay and Keith reached out to dozens of musicians and vocalists and tasked them with recording a piece of the song that spoke to them. Hobbyists, working musicians and big-label acts alike joined in, headlined by names such as Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall, Chris Conley (Saves the Day), Alana Springsteen and many more.
“During lockdown, one of the most challenging things for me was trying to adapt to not having my friends around to play music with,” said Goodwin. “This project really helped keep me focused on making music when everything else in life had changed so drastically. I’m grateful for this opportunity to connect and collaborate with such great artists and for a good cause. We are all lucky to be able to share our love of music together.”
With the help of Nettwerk Music Group (Keith’s record label) and NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), we set out to finalize and promote the song, which will be released by Nettwerk on January 21, 2021 on all major streaming platforms.
All proceeds from “I Know What Love Is” will go to MusiCares, an organization created to provide relief for music industry employees and their families. In addition to material support, MusiCares provides a network of resources related to physical and mental health, including addiction recovery, hearing clinics, and emergency relief.
Visit iknowwhatloveis.com or check the #iknowwhatloveis hashtag on social media to learn more about the project and support MusiCares.
Also, visit NAMM’s Believe In Music Week website, where Taylor artists will present a live performance of “I Know What Love Is” for streaming audiences worldwide.