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Vinyl Confessions: The Songs That Inspire Us

Music has the incredible power to move us, to transport us to another place, and to inspire us to do things we never thought we could. For many people, one song ignited a passion within them to pick up an instrument or start singing. That one song spoke to them on a deep level and made them want to create music themselves. This may have been the first song they learned to play on an instrument or the piece that motivated them to pursue a music career. Whatever the case, this song holds a special place in their heart and continues to inspire them today.

For this reason, we teamed up with Denon to create the series Vinyl Confessions, in which artists share the song that inspired them to start making music, explaining how that song influenced their playing and songwriting and how it continues to inspire them today. Each episode includes an intimate performance of the song.

Some of our guest artists were inspired by classic rock songs, while others were moved by soulful ballads. Often, it’s the lyrics of a song that resonates; for others, it’s the melody or the guitar part that caught their attention. But the most common theme that emerges from these stories is the power of music to connect people and evoke deep emotions.

The experiences detailed in our “Vinyl Confession” series show how a single song can significantly influence a person’s life and inspire a lifetime of creativity. It’s incredible to see how a single song can create a ripple effect that leads to a lifetime of creativity and musical expression.

What’s that song for you?

Here are a few of our favorite Vinyl Confessions episodes from early 2023.

The Struts Play “Stranger in Moscow” by Michael Jackson

Hailing from Derbyshire, England, this hard-rocking quartet has been strutting their stuff since 2012. The Struts are known and loved for their glammy arena-rock sound, a blend of driving classic rock mixed with pop sensibilities and a distinctly British vibe. Drawing on influences like Queen, Oasis, Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones (for whom they opened in Paris in 2014), the Struts make a compelling case that rock never dies.

The Struts joined us recently to play “Stranger in Moscow” by Michael Jackson for Vinyl Confessions. Watch their performance of the song and hear about how it helped inspire the band below.

Hailey Knox Plays “Session 32” by Summer Walker

Singer-songwriter Hailey Knox has forged a niche for herself with a signature sound that calls on a rich heritage of musical influences while adding a distinctly contemporary vibe that’s all her own. Her loop-driven sound and dreamy vocals have attracted serious attention in all corners of the music world, from TikTok (where she boasts a following of over 1 million fans) to major industry events like Austin City Limits. On her social media platform, Knox lets fans in on her creative process with videos that highlight her DIY style.

For her appearance on Taylor’s Vinyl Confessions, Knox selected “Session 32” by R&B singer Summer Walker. Watch Hailey Knox perform the song below.

Joseph Solomon Plays “Gravity” by John Mayer

With nearly a million subscribers on his YouTube channel, guitarist and singer Joseph Solomon is constantly surprising listeners with his cozy pop covers and original songs. His approach of rethinking traditional R&B and pop production styles with lush acoustic arrangements has put Solomon in prime position to grow an audience and leave his mark on the music world, and if you’ve watched any of his videos and heard his smooth, lustrous vocals, you know he’s already well on his way.

In his episode of Vinyl Confessions, Solomon graced the Taylor studio with an unforgettable rendition of John Mayer’s hit track “Gravity.”

Watch Vinyl Confessions on YouTube

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