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  • Taylor Brown was one of the first singers to audition for “American Idol” producers at the Westfield Mall in Annapolis during September.
    Taylor Brown was one of the first singers to audition for “American Idol” producers at the Westfield Mall in Annapolis during September.

Local Singer Auditions For “American Idol”

Judy Tacyn
Judy Tacyn's picture
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October 4, 2017

To follow in the footsteps of Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson, singers need to be prepared for the long journey to the “American Idol” stage. For one local singer, that journey started in Annapolis during September, when the reality television juggernaut rolled into town looking for the next American idol. At the front of the line with a special pass was Severna Park High School graduate Taylor Brown.

“I have always wanted to be on that show since I was a kid, so I figured since the auditions were so close in Annapolis, I had nothing to lose,” said Brown.

Brown sent WJLA “Good Morning Washington” a video of himself singing the song “Drinkin’” by JMSN. He won the television station’s competition to receive a front-of-the-line pass and appeared on the show to receive the pass on air.

On the morning of the audition, Brown said, “I was able to skip the 3-mile-long line to be one of the first performers of the day. I was grouped with about nine or 10 other singers and we all got our chance to sing in front of one of the “American Idol” producers.

“After we sang, the producer selected one of the other singers from the group to advance to the next round and the rest of us did not make it past the first round of auditions,” added Brown. “The whole thing only took about 15 minutes.”

Brown enjoyed his appearance on “Good Morning Washington,” going into the news station to be interviewed on live television. “I have never had an opportunity like that before,” said Brown. “I also enjoyed meeting some other artists auditioning for the show the morning of the audition.”

“American Idol” producers don’t release exact numbers, but judging by the participant line, thousands of Idol hopefuls turned out at Westfield Mall in Annapolis for auditions. Participants started lining up at 6:00am as overnight stays were not permitted.

“At first, I was very sad when the producer told me that I would not be advancing to the next round,” said Brown. “I realize now that there were many talented people auditioning that morning, so I shouldn’t be discouraged, and I will definitely be auditioning the next time around.”

The musician said he is recording new music, with some of those songs streaming on Spotify and Apple Music under the name Taylor Carter Brown. He also posts songs to SoundCloud.

Brown said he enjoyed listening to Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Justin Timberlake when he was younger, but admits his music preferences have changed a lot over the years. His current favorite artists are Ariana Grande, Lorde and SZA.

As a singer at Severna Park High School, Brown said, “I always loved being a part of Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival. I was in that show my sophomore, junior and senior years. My favorite musical was definitely ‘Les Miserables’ where I played Marius.”

After graduating from SPHS in 2013, Brown attended Towson for a couple of years to study mathematics. His love for music couldn’t be suppressed, however, and he transferred to University of Maryland Baltimore County to study music production. He’s currently a manager and server at Park Tavern.

Though he didn’t advance to the next round of competition, Brown said he’s going to keep working toward his goal of recording his music. The next step in his career is to perform live music at local venues, and continue to post original music on Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud.

“Never get discouraged, no matter how many times you are told ‘no,’” encouraged Brown. “Go to every audition you possibly can, even if the venue is far away. Always believe in yourself and your art no matter what people think.”

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