An Interview with Shane Michael Taylor

There’s no such thing as a road block for Shane Michael Taylor. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Shane Michael has been overcoming life's greatest challenges by using his creativity and enthusiasm to inspire and entertain people through his music, book, and lectures about living life to its fullest. Regardless of his physical limitations, Shane Michael has always believed in his ability to achieve his dreams.

Excepts from the interview are posted below.  Read the full downloadable interview in PDF format here.

Who is Shane Michael Taylor? 

1.  Please explain what Cerebral Palsy is and describe your condition?

SMT:  Cerebral Palsy is a small injury to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls muscle movements, balance, and speech.  My mind and body both work, but not necessarily together.  Sometimes my mind tells my body to stay still, but the body doesn’t listen.



2. What are some of the challenges you face in day-to-day life?

SMT:  One of the challenges is being unable to assist myself efficiently with daily living activities.  Everything from eating to taking a shower to getting in and out of the wheelchair requires the assistance of somebody else.  Another major challenge I have is communicating verbally.  I consider myself a friendly person and I love to interact with other people, but most people have difficulty understanding what I say, since I can take a while to get used to my speech patterns. Because of that, I’m usually quieter than I want to be, since I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.  They don’t know what I’m trying to say.


3.  Where did you get your inspiration to write songs?

Inspiration comes to me from all kinds of places. Each morning I try to write freestyle for 10 minutes on a regular basis. Sometimes a phrase pops out, and it becomes an idea.  Sometimes, I could be overhearing a conversation somewhere, and an idea comes to me. I have ideas and phrases come to me in the middle of the night, that wake me up from a deep sleep.  As a songwriter, you’re always on the clock, and that’s what I love about it.



4. Which musical artist has influenced you the most?

Garth Brooks definitely had the biggest impact on me. Besides adding a great songs with strong messages, the level of passion he has for his music and fans.  That’s really what turned me on to music.  I owe my career to Garth and hope that I could bring the same amount of energy and passion to my music.


Author and “Living This Rodeo:  A Journey from Fantasy to Reality”

1.  What made you want to write your audio book?

There are 2 main reasons I wrote the book.  First off, I felt the need to put my music career in context, since I’m an unconventional artist, in that I do not do my own vocals.  I thought I needed to put my own back story out there sort of like a prequel to the album.  But more importantly, I wanted to prove that anybody can become whatever they want to be, as long as they believe in themselves, and work hard.   I talk to a lot of people who use their challenges in life as an excuse, for not doing much with their lives, when there is so much opportunity out there. We all have challenges in life and it’s up to us to use those challenges to make us stronger and accomplish what we set out to do. 



2.  What types of stories do you share?

I share significant stories of experiences that led me to the career I have today.  I discuss challenges and roadblocks that I’ve had to overcome as well as the message I use to overcome to the challenges and crush the roadblocks.


Inspirational Speaker

1.  What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Just be yourself and never give up.  Everybody is a critic in this business and it’s often tempting to give in to do the ideas of others whether they are well intended or self-serving.  To be a successful artist, you must stay grounded and be true to who you are, otherwise you are going to be seen as a phony.

2.  Do you still have to stand up to rejection and move on from it?  Do people still say you can’t do this?
Success and rejection go hand in hand.  You need to get rejected in order to achieve success.  I will go one step further in saying that if you are not constantly getting rejected, you are not doing your job right.  Most of the time, there are a lot of “no’s” before there is a “yes,” and that’s often for a very good reason.  When you hear a “no”, it gives you a chance to make tweaks and I think you get more driven to get a “yes”.  As a songwriter, I pitch songs to major label artists on a daily basis, but I have yet to get a hold. Does it discourage me? Absolutely not. I believe in my songs and that somebody will cut one of them. It’s only a matter of time.

2015 and Beyond

1. Your debut album ‘I Will Stand’ is available now. Do you have a favorite song on the album? Why?

This is a tough question.  They’re all my favorite, but there is one song that I feel best sums up me as a person.   That song is called Warrior Cowboy.  It’s about standing up for what we believe in, regardless of what others may do or say to hurt you or try to bring us down.  The hook of the song is “The spirit cannot be destroyed, in a Warrior Cowboy.”  Even when we’ve been knocked down, the individuals that we were born to be will never, ever be destroyed.

Purchase Shane's album here



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