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Taylor LaValley

Compassionate. Driven. Creative.

Current Employer & Job Title: Singer-Songwriter 

Age: 28 | Hometown: West Chazy, NY | Education: High School Diploma from Beekmantown Central School

They walk among us. Those people who carry that “je ne sais quoi”, that something extra-ordinary. Taylor LaValley is just that person. With an unassuming gentleness, almost shy, her music fills a room and opens hearts. Taylor has performed since the age of 12, started her first band at age 16, and recorded her first EP (extended play), “Dear Dad” at age 22. She has opened for Danielle Bradbery, Season 4 winner of The Voice, and The Swon Brothers, Season 4 finalists of The Voice.

Self-proclaimed “girl that has it all”, Taylor has created a life that most people can only dream. She writes and sings her music from a deep, soulful place; talented beyond her years. Like many artists, inspiration comes from a very deep, often challenging, place. Taylor lost her dad, Doug LaValley, a seasoned Country Western musician, when she was only four years old. The impact of that loss and her natural, authentic gifts provides an opportunity to make her music her career.

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?

The greatest risk was deciding to do music as my full time career. I had to learn how to manage a business; how to be my own promoter, booking agent, and bookkeeper; how to build a website and do graphic design — all to ensure it could be financially sustainable for my family. Streams are doing well and shows are consistent, some months are better than others. There are significant challenges in the music industry. Purchasing merchandise and promo materials, investing thousands to produce an album, and traveling hours for a show with no guarantees. At times, we are barely breaking even from a show with expenses and getting the band paid. Musicians who do this full time have to be strategic about where we are playing. I have been fortunate enough to have two singles play on country radio (with a third single on the way) and regular invitations to play in Nashville. I am proud of my work. My husband has supported this decision and assured me we would be okay. It was worth the risk.

Tell us about your community involvement.

A little backstory — my dad passed away from cancer when I was four years old. Near the end he was in Hospice care. My mom was not able to afford groceries or gifts around the holidays, so my dad’s nurse, Jan, bought those things for us out of her own pocket. When I grew up, and understood the magnitude of this gesture, it moved me and inspired me to help make a difference and give back to an organization that affected my family so deeply. I began doing annual Benefits for Hospice of the North Country, and kept that up until COVID. While I was expecting my first child during 2020, I did a livestream show from my backyard for Hospice. Close friends, family and the Hospice team joined us in person. I have been performing at the Hospice memorial services for years. This is my way to give back to them.

Healing Grace is another organization that has touched me. Sarah Munn asked me to play music for the Cultivating Hope Event at Alice T. Miner Museum, where I was able to learn more about her story. I am in awe of what she is doing for this community. I really look forward to doing more with this organization in the future.

Over the years, there have been a number of other fundraisers and benefits I have had the pleasure of playing for, both big and small. It is so important to me to give back to those in this community. On August 24, 2024, I will be performing at the American Heroes Festival in Malone to support Armed Forces. I have also had the privilege of singing the National Anthem for The Honor Flight Events on the Oval.

How does company culture impact you and what do you do to contribute to it?

I work with a variety of organizations, businesses and people in the community. I find that when we all come together for the same purpose — to make a difference — that is when the magic happens.

When I am playing music or attending a show, I strive to make those around me feel comfortable enough to share their stories. In 2023, I began to write personalized songs for people, using their inspiring stories about love, friendship and loss, to bring the memories to life.

Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?

My inspiration would be my dad. He came from the Mooers area and created a Country Western career from a young age. He moved to Nashville, played at the Opry, and worked with renowned artists of his time. Doug LaValley never took “No” for an answer and throughout his career maintained his true, authentic self. I strive to follow in his footsteps. 

One of my band members, Kevin Connelly, has been my mentor. For the last 10 years, he has taken me under his wing and shown me what a musician’s work ethic looks like. With his help, I have learned how to navigate the new places you play and handle the financial side of this business. Kevin provided me with my first set of gear. He truly has been like a father figure for me. I am grateful to have him in my life.

What strategies do you use to approach the day?

My strategy is consistency. Networking is the name of the game. You have to put yourself out there, and be genuine while doing so. I rely heavily on social media to achieve some of that, so weekly, I check my website and social media insights, streaming insights for music, and do a little “inventory” to see how I will approach videos and outreach the following week. I spend two days a week making videos and writing songs the whole day. As an athlete studies their plays, I watch old videos to see where I can improve. 

What is something that no one would guess about you?

I’ve bowled my entire life and was captain of my high school team. My highest game was a 277, and I held a 187/193 average in an adult league! 

What important lesson have you learned in your career?

Balance. Before I met my husband and became a mom, I played anytime, anywhere and stretched myself thin. Additionally, I held a full time job. When I became a mom, my priorities truly changed and I became more aware of how necessary balance is.

 Make no mistake; Taylor LaValley is a businessperson, an entrepreneur. She has taken her craft, her skill and her passion and made it her career. Moreover, fortunate for all of us, she and her family call the North Country home.

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