All Access: A Whiskey Riff Exclusive Interview With Cole Taylor

A man standing in front of a fence

Go hard or go home.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

With multiple number one hits cut by other artists under his belt, Cole Taylor is a song writing force to be reckoned with. Within just a few months of moving to Music City he signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Nashville. Since then he has gone on to co-write number one songs “Sippin on Fire” by Florida Georgia Line and “Home Alone Tonight” by Luke Bryan ft. Karen Fairchild. Most recently he had two cuts on Cole Swindell’s brand new album You Should Be Here, “Making My Way to You” and “Stay Downtown”. While working on this impressive song writing career Cole has also managed to balance his solo artist career. He released his self-titled EP in 2015 and his new EP Step 2 came out in February of this year. I got to sit down with Cole to talk music and what’s coming next.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m from a small town in Georgia called Cuthbert. I started writing at fourteen and later moved to Nashville in 2013. I did a lot of writing, song writer rounds, shows, and then within nine months of moving there signed my publishing deal. I actually wrote “Sippin’ On Fire” and “Home Alone Tonight” in the same week in December of 2013.

How did getting your first number one song feel?

The first one is like your first kiss because after you get your first one you are going to want more. It made me feel like I moved here for a reason. “Sippin’ On Fire” going number one was an accomplishment. It was like all the work put into this was worth it.

Do you balance your song writing career with your solo career at the same time or go back and forth?

I sort of balance them at the same time. For a long time I’ve been the song writer over being the artist. Now I’m ready to flip the switch and do both. I needed that experience to see who I am as an artist and figure out what I wanted to say.

Are there any songs that you wished you’d written?

“You Save Me” and “Anything But Mine” by Kenny Chesney. I love the imagery behind “Anything But Mine”. My favorite current song I wished I’d written would have to be “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw. My parents have always said that and it hits home.

Who is your role model?

My parents because they’re such hard workers and I’ve always looked up to them. They’re examples of the type of person I want to be. And then my role model in music is Luke Bryan because back when I was in high school he was making his own way in Nashville. He made me think if a guy who grew up close to where I did could do it maybe I can chase this crazy dream too.

Favorite venue?

The Georgia Theatre and Joe’s Bar in Chicago are favorites of mine. And then my favorite college bar is The Gin in Tifton, Georgia. I started there and it’s the place where I’ve seen my fan base grow a lot in South Georgia. I went from playing in front of eight to eight hundred people there.

What is your favorite show you’ve ever played?

That’s a hard one, but I’d say this show we did in Crystal River, Florida. We took the full band and a generator out on a barge and were out a mile in the ocean and had a show on a sandbar. There were boats and people everywhere. It was a one of a kind show.

Can you explain 4 Wheel Drive to readers who don’t know what it is, and can we expect a reunion any time soon?

The best way I can describe is that we’re the Blue Collar Comedy Tour but we can sing. It’s me, Jon Langston, Travis Denning, and Jordan Rager together for a show. Everyone has their own career and their own sound but when we get together it’s like a brotherhood. There is a coolness factor to it. And there is no set list or anything. We just go for it. We’ve done it Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia around Christmas time. But who knows, more could happen.

What are your top three goals to accomplish next?

My short term goals are to get new music out soon. I write about a song a day and am always full of new music so I want to get more out. I want to build my fan base. And then my long term goal is to play huge shows at stadiums and arenas.

Advice to aspiring songwriters and singers?

I always tell people that first you have to move to Nashville. Write a song any chance you can get. You’ve got to go through the bad ones to get to the good ones.

What is coming next?

A lot of shows are coming up. I’ll have new music out shortly. We’re going into the studio in the coming weeks to work on that. And then this fall I will be opening for someone on a tour. That’s all I can say about that for now.

Cole has really put in the work since arriving to Music City. From all the song writing cuts, his own EP releases, opening for artists such as Cole Swindell, to playing the historic Ryman Auditorium with huge names, this Georgia boy has been busy. We’re excited to see what’s coming next for Mr. Taylor and you should be too.

Check out Cole’s version of “Home Alone Tonight” with co-writer Jaida Dreyer and one of the songs off of his new EP Step 2 “Back in the Game.”

A beer bottle on a dock


A beer bottle on a dock