By Michael Aaron Gallagher of StayFamous.Net
When 11 year-old Taj Farrant picks up his guitar, it’s as if he is a young King Arthur wielding the sword Excalibur. You immediately know that what is to follow will be a legendary performance. Music critics around the world have labeled Taj a prodigy, so gifted in his craft that he has already played alongside Grammy award-winning artists Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, as well as the band KISS. He has even taken his skills on the road to perform in front of a live studio audience at the Ellen show in Los Angeles, California.
But to be fair, there isn’t just one type of prodigy. There are those whose technical proficiency, say on the piano, are meticulously mechanical. They hit every note with an exactness that is astounding and well beyond their years. Yet, often those so-called prodigies do not become household names or even groundbreaking in their field. They play an instrument, but it is devoid of the true meaning and emotion behind the song.
What makes Taj Farrant special is that he is another type of prodigy altogether — the one who at a young age discovers the talent they were destined to be a master of. In doing so, their instrument becomes an extension of themselves. Taj is able to use the guitar and the music he plays to speak a language that transcends the notes on the page by connecting on an emotional level with his audience. He feels the music he is creating and it is no longer about technical perfection or the exact sequence of the notes being played, but rather it is about the story he is able to tell through sound.
It was 5 a.m. on a recent autumn morning in New York, when I had the opportunity to speak with Taj via Zoom about his newly released music video for his debut single “Just Can’t Sleep.” Co-written by Taj and his friend Jacob Hunt, the song features not only the guitar playing he has become famous for, but he also sings on the track as well.
“Me and my co-writer Jacob, we needed a song,” Farrant said. “So we started playing around with some keys, chords and some cord progressions and then we found a good chord progression.”
“I couldn’t get to sleep because I was really excited to play guitar the next day,” Farrant explained. “Also, I couldn’t get to sleep because I was trying to think of words for the song.”
The music video, which was directed by his father Brandin Farrant was partially filmed in West Gosford and Mudgee in New South Wales, Australia. According to Taj, it took about two weeks to produce the video – one week for filming and a week for editing.
Although he is just beginning his music career, Taj already has the poise and professionalism of an experienced artist both on stage and off. Mesmerized by his first big concert experience, when his father took him to see AC/DC, his interest in learning to play the guitar quickly progressed. By age 9, his cover of the Chris Stapleton song “Tennessee Whiskey” went viral and many of his other performances were garnering the attention of music fans on social media.
“I probably started guitar lessons a year ago.” Taj said. “ I can read sheet music, but I would rather play by ear.”
This natural instinct for how the music should sound, has earned him more than 25 Million views on his YouTube Channel and a worldwide following of fans who enthusiastically share his performances on social media.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, Taj said he looks forward to performing overseas in the UK. “I would definitely like to do something in London,” he said. In the mean time, he is preparing to launch his debut album, which is expected to drop in 2021.
For more information about Taj Farrant, visit his official website www.tajfarrant.com.au, and subscribe to his YouTube channel (click here to watch more videos). Be sure to like StayFamous.Net on Facebook and follow @StayFamous on Twitter for the latest entertainment news, celebrity interviews and much more!
“Taj Farrant: A Guitar Hero for a New Generation (Exclusive Interview)”
Copyright © 2020 by Michael Aaron Gallagher
Photography courtesy of TajFarrant.com.au
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