“Storms are a constant in our life, but no matter what happens to us — our spirit will never be destroyed.” -Shane Michael Taylor
Guest post by: Shane Michael Taylor
As a nationwide release of my single and music video “Warrior Cowboy” is currently succeeding, you might be inclined to ask- how did he do it?
While it would be cool and sexy to brag about how I have found a secret easy-button to life, and share it with you, the truth is, I have not found any such thing. Nor have I figured it out. What may be even more surprising to you is that I still have the same amount of struggles, challenges, worries and fears, as I had long before a music career was even a reality. Yes, the release of “Warrior Cowboy” is a milestone of my career and serves as living proof that if you never stop believing in yourself and who you really are deep inside, amazing things will come. While there is no way to totally avoid life’s struggles, challenges, worries or fears the fact is that no matter how hard we get hit and wounded by those demons, they cannot break our spirit.
I wrote “Warrior Cowboy” at the end of 2010 with my good friends KellyAnn Hocter and Justin Zimmer. It was recorded for my album “I Will Stand” just a few short weeks later in December of 2010. Earlier this year we released the 1st single from the album, which was released in October 2015 — far from an overnight success or a sudden dream come true! While the specific details are irrelevant to this post, I would say I have experienced the most intense struggles, challenges, worries and fears in the time between recording this album and releasing it and its single now.
After all the songs were recorded and set to become an album, I experienced some of the biggest challenges, road blocks and heartbreaks of my life both within the music industry and my personal life. My producer, Lorna Flowers, who was also my mentor and guiding light for 14 years suddenly passed away. It was Lorna’s idea to do the album and she was the one who enabled me to realize I could have a future as an artist, even though I cannot sing. She was essentially the brain behind the album and my entire career in the music industry and in the blink of an eye, she was gone. After some long and hard battles with deep-rooted sadness and navigating the world in an intense darkness, I knew I had to honor Lorna by moving forward with the album. Not long after, the harsh reality of her absence from my physical world set in and no longer having her here to guide me, the project fell into the hands of multiple sharks, people inside the music business who prey on artists who are fairly new to that business by making false promises and taking their money. I was emotionally drained and almost out of hope, but not ready to give up just yet.
However, on the personal side of things I was experiencing even more challenging road blocks and heartbreaks. Family members became ill and laws changed where I had to become the manager of my own care and safety in order to get up in the morning and continue to live a productive life. To clarify, I now have to become the best HR manager on earth in order to survive. One mistake in judgment can result in a really painful death for myself… The stress of everything finally caught up with me and I became ill, making for a very uncertain future. At that point I wanted to give up, but somehow I couldn’t.
I just had to keep fighting. I knew I hadn’t made the impact in the world that I was meant to make. I wasn’t going to die with an unreleased album in my grave. I sacrificed too much to let the music go unheard. So did a countless number of other folks, especially Lorna. One lesson I learned from losing Lorna is that our music is part of our legacy and will live on long after we’re gone… So we scheduled the album release despite the looming uncertainty and got it out to the world just one week before undergoing a series of medical procedures. By the grace of God, I can now report that part of me is healed and part of me is on the mend. I still have an intense amount of stress orchestrating my daily needs essential to my basic survival — and it will be a long journey before getting back to my old self, but I’m ready to rock again… So it is with great reverence and honor that I present to you: Warrior Cowboy.
So, now that “Warrior Cowboy” is released, the struggles, challenges, worries and fears must be long gone, right? Wrong.
They’re not, and I’m not certain that they’ll ever be long gone from my life, no matter how blessed I may become with success or fame. There have been many opportunities where it would have been very easy to throw in the towel and give up on this entire career and, even life in general, but I’m in this for the long game and fully expect road blocks along the way.
Ever since I discovered that country music had to be in my future at the age of twelve, I have been battling road blocks and doubters. Now that I think about it, this has been a constant theme in my life since day one, when I was born with cerebral palsy.
The lesson I learned is that despite the battles we face on a daily basis — no matter how daunting and haunting they may be — we must never give up on ourselves. We may lose many battles throughout life, but we must never lose sight of our drive, passion, and dreams. It is true that our spirit can never be destroyed, no matter how hard we get knocked down. We all have a legacy to build with every breath we take — and that legacy will live on long after we take our last breath and depart from this world.
That said, I invite you to enjoy the official music video here — and then visit WarriorCowboy.com to download the official song as my gift to you because we all feel defeated and hopeless at times, but we must remember that we have unbreakable spirit that is within all of us that will never be destroyed even through our worst storms and darkest moments.
Shane Michael Taylor navigates the world in a wheelchair and has difficulty communicating verbally as a result of being born with a severe form of Cerebral Palsy. Shane taught himself to type with his nose at the age of five. Fueled by a love of country music and a desire to shatter stereotypes, Shane earned a degree in Music Business and began making frequent visits to Nashville. Now, after years of honing his songwriting craft, Taylor has released a debut album of his songs entitled I Will Stand.