Shane Michael Taylor just released the video for a new song, “I’m Giving In,” which he wrote. For Taylor, the song is especially meaningful — and personal — as it reflects some of his own challenges as a singer, songwriter and speaker, who happens to have spastic cerebral palsy.
“It was a cold, gray, fall day in New England. I was looking out the window feeling a little down. I started doodling with words, and the song came together itself,” Taylor tells Everything Nash. “I actually forgot about it, but when we were starting to record music, I found the lyrics and it hit me. I was actually the guy in the song about one year after I wrote it. I knew it needed to be recorded, but something was missing. I showed it to Anthony, my college friend and caregiver at the time. He came up with the last line of the song which is ‘I’m giving in to the strength I’ll find within.’ That really took the lyric in an uplifting direction. We came to Nashville and had it recorded, but I always thought it was too dark to put out.”
The video for the song brings “I’m Giving In” to life in a way that not even Taylor could have anticipated.
“It was a very emotional experience; I had all kinds of feelings,” the songwriter says of seeing the video for the first time. “We had been talking about this video for a long time. We put a lot of time into this video. We did this because this is an important subject. We had to be careful and sensitive on how we portrayed it, even down to how to cast it. We wanted to make sure that the message came through without meeting distractions which is not easy to do. So, you can see all together this is a very special and bitter-sweet experience.
“I wish that we didn’t have a reason to make this video, but it needs to be done and I’m very proud of everyone who was involved,” he continues. “It definitely was not an easy shoot and there were tears during the filming process. Everybody was great and they all got into character, and it was real emotions. I am really proud to be a part of this project.”
Living with spastic cerebral palsy has not been easy for Taylor, who continues to fight misconceptions that other people have about him and his abilities.
“People don’t realize is that my brain and my heart are not disabled,” Taylor notes. “I think that when people hear me talk and see my body spasm for the first time, they are not sure how to react. It makes them a bit uncomfortable, and they tend to stand at a distance not just physically, but emotionally too. But maybe the interesting thing about it is people have spent the past year in isolation, I have been in isolation my entire life and I am still isolated in my life. In many ways, quarantine gave people a taste of what I experience every day.”
Taylor has written and released several songs in the past, including “Warrior Cowboy,” “Looking Up to You” and more, and plans to keep writing and releasing music in the years to come.
“As long as people keep listening, I plan to keep doing music,” Taylor vows. “At this point, I think we are going to keep releasing singles although it might not be as frequent as other artists. In addition to singles, we have bigger projects that are in the works that not only involve original material, but also classic hits from the perspective of a person living with cerebral palsy longing for connection.”
Those bigger projects also involve a new book, following his former book, Living This Rodeo: A Journey from Fantasy to Reality, which chronicled his journey that led to a career in country music.
“We just finished a draft a few weeks ago,” Taylor reveals. “It is directly related to the current single. I think it is one of the most challenging projects I have ever worked on, but hopefully, it will help some people. I really don’t know when it will be released, but I am very much looking forward to getting it out.”
Taylor has yet to release a song as personal as “I’m Giving In,” but he knew the time was right to share this part of himself with his fans.
“I just feel very grateful and blessed to be in the position to get to release something like this right now,” Taylor says. “It is a bit scary, because as an entertainer and artist, you never know what to expect when you release something like this. It is certainly not the kind of thing you hear on the radio today, but as someone who grew up on Reba, Garth, Martina, and listening to all 90s country, I was inspired when I heard a new song on the radio, and it shook me. The idea that a songwriter and an artist who didn’t even know me could touch me so deeply is the very reason I got into music.”
Find more information on Taylor, and download or stream “I’m Giving In,” by visiting his website.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PLA Media / Mike Miceli