Bread or Water
Even as she is developing into one of contemporary music's most compelling and insightful independent singer/songwriters, Alaria Taylor is quickly becoming an inspiration to women everywhere with her ongoing commitment to various female-oriented charity and music events in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Alaria's breakthrough Unfinished Business received 27 different national and regional awards including Billboard Magazine's World Song Contest, VH-1 Song of the Year Contest, Great American Song Contest, "CD of the Year" and "Song of The Year" nominations from the Wisconsin Area Music Industry. Tracks from the album have been played on over 100 radio stations throughout the world. Unfinished Business was produced by legendary, Grammy Award winner Joe Puerta-best known to several generations of pop/rock fans as a founding member of Ambrosia and part of Bruce Hornsby and The Range. "Unfinished Business brought me so many amazing opportunities including television interviews and appearances, worldwide radio airplay and awards ...it was even more than I had hoped for." In addition to this, Alaria received an endorsement deal from Luna Guitars in 2006 and has recently been named a voting member of the Recording Academy (The Grammy's). Tracks from the equally gripping Bread Or Water are quickly making a similar impact; the Fleetwood Mac reminiscent title track "Bread or Water" and the uplifing "Time of Angels" have won Honorable Mentions in the prestigious Billboard Magazine World Songwriting Contest. "This CD is about the emotional roller coasters we all get on...and how to get off of them." she says. Alaria wrote the hard driving opening track "Nobody Else Like You" as a direct message to a woman in the depths of despair. Alaria knows first hand what it's like to emerge from the depths of despair. Her story reads like a soap opera...but it's all true. As a two time rape survivor, she knows firsthand the struggles and pain all too many women go through. Those experiences left her with post-traumatic stress disorder and a suicidal depression. In 2000, she was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease, a crippling, unpredictable, and incurable illness that causes severe bouts of violent vertigo, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. For three years, she was unable to even listen to music, much less create it. Alaria refused to give up even though the disease left her legally deaf in one ear. She was miraculously healed when two women she had never met before approached her, prayed over her for 4 hours and told her "You're supposed to be doing music...that is your mission in life." Though she is still deaf in one ear, she remains incredibly upbeat and considers the years of trauma instrumental in helping her become the artist she is today. While other artists want the limelight for themselves, Alaria is always sharing it and helping other artists. She is the Director of Chick Singer Night-Milwaukee, a national non-profit organization devoted to helping female artists in every stage of their career. CSN is currently in eleven cities across the United States. Alaria brought the "Best Of Chick Singer Night" to Milwaukee's Summerfest: The World's Largest Music Festival, giving many artists the long awaited chance to play at this highly respected festival. Alaria performs her passionate, heartfelt blend of blues, folk, pop and rock songs several times a month at clubs, coffeehouses and festivals in the Milwaukee area. In addition to CSN, she also coordinates and performs at many special events and concerts for other non-profit organizations throughout the year, including the GoGirlsMusic Festival, an annual festival showcasing female artists in 14 cities across the country. She also coordinates "Chicks with Picks and Piano's" showcases in the area. All of these things have earned her the title of "Leader of the Chicks" from M Magazine and she's been called "The driving force behind women's music in the Milwaukee Area" by one local reviewer. Alaria started playing guitar at the age of 9. "I was so excited about my first lesson. What cool song would we work on first? Something from Heart, Fleetwood Mac? I was given a Mel Bay guitar book and my first song was The Happy Farmer. I was less than pleased. However, my guitar teacher took pity on me and wrote out one song of my choice each week. That was the greatest thing he could have ever done. I literally played until my fingers bled. I took weekly lessons for 3 years until cheerleading, boys and my hair became the focus of my life sometime in the 8th grade" she says with a giggle. Alaria later continued her musical experience and education with gigs aboard Royal Caribbean and Scandinavian Seas cruise ships, television and radio appearances, college show choirs, as a singer/dancer at Marriott's Great America theme park, in operas, as an on-air personality for Q-106 in Madison, taking classes in Chicago and New York, even performing with the Milwaukee Symphony as a part of the Skylight Opera. In 1992, while vacationing in Sedona, AZ, Alaria met a stranger who had a vision of Alaria singing before large groups of people, writing songs with a dark haired man, stacks of CD's and Alaria's songs being playing on the radio. Alaria had never written a song in her life, but back at the hotel that night a song popped into her head and the resulting tune was the first track on her demo released a year later. Alaria received her first songwriting awards within 2 years of that incident. "I've been blessed. Not only am I able to perform and record my own music, but I'm in a position where I can help other women and other indie artists. Considering all the things that have happened to me, it's a miracle that I'm doing what I'm doing. I feel like... Seabiscuit!" she says laughing. "I'm thankful everyday and I'm living the life I only dreamed of years ago". Alaria lives in Milwaukee, WI with her wonderful husband Jeff, whom she met when she was 11 years old.