The Next Chapter·Bedside Books

Juno-nominated musician Julian Taylor is reading this self-help book about transforming traumatic legacies

The Toronto singer-songwriter is reading It Didn't Start With You by Mark Wolynn.
Julian Taylor is a Canadian musician. (Lisa MacIntosh, Penguin Life)

Julian Taylor is a singer-songwriter and instrumentalist based in Toronto. The Canadian musician plays an eclectic mix of Americana, funk, soul and rock music.

Taylor has been nominated for 2021 Juno Awards in the contemporary roots album of the year and Indigenous artist or group of the year categories for his second solo acoustic album The Ridge.

Taylor stopped by The Next Chapter to talk about why he's currently reading the book It Didn't Start With You by Mark Wolynn.

"Being of Mohawk and also of West Indian descent, I wanted to dive into my family history a bit more. My mother's family has all recently passed away; in the last five years, my mom lost her entire immediate family, which led me to work on my latest record. Some members of my family are on the record. I was diving into my family history and certainly there is a lot of trauma — and everybody has a varying degree of depression, anxiety and even physical pain. 

Being of Mohawk and also of West Indian descent, I wanted to dive into my family history a bit more.

"This book is talking about how to address it by addressing your family history. Slavery is not too far in our family history. Certainly genocide here in Canada was perpetrated against Indigenous people. And all of these family traumas have been perpetrated against my particular background and heritage. 

"So to understand that — and to address that and to learn more about it — is really therapeutic." 

Julian Taylor's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Listen to the song The Ridge by Julian Taylor

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