“Because of everything that’s happened, I’m making the most intentional music I’ve ever made,” says Taylor Seaberg.
No one who lived through 2020 in the Twin Cities needs the phrase “everything that’s happened” further explained. And no one who pays attention to local music needs much of an introduction to Taylor Seaberg. A restless performer and collaborator, moving from project to project, inside and out of music, Seaberg is best known currently for their work with the Black Velvet Punks, who perform a mix of hip-hop, jazz, and rock.
And Seaberg has been keeping busy with the Punks, who recorded new music over the summer and have been releasing a new video every Wednesday. But that’s hardly the full extent of their 2020 musical output. You can sample two other projects this weekend at a pre-recorded KFAI MinneCulture show: “Pandemonium,” recorded with Kory LaQuess, and “Sucio” (Spanish for “dirty”), a collaboration with Beatriz Lima (a Cedar Commissions recipient) and drummer Glory Yard (who you might have seen onSNL drumming for Lizzo).
“It’s ‘dirty’ in the sense of society thinking I’m dirty because I’m trans, because I’m black, thinking I’m no longer human or worthy of empathy and compassion,” Seaberg explains.
But no effort has drawn Seaberg’s commitment like the one that grew out of a benefit near George Floyd Square this summer. “The overarching project I’ve been working on collaboratively with Twin Cities artists, audio engineers, and videographers is ‘The Art of the Revolution,’” says Seaberg. “We are slowly releasing our own live in-studio sessions, and I’m doing additional tracking for artists/recording additional instrumentation.”
A military brat born into a musical family in Germany and raised... well, everywhere, Seaberg came to Minneapolis (their mom’s hometown) in 2011. And yet, they say, not till this year did they feel fully plugged into a thriving, socially committed scene. And now they want to give back.
“I’m interested in using a platform as an artist to create opportunities for other people,” says Seaberg. “I can get grants, I can open doors, and I use those abilities to create equity and accessibility.”
As for the music they make, “I put it out into the world and then I let it go.”