CONCERT + NASHVILLE TONIGHT TRIBUTE SHOW + TALK
Taryn Papa’s music is the soundtrack to endless summers. Blending the timeless twang of 1990s country with the modern melodies of 21st century pop, she bridges the gap between the classic and the contemporary, creating a warm sound that’s every bit as powerful as the Martina McBride records that first captivated her attention as a teenager.
Raised in Connecticut, Taryn grew up listening to female country artists with big voices and honest stories. Inspired to follow in their footsteps, she formed her first band at 16 years old, performing country-rock songs, Pat Benatar hits, and Kelly Clarkson anthems for audiences in the northeast. Between gigs, she’d spend hours at her grandfather’s piano, playing the same instrument she’d been practicing since she was 7 years old.
“My grandfather taught me how to play when I was young,” she remembers. “He was later diagnosed with Alzheimers, and whenever I’d bring him into the room and play piano for him, he’d say, ‘I think I know that song!’ For him, music was so much more than sound. It was a time, a place, and a memory. The experience taught me about music’s ability to transform a moment into something much bigger than itself.”
Taryn began creating transformative moments of her own, singing the National Anthem at various events — including NASCAR races and NHL games — before resettling in Nashville. Drawn to the honky-tonks that filled the city’s Lower Broadway district with music, she quickly found a new home onstage, where she spent years playing marathon shows four nights a week. Those gigs sharpened her vocals to a powerful point, and she spent the hours between shows taking hold of nearly every aspect of her career, from designing her own merchandise to booking her own shows to writing original songs.
Those songwriting skills take centerstage on AWAKE, Taryn’s first release following her successful run on Season 19 of NBC’s The Voice. She co-wrote every song on the EP, inspired by a new relationship whose bright, sunny promise dovetailed nicely with the anthemic sound she’d been crafting for years. Her vocals sharpened by thousands of hours spent onstage, she turned AWAKE into a celebration of the good things in life: new love, old thrills, and the joy of surrounding your heart to a worthy partner. From the warmhearted title track — a dynamic love song, laced with upright piano and driving percussion — to the rapid-fire hooks that fill the record’s climactic closer, “Persuaded,” AWAKE is every bit as rousing as its title suggests, delivered by a singer, songwriter, and inspired businesswoman who has every reason to take stock of the present.
“I’ve put so much of my life into my music,” says Taryn, “and a responsibility to those who didn’t get out of their hometown. I want to succeed for them. I want to share our story through my music.”
Taryn Papa isn’t scared to pay her dues. For her, the journey is worth as much as the destination. With AWAKE, she’s created a pitch-perfect soundtrack for the ride.