Taylor Hogan understands why people get confused when they learn where she’s from.
Her debut EP “Wonderland” (Taylor Hogan) features plenty of catchy country songs, awash in acoustic guitar and clever lines like, “I want to thank girls like you who make girls like us look good.”
“People say, ‘You kind of have a country twang when you sing,’” she says, laughing. “And then I talk.”
Though Hogan currently lives in Nashville, where she is majoring in songwriting at Lipscomb University, she hails from Massapequa Park. And how does a Massapequa High School graduate fall in love with country music?
“I don’t even know myself,” she says. “I listened to a lot of Carrie Underwood, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton growing up.”
Though those country artists influenced her sound, it was her life on Long Island that she wanted to capture in her songs. “Most of the songs on the EP I wrote while living on Long Island,” she says. “It was my life experiences or my friend’s experiences that inspired me.”
Hogan says attending the Long Island High School for the Arts also helped shape her as an artist. “I went for theater, so that really helped take me out of my comfort zone,” she says. “But I’ve been singing all my life. I started doing talent shows when I was in middle school. And I’ve been writing songs for a pretty long time.”
Last year, Hogan decided to record some of them, to show people what she could do. She released “Wonderland” herself on iTunes and streaming services like Spotify to help her get more shows in Nashville and on Long Island. “I picked the ones that I thought the world could relate to most,” she says. “It was nerve-wracking, but this is my dream. I’m not going to stop trying to make it come true.”
And yes, the ambitious, 20-year-old singer-songwriter with long blonde hair who writes about her personal experiences is aware that she may be compared to another Taylor.
“I love Taylor Swift,” Hogan says. “She’s very inspiring to me, especially as a songwriter . . . We kind of write about the same things I guess. I write some breakup songs too when people do me wrong, so I guess were similar in that respect. But there are a lot of things about us that are different. Hopefully, there won’t be too many comparisons.”
Contact The Long Island Sound at email@example.com or follow @ndmusic on Twitter.