By John Benson
Spencer Saylor doesn’t complain about growing up in Canfield, but the singer- songwriter admits being a Northeast Ohio native did limit his opportunities.
While other musically inclined teens were able to showcase their talents in rock bands, there really weren’t too many options for the folk- inspired Saylor.
Still, he didn’t quit or drift away from his passion. Instead, he bided his time. That came last year when he graduated from Canfield High School and relocated to Columbus to study music at Capital University.
Like a sprinter who finally runs on a track for the first time, Saylor found himself in the musical haven that is Columbus. It didn’t take long before chance came his way.
“Being in a large city like Columbus, I had the opportunity to play my music for people and get it heard and have it spread,” Saylor said. “What I did was I released a couple of songs that people really liked. I had a couple of shows that were just for my friends. But before I knew it, I started getting offers to open up for different national acts coming through. It was definitely a blessing that people really liked my music and that I was able to jump into these larger shows.”
Since the spring, Saylor opened for nationally- renowned artists such as Aaron Carter, Petrel, Nikki Flores, Deleasa, Jason Castro and Ryan Cabrera. What turned ears was his first single, “Nothing to Fear,” which initially was released last year to family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, iTunes and Spotify. Eventually the track reached ReverbNation’s No. 1 ranking for Columbus.
From there, he recorded his solo debut EP, “Highs and Lows” with a bigger release planned for later this year that will showcase the full breadth of his musical talents.
“What we’re going to be doing is all the songs on the EP will be recorded with a full band, along with seven or eight new songs,” Saylor said. “New tracks I’ve already been playing at shows are ‘Lost in Your Love’ and ‘This Life Ain’t a Dream.’ They’re very mellow with an acoustic feeling. It’ll sound almost like a Coldplay.”
Influenced by the likes of Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, Saylor said his real inspiration is John Mayer. This is why he’s on cloud nine after getting a gig to kind of open up for Mayer and Phillip Phillips at a show Sunday at the First Niagara Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa. Saylor will be playing the side VIP Stage before the show.
Naturally, he’s ecstatic at the opportunity, especially after considering the long path to Columbus and relatively overnight jaunt to success he’s enjoyed since. In fact, he’s hoping that his story inspires others back home who are in a similar position.
“Basically, if you work hard and put in the time and effort to reach something, that goal, it’s very much attainable,” Saylor said. “I worked hard, I didn’t listen to people who told me I wasn’t good or I’d never do it. I just kept going, kept working, and here I am.”