Q+A with Wesley Saylor, a Lexington-based artist and songwriter

a photo of wesley

Wesley Saylor is a musical artist based in Lexington, KY. Photo provided by Wesley Saylor

Wesley Saylor is an artist + Lexington native who writes and records music right here in the Horse Capital of the World. His songs have racked up 800,000+ plays on Spotify, and he recently released a new song that’s gaining attention on social media — “Lexington Lover.”

We caught up with Wesley to learn more about him, his music + his life in Lexington.

What part of Lexington are you from?

I grew up in the Joyland neighborhood right near Mary Todd Elementary School + I graduated from Bryan Station High School.

When did you start playing music?

I’ve wanted to play music ever since I was young, but I didn’t start until I was 17, my senior year of high school. My mom started to get sick, and that’s what prompted me to make the jump. I took a guitar class that year, and as soon as I learned how to play two chords, I started to sing and play in front of people. She passed away when I was 19. That year, I backed out of college and just really went for it. I was playing anywhere that would let me play — mainly Common Grounds and The Twisted Cork.

How would you describe your musical style?

I think I’m a blend of Lexington [classic Americana] + new-age modern pop music. I grew up on country music — Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts. That’s probably why I stick to the acoustic guitar so much, but then I like to add in modern pop elements. I can’t deny that I love One Direction, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Bieber. I actually use a loop peddle like Ed Sheeran does. So while it’s just me on stage, when I loop my guitar and vocals, I can make myself sound like a whole band.

How do you go about writing your music?

I have a friend in town that’s a producer. It’s just me + him working on the music together. We record at this house out in the countryside, near Raven’s Run Nature Sanctuary.

Why not move to a bigger city like Nashville or LA to pursue music?

Well, Lexington is just home to me + I feel like it’s the perfect blend. It’s a warm and accepting city, but I can drive out to Red River Gorge if I want to be in nature. It’s always going to be enough for me because it has everything I need. And thanks to the internet, my music gets played all over the world. I get streams from Malaysia, Australia, and the UK. I can reach a lot of people without having to be around a lot of people.

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Artwork for Wesley’s song “Lexington Lover | Photo courtesy of Wesley Saylor

Why did you write the song “Lexington Lover”?

As a kid, I think everyone kind of thinks their hometown is boring. One day, I just woke up and realized that Lexington was awesome. I wanted to showcase my hometown. I also met my girlfriend here because she came to Lexington for college. So I wanted to blend those two stories — meeting my out-of-town girlfriend, showing her all these cool places + showcasing the city.

When you have a free night in Lexington where do you go?

Probably to the Stagger Inn. I was just there two nights ago.

If you were to go on tour for six months, what place in Lexington would you go back to first?

I’d head to the Twisted Cork and let them know what I’ve just done, thank them for giving me my start.

a photo of wesley

Album artwork for his song “lmk” | Photo provided by Wesley Saylor

What’s next for your musical career?

This year, I reevaluated what I was doing. I’ve stopped playing as many live shows because my goal is to write two songs a month for six months. I’m trying to build a more engaged audience + an email subscriber list. In December, I plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund my recording and traveling. At some point, I want to play at The Burl in front of a packed house.

If you had to choose one place in Lexington to write a song about, which place would it be?

Probably just growing up and being a kid here — riding bikes around town, hanging out at Constitution Park.

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