The year 2003 was a rough one for East Lansing resident Ricard Taylor. He was going through a rough divorce when his older brother, Taro Taylor, convinced him to try street performing with him in Detroit.
“He said, ‘Let’s try it for a year. See what we can do, see what we can make of it,’ and we did it on the streets there and we got a lot of love shown to us,” Ricard Taylor said.
The brothers started playing in their hometown of Detroit but soon moved on to Seattle, Wash.; Portland and Coos Bay, Ore.; Traverse City, Mich., and East Lansing.
“My favorite is East Lansing,” Taro Taylor said. “I feel like it’s new enough to them, it’s not really new in the world, but it’s at least new enough.
“Probably because it’s a college town, the vibe and the percentage of people that I meet they’re like ‘Woah, man! That’s cool!’ East Lansing is definitely the best.”
The brothers often perform open-mic nights at local bars, but more commonly frequent places such as the alley near P.T. O’Malley’s or by the bridge behind the MSU Library after football games.
The two brothers have completely different views on where their future will take them.
Ricard Taylor is hoping to use his music hobby to start a philanthropy business that will help disenfranchised people in communities.
Taro Taylor wants to keep working and pushing his musical career forward.
“I’m a street performer, but my main focus is performing,” Taro Taylor said. “My brother and I are working on an album and we’re looking to start gigging in East Lansing.
“I’m just kind of headed into another level of performance. The street is just the beginning.”
Editor's note: A photo in the story previously referred to Ricard Taylor as an MSU graduate student. The caption has been changed to reflect that he was not.