‘Sudan and Me’ musical, which was locally written and produced, has spawned an album
Story is centered around integration
Nearly three years ago Park City-based singer, songwriter and producer Tanya Taylor and her husband Todd Bigatel kicked off “Sudan and Me,” a musical podcast that focused on the plight of the Lost Boys of Sudan.
Two years ago, Taylor’s company, Tanya Taylor Productions, created a musical that told the story of the 20,000 Sudanese youths who were forced to flee their country in the midst of its second civil war.
A few weeks ago, Taylor, with the help of the musical’s artists and musicians, released the “Sudan and Me” album, which is comprised of 19 songs that appeared in the production.
Releasing an album, which can be purchased at tanyataylorproductions.com, and streamed on Spotify and SoundCloud, was always part of the plan, according to Taylor
“We initially knew we wanted to do a soundtrack of the musical as well,” she said. “After we wrote the songs and finalized the script we would cast the characters, and then get them into the studio from the get-go.”
Recording the album had its bits of challenges, as do all artistic endeavors, Taylor said.
“It was tough dealing with time constraints, but they were little things that we could deal with,” she said. “And we knew what we had to do going into the project.”
Case in point was working with actor Vegaz Taelor, the son of B. Murphy, who toured with The Platters in the 1970s.
“Vegaz had to record some of his stuff at a different studio in Los Angeles, because we weren’t able to finish everything here,” Taylor said. “When you record on different microphones and in different rooms, the sound can be a little different. So we were able to make the adjustments as needed.”
To help with the production, Taylor hired guitarist and producer Kenji Aihara.
“Kenji did all the arranging, mixing and mastering, which gave the songs more of a rock personna,” she said. “He added a lot of nice texture to the music.”
The overarching story of “Sudan and Me” is integration, and the “Sudan and Me” record is another step in Taylor’s mission to bring the Lost Boys of Sudan to light.
“I believe it’s a story that needs to be told, and we are trying to find different avenues to keep the story alive,” she said. “We want to keep telling the story and make it accessible to everyone. We want others to hear the story. That’s what art is intended for.”
Taylor’s favorite song on the album is called “Integration.”
“If there is one song that tells the message of what we’re trying to convey it is that,” she said. “Integration has been difficult for many because of the flaws of what has been happening in our country with the concepts of immigration, and with what has been happening with the Black Lives Matter movement, I feel like the musical came into the universe at the right time.”
For information about the “Sudan and Me” podcast, musical and album, visit tanyataylorproductions.com.
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