Interviewed and written by Tocarra Eldridge
Photo credited by Peter Baratti
This year marks dance-pop icon Taylor Dayne 30 year anniversary in the music business and she is back with her new electro-pop anthem “Live Without” that is steady climbing on the Billboard charts.
Taylor Dayne, is a prolific singer of our time. She is also a successful crossover artist who has accomplished music in the genres of Pop, Dance, R&B, Adult Contemporary, and Rock. She has 17 hit singles, three Grammy Nominations, an American Music Award, and has sold over 75 million albums worldwide. Some of her hit singles includes “Tell It To My Heart,” “Prove Your Love,” “Love Will Lead You Back,” and “I’ll Always Love You.”
I had the privilege to talk with Taylor Dayne about her new single, her longevity in the music industry and much more. Here is what she had to share with the readers.
Tocarra Eldridge: This year marks your 30th year Anniversary in the music industry. How does that feel or what kind of gratification is this for you?
Taylor Dayne: It’s a milestone. It’s incredible! I mean, it’s thirty years – wow! So, it started in 2016, kind of leading up to it. I did TEDWoman. It was so much going on in the industries and with awareness. I was more than ready to embrace my 30 year anniversary. Obviously the 25 year was a real kick start, but the first year was like ‘where am I creatively? What do I feel that I still need to do? Where do I feel I need to go?’, and it was writing this book, this memoir Tell It To My Heart, and releasing new records of my greatest hits. The book is really a combination of it and this tour. So, it’s been extremely exciting!
Tocarra: Nice, sounds great! You just spoke of the memoir that you released. What was the inspiration behind this book?
Taylor: Oh my goodness! It’s the thirty years. It’s telling the story. If anybody goes online and watch TED Talks you will really get a better understanding of what the climax and gearing of what the inspiration for this book was. If anybody goes online and pick up the book you’ll be able to get an understanding of really what the inspiration for this book was. It’s really not just about the voice; it’s a story behind it. It’s one thing to have a gift, but how do you take that gift and turn it into a career…a successful career, a place where you feel honored and more than that – you’re cherishing yourself and you’re also giving service. I feel like I know my purpose; I’ve found my purpose.
Tocarra: I know the wave of music continues to change and evolve over the years and you have been successful crossover artist. How have you continued to stay relevant for 30 years?
Taylor: You have to ask the fans. The point is, I continue to try to grow as an artist. You have to continue looking at your production and on stage, and what you feel. Of course, my music speaks for decades. It’s classic music that’s inspired and really helps people. They know exactly where they were when this song came out or that song came out. They’re classics. I mean, why do you go see Diana Ross after 50 years? It’s because you know exactly where you were when some of her music came out. That’s what music is, it helps us enjoy beautiful moments, joyful moments, even sad moments, and moments where we are all collectively under one roof doing beautiful things.
Tocarra: You’ve recently released your new single “Live Without.” For those who haven’t heard it yet, what would you tell them?
Taylor: It’s a club banger. It’s a lot of fun! It’s definitely catchy. People love it! It’s great for the clubs. It’s a summer banger.
Tocarra: You’ve worked with Avedon on this project who is an amazing producer. What was that experience like?
Taylor: We went in, we took care of business. He was brilliant; he was loving. He was really generous in the studio – just easy, great, fun!
Tocarra: You have had multiple smash hits from “Tell It To My heart” to “I’ll Be Your Shelter” and so on. You are considered to be one of the top successful Dance Artist of all times. During that time, where was your state of mind that later drove you to having this much longevity and success?
Taylor: It’s ups and downs. If you read the book you’ll understand. The state of mind is ‘this is what I was born to do’. I was born to sing, but then again, it’s more than just singing. You find your purpose in it. The reason that I stay doing what I’m doing is because if you look at any of my shows you’ll understand. There’s a story I’m telling – the joy it brings people and the healing and the fun. It’s become being in service; it’s so different from when I first started. I was just doing it to be famous…I’m going to sing, it’s going to get me out of my home, and it’s going to give me a reason to get out and make money and do what I need to do. After five, seven, eight years of that…ten years of that, you get what that means, so what are you really doing it for? That’s the journey; that’s the looking inside; that’s figuring it out. Who doesn’t love “Tell It To My Heart,” “Prove Your Love,” and “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.” I can go on and on. It’s been a beautiful ride, so I continue on the ride because there’s more to do, I have more to do. I have more to achieve; I really do! Now, knowing what you’re doing it for, for me, it’s different. I’ve raised kids, I’ve had my kids. I’m not in my twenties, I’m not in my thirties, I’m not in my forties – I’m in my fifties. So, what are you doing it for? I’m really doing it now because the joy of it and seeing what other goals and landmarks that I can hit 100% and how many people I can touch. That’s the game.
Tocarra: Yes, it’s all about your purpose. I most definitely agree Taylor!
Taylor: 100%. You know, I can go out there and sing the same songs and people ask me that all of the time. Well, it’s a different audience every night, so it never comes out the same – never!
Tocarra: You are also an actor and have acted on many shows during your music career. Was acting something that you’ve always wanted to pursue?
Taylor: Things kind of happened. As an entertainer, once you’re out there and you get a call and they say ‘hey, are you interested in acting or are you interested in doing Broadway?’, you don’t say no. You study and as an entertainer, as an artist, you rise to the challenge. I’m a great singer. What a joy when you’re singing and I give it 100%. My first film was with Warren Beatty – here I am getting coached by Warren Beatty. It was pretty extraordinary! So, yes it kind of just fell into place – it kind of happened, but you do the work behind it so you can actually be prepared. I was studying acting and it just seemed like a natural extension of being on stage, and moving into it. Of course that brought theater and Broadway. It’s been amazing. A really juicy role…a really juicy fabulous TV series… wouldn’t that be fun?
Tocarra: Absolutely! Sure! (laugh)
Tocarra: What words of encouragement would you share with singers or musicians who are looking to be successful in the business such as yourself?
Taylor: I share with people every day! I’m a mom of two 17 year olds. I try to teach on some level, because I have to share with them the experience and I also have to lay a boundary down and be firm with that. When other singers ask me – the theory of never giving up, it’s such a truth. However, the cheese moves, and you have to know when to move with the cheese. In my daughter’s case, I encourage her just as other singers. You have to practice, it’s the hours you put into it…those are the hours that are going to be given back to you. There’s no doubt in my mind. I don’t care if you are in the dental profession, I don’t care if you’re opening up a restaurant, it’s those hours and hours per day that you put into it, as you learn and experience, find the kinks and move sporadic – that’s why the 10,000 hours is more than a theory. It’s absolute, because to become great at something it takes those kinds of hours and that type of time. I was singing at a very young age. When you start very young obviously you have more time, the time that’s built into their passion, and that’s what you see. So, I say to all aspiring singers, to all aspiring writers and actors, whether you know it or not, whether you understand the system or science behind it, any person that’s doing great things are training for hours and hours. Their work ethic is phenomenal, and that is what is really behind any greatness. How do you improve it? Sometimes it’s a mental block or an emotional block. That’s why we’re on this journey right (laughs) and it’s not so simple.
Tocarra: I want to ask this next question because our magazine is in conjunction with a nonprofit organization, where we give back to the youth and young adults. Are you involved in any organizations or community entities that you support whole-heartedly?
Taylor: Oh, of course! My goodness, if you just go on my website (www.taylordayne.com) you’ll see that. I Am That Girl, Dream Foundation, The Nature Conservatory, and any foundations that are all about our earth and awareness. Another huge one, it’s called Unlikely Heros, in which human trafficking has become so large, and so deep. So, Unlikely Heroes is more grassroots, but it’s proven to become a real real spot in human trafficking for me. In this particular foundation I watched this woman save so many lives and put them under her roof. She’s truly one person that saves one young girl at a time or one young boy at a time and it’s been incredible to watch. You can see all of the actual foundations and charities and groups I work with on my website.
Tocarra: That is beautiful that she is passionate about saving boys and girls from human trafficking. That’s a big deal.
Taylor: Yes, it’s beautiful, it’s truthful, not so fun to see; yet, at the same time I’ve met some of these girls and they’re beautiful. They have a home now and they go to school and they’re so educated. Environment is everything. It really is.
Tocarra: Taylor, before we conclude the interview, would you like to add anything that we haven’t discussed?
Taylor: Yes, please, the new single is out on everything, Amazon, Spotify, etc. I’m out there on a tour and I’m selling the books. Get your copy. If you want a signed copy go directly to any of my websites or to Facebook and order online. Come see me live!
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Last modified: June 24, 2023