Taylor Dayne Interview

Vincent 

Hey guys, my name is Vincent Dalessio. I’m here with Folio Weekly, and today I’m talking with Taylor Dayne. She’ll be in town for Everybody’s Favorite Barbecue and Hot Sauce Festival March 13th through the 15th. Welcome, Taylor.

Taylor 

Thank you so much. Right now I’m in Miami and I have a show here this week. So just getting you know, enjoying being back on the road.

Vincent 

Awesome. Miami is a great place. I love it down there. Last night, I was doing a little bit of reading on some of your older interviews, and one  interesting topics that stood out to me was some of your exposure to music when you were really young and how that kind of influenced you to this day. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Taylor 

Well, I probably was like any child, you know, the radio was the most influential thing in my house and the music that was played around me and that was by my parents. That was all 70s music. I grew up in New York City in the Bronx and Long Island and it was WBC, which was the radio station.  It was the most eclectic mix of music you had everything from Billy Preston like, nothing from nothing, you know, to, to a no sunshine, right from Phil weathers to Karen Carpenter, to Karen Carpenter, right. Like I’m on top of the world. It was really, and hard rock bands. Like I remember even like Aerosmith, like 72, you know, dream on this kind of thing. So it was like, really, it was really amazing. And the music my parents kind of gave me with my first albums was Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Beatles and things like that. So, you know, it’s very eclectic mix of, of sounds and artists and. And New York always made that a melting pot.

Vincent  

Yeah, definitely. Personally, Crosby, Stills,Nash, and Young  is one of my favorite bands of all time. How have you noticed some of your musical influences change over the years? Or have they changed?

Taylor 

Well, influences change, you know. I always knew what I wanted to be. So I was that  four-year-old in kindergarten singing along with the radio. So when I started getting attention for it, like, “oh, wow, she’s, she’s kind of good. “ It feeds your psyche. So just like any little athlete, if I dribble the ball, and I get a couple of baskets, just like with singing, I dribbled the ball, I got attention. I felt amazing. So I said, I want to be a rock and roll singer, I’m going to be a singer. And that’s really all I ever dreamed of. It really is the 10,000 hour, you know what you put your time into is where you’re gonna get your results from, but I knew I was incredibly passionate about it. So how do influences change? Music changes, times change. I’ll always say, one of the number one records for me is always gonna be Close To You by Karen Carpenter. Her voice itself is just the purest. I knew what I wanted to do, and what I didn’t want it to be. And, of course, you have talent, you have gifts, and you have passion, and you have drive. And that all leads to where you see me today.

Vincent  

Yeah. And speaking of all this time that you’ve spent and all these fans that you’ve accumulated over the years, it seems that you give credit to the LGBT community for being your most loyal fan base? Can you talk about that a little? 

Taylor  

Sure. I can always just say when I perform a show, and you’re intimately there with your audience, that is that moment, and I’ve done enough , LGBTQ, Pride Parties, and events over the years, I could just tell you how I’ve watched that community grow from 30 years ago. They are so important because they’re the loudest the proudest and I feel the most warmth, and the most embraced at those shows give me the greatest joy.

Vincent  

And here in Jacksonville, we have we have a very large community of LGBT people. So that kind of goes wel with everything that we have going here. As I’m aware, you’ve performed in Jacksonville before, correct? Any way that you’d be able to kind of remember what it was like and kind of tell me about?

Taylor  

No, and that would be lying. So let’s not lie so early in the day.

Vincent  

Alright, we’ll just skip over that one. There was a brief period of time where you were doing a whole lot of acting. And it seems that the thread running through all of your talent is stage presence. Can you talk about how there’s a similarity between performing music on stage and acting?

Taylor  

It’s just kind of a an extension of my talent. Once you’re getting notoriety, obviously, I was, you go out and about doing a lot of press. I was already working with an acting coach because Warren Beatty had reached out to my management and me about doing Love Affair. I just really started focusing, and really just trying to become that triple threat,  really just expanding on that. I’m a great singer, I was a decent actress. So you know, you really have to build that muscle and learn the technique. It was wonderful to have these opportunities to start working with some great actors. So it really started in the late 90s into the early 2000’s. For me, I really started putting more energy into that. And that led to Broadway. You know, it’s a challenge. And that’s what it’s all about

Vincent  

And going along with the stage present thing, You also did a you’re also a contestant on The Mask Singer as well, right?

Taylor  

Oh, yes, I did. I don’t know if it was fourth season or fifth season but it was during COVID. It was during the real heart of it, and it was fantastic to be involved in that in that production. Everybody that was anybody that wasn’t on the road was now available to cast for the show. So we just had an amazing designers, costumers, the stylists; it was incredible. And obviously, I went all the way and I think I came in fourth. It was just amazing, amazing experience.

Vincent  

Yeah, that sounds really cool. And I mean, just the amount of work that goes into a show like that is just something that’s, I mean, I’m in awe of, you know, and just to be a part of that was probably an amazing experience.  So you’ve also done quite a bit of work in philanthropy as well. Can you talk a little bit about your philanthropic journeys?

Taylor  

I’m very involved in the nature conservatory, Global Green, as well as Cambodian Children’s Fund. I get to see where our money goes and I also see the passion of the of the people on the board. And honestly,  for me, when I’m in our natural habitat, helping the conservation of it, and spending time in nature has been one of the most rewarding and grounding experiences. It pretty much saved my life. Believe me.

Vincent  

Yeah, well, that’s great to hear. And so I don’t want to keep you much longer because I can tell you, you’re very busy.

Taylor  

All right. Well, thank you. As long as we’re pushing for that date, I think this is for the barbecue festival, I think. I don’t know.

Vincent  

Yeah, definitely. That is what this is for.

Taylor  

I hope Rob feels better.  And I look forward to seeing everybody there and we’re gonna have a great show. 

Vincent  

Sounds great. Thanks for talking with me.

Taylor  

Thanks, Honey. Bye now. Have a good day.

 

About Vincent Dalessio

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