Taylor Dayne – An Xperience Interview

Written by on January 31, 2024

Taylor Dayne – An Xperience Interview – by Liam Sweeny.

RRX: Thank you so much for chatting with us. What’s new?

TD: I’m getting ready for the Love Me Tour. Obviously, I will be seeing you in Troy, New York and we’re very excited about it and working our way there. So, yeah, I’m gonna press junket right now here, and then getting ready for some, doing ‘Kellyoke.’ I’m filling out mid-February probably right before I go back and start the tour. I’m doing an edit on a track so we could sing together and it’s, it’s exciting as, as heck. But yeah, I’m all over, baby.

RRX: So tell me a little about a little bit about the tour.

TD: I have been touring for 35 years, right? Some, some extensively, some, not, this is a real ground tour, like we’re going out for the full months of March and April. Um It’s mostly, we’re doing east coast, Midwest and I’m really excited about it. You know, the, the last three launches of putting out music have been the music recorded during COVID and, and after the celebration of this, the now having this number one dance hit now with Cash Cash on this rerecording, this reversion, you know, and this remix of “Tell It to my Heart” has been unbelievable. People going, “girl, I hear this new mix like, girl, this is, you know, from Pandora to Spotify to like Siri” like that. It’s been quite something. So this tour is pretty meaningful, you know, I’ll be going and hitting markets that I haven’t in a while. Long time. Albany and then Ontario and then we’ll get back into New York in the city, outside Riverhead, you know, Long Island, make our way to DC, Philly and outside of Pennsylvania. Lots, you know, it’ll be great.

RRX: So now I didn’t hear about this, this mix, this remix. Um I’m sometimes I’m sometimes my, my head is under a rock sometimes I uh yeah. So tell me a little bit about it.

TD: I think it went number one probably like three weeks ago. It’s the Cash Cash Taylor Dayne remix. Just pull it up on. I don’t know if you watch Spotify or Pandora, I don’t know what you’re using.

RRX: Spotify usually.

TD: Pull it up, you’ll see it. Number one. It’s right there.

RRX: Wow. And you were already planning to go on tour before this happened? Right.

TD: 1000% But, I mean, this is just celebratory because, um, I had the anniversary to “Tell it to My Heart.” 35-year anniversary. We launched this in October. That was the game plan. So November, this went number one. Yeah, I think November, December. So now we’re just coming back into the first quarter and it’s still charting in the top 15. Yeah, it’s amazing. And now we’re looking in Europe and obviously foreign territories with it. Yep.

RRX: I was a teen when I first heard, “Tell it to My Heart” and uh love was in the air as it usually is in the teen years. Um Your music revolves around love and themes of love as I grew older. My, my sense of love changed it matured maybe. And uh do you think that love matures uh if you sing about love now, are you exploring something, different? Uh more, more evolving?

TD: Well, if we’re talking about my person, of course, I mean, love in and of itself. I’ve loved deeply, maybe more than some and been in relationships, maybe more than some because I’ve not been married. So I’ve had many, you know, not many, but I could say I’ve been in, love, like, really in love six or seven times, like, in a relationship, you know, at this point in my life. But that’s just the romantic part of it. What about the love of my children? My parents, understanding. Now, love will lead you back. I don’t even think about that as a person coming back to me, I think about that the soul of, of people I’ve lost and I know it, it’s there, the love is still there. Like there’s so many ways, and everybody interprets music and the art so different. And yeah, it’s, it’s really morphed over the years for me. Believe me, love. Indeed.

RRX: That’s what I’ve noticed in my life, I’ve seen, you know, love go from uh the purely romantic into something that’s in like when I care about the people in my life. I mean, I, I felt a whole different level of it now.

TD: You better believe it, it’s a partnership. It’s a, a caring, it’s an empathetic, you know, there’s many levels certainly encompasses so much.

RRX: Your latest single is called “Thinking Out Loud.” That’s coming to us with another new song, “Lose You to Love Me.” Is that the current music you have out?

TD: We just launched the record “Lose You to Love Me.” which was the Selena Gomez cover. “Thinking Out Loud” was the Ed Sheeran cover. “Lose You to Love Me” the single hit a few weeks ago.

RRX: Oh, wow, that’s cool. Okay, then, let’s talk about that.

TD: Oh, beautiful. So, during 2022 at the height. Yeah. 2021-2022 I was in the studio because that’s all I could do was go from my house to the studio at the height of COVID and I work with the Great Gregg Field, you know, nine-time Grammy recipient. And it allowed us to work in Concord Records that he has built into his home basically. And we started working on music together and through that exercise and discussing what we were doing, like standards. You know, we couldn’t get a lot of musicians in at the time. We still worked out at Capitol Records, which now isn’t even no longer there as the studio of working through. But it’s quite astonishing how we pulled this together.

We put a list of songs together, which would be, again talking about; if you wanna say love in it of itself. But the conversations of where I felt one of them was “Bit of Earth.” This was a song that Dinah Washington had done. Another was an old release, old Aretha song that really, wasn’t a big hit for her. But we felt really gravitated toward it and then newer content and like my feeling about, you know, “Lose You to Love Me” and why I thought that would be a great cover and “Gravity” from John Mayer and “Thinking Out Loud” from Ed Sheeran, just great songwriters, great songs as well as taking it and doing a different twist on it and feeling, you know, the need to be connected with people. And so, yeah, by 2023 I guess we were done, mixed it and that’s when we released the first single and I was “Thinking Out Loud”.

It’s a very vulnerable record? Intimate and uh the singles that we’ve chosen to launch. So “Thinking Out Loud” as part of those Gregg Field Capitol sessions as well as “Lose You to Love Me.” And we just released that, and it’s kind of been this January and, you know, people have been getting really warm reactions. Our target was to be ‘lose you to love me,’ but love yourself first, you know, and I’ve been a real advocate of that, of late because I went through such health issues in and conflicts over the last year and a half, and it really led to some different things.

RRX: That was my next question I had touches on that. You beat colon cancer. I wouldn’t be bringing it up except that my mother beat pancreatic cancer. So it’s something close to my own heart. Um I know that my mother had come out of the experience a changed person and I imagine you have. Has any of that battle, or the triumph of it, made it into your creative work

TD: 1000% It’s not just the creative. I’m not an artist living in a bubble. I go out there and I, my fans, it led to me being a spokesperson and having a partnership now with Wacoal and their Fit for the Cure, a campaign for breast cancer awareness. What caught, what saved my life was early detection. So I’m an advocate on early detection from pap smears with cervical. I had no idea I was sick or had anything going on with me. It’s only because I went in for my scheduled colonoscopy and my, my appointment and, didn’t let it go or put it aside, I handled it and they told me I had such an aggressive form of cancer. Like I had a week to make a decision on what I wanted to do. Full colectomy or partial, let them know. Hang on. I had two weeks and I had just done a colonoscopy six months before that. So because I was developing polyps and the only reason I knew that was by doing my my initial regular screening, 52 years old, going in for that and they were like, wow, you have a lot of polyps. Maybe, you know, one guy was like, we should cut your colon out now. I’m like, what? Chill. Like, what do I need to do here? So, back up then, take proper steps, make the adjustments. But yeah, it was, it was all really intense.

RRX: Wow. Yeah. My mom, when she, um, when she got the way, the only reason she got diagnosed is because she had, I think she had like scarlet fever when she was a kid. And for some reason some reason, the pancreatic cancer showed up as jaundice and they were able to see it way early otherwise she would have been that statistic on pancreatic. So they caught her early.

TD: It’s a luck of the draw sometimes. But also, only because, again, early detection is what’s gonna save you. These are not things you feel, you’re not, you’re not aware of it and it’s similar to ovarian, it’s similar to breast cancer, I guess on some level you have a shot when, if you can feel things like this, but it isn’t detected, it’s not detectable, you know. That’s just the sadness of it. Yeah.

RRX: I had a question for Fit for the Cure. You did mention it. Can you tell us a little bit more about it? How someone can participate in f For Cure?

TD: Well, it started last year with their first campaign. They asked me to come in. I did a photo shoot. I mean, I was just coming out of my, I was just starting to depress and, everybody seemed very interested in this, this little shriveled up raisin of a girl that started coming out of, you know, my ordeal and I immediately wanted to be on stage, but I wanted to be on stage more. Not because of the energy and purpose in proving anything. But I begged, I said to my management, I said I can do this. Just let me spend time with my fans and feel, let them see. I’m different. Let me feel this and see if I can get through this and it honestly just, I think between that and what the fans started seeing and, and the reactions and the TV, response from being on one show to the next in GMA.

And then Wacoal reached out to me and there was such a synergy and with their breast cancer awareness and their partnership with Susan G. Coleman for 25 years to help women and advocating for women to get their mammograms and to get proper bra fittings and to really help women and educate, to get yourself tested, to do your annual work, job, you know, for early detection. So the partnership was very organic because they saw me out there talking about my, my obvious struggle and my recovery. And so they reached out to me and we did a photo shoot in a campaign with my daughter and I think it was 2023 March. And that first campaign came out and Dillard’s was one of the bigger department stores, and we started doing a few in, in-store appearances and it was just phenomenal. And now I’m coming back to the spring 2024 campaign. We do a new shoot and it’s been an incredible partnership. Wacoal’s been just so supportive and it’s overwhelming and I can’t tell you how many women do not know how have proper fittings for the brass like, it’s just, it really saved my life. You know, Oprah talked about this, and until I learned I would never have been the wiser.

RRX: See that is news to me, I mean, I have no idea that how a bra fit could actually influence something like cancer.

TD: Well, you’re a man. But even us, we, we were so ignorant, we wear these stretchy bras of these things that we think we have the support and we don’t, no, not even close. And so part of breast awareness and, and everything we’re talking about is also proper care, right? Maintenance, maintaining, being properly fitted and feeling comfortable and also actually looking good.

RRX: Wow, that, that, that’s, that’s awesome that they’re doing that, that’s great.

TD: They really are and they put on site when I’ve done these, some of these in store appearances, they put so much time into it Wacoal and Dillard’s, um we set up free profiting while they’re doing it and money and percentage of the sales then go into the Susan G Coleman

RRX: And I’ve heard of Susan G Coleman. That, that’s, that’s huge.

TD: And that’s where we’ve been putting the emphasis and again, it was a very synergistic partnership, but they saw me out there talking and that’s how that came to play.

RRX: I have a couple other questions that are maybe a little bit different than what we’re talking about. Just more general questions. So, yeah. OK. I asked bands and performers when I interview people, I interview a lot of local bands. Newer bands like that. I always ask about genre and the answer is always kind of a dodge, like no one wants to be classified in the genre but you, you jump genres through your career. I mean, pop, dance, R&B. So were you trying to perform in these different genres or did you just perform and someone was like, “O0, hey, that’s uh that, that’s R and B. How did that work out for you?

TD: When you’re talking about my career, you’re talking about music now that some of it, you know, going back 35 years, it only plays out that way because you’re putting out popular music or how I started was on a dance record that was put out in the clubs. It was very grassroots. That’s “Tell it to My Heart.” It took off, in a very organic club international way. It broke in Europe first and then it was fed back to the club. That’s often times how we’re getting music like it starts in Europe, comes over here and then, you know, we’re charting or it goes to radio that way. You know, it depends on the ground swell. That’s what we call viral now didn’t exist then. But the song went viral. That’s what happened with “Tell it to My Heart.” But the single after that was, “Prove Your Love.” Same writing. Next song was “I’ll Always Love You.” Well, of course, now you have the support of a record label and they’re going, whoa, this girl’s got a voice.

Like, so the beauty of what my label could do is they could put me in front of a massive audience, then they started breaking it in R&B and in adult contemporary charts that, but the chart just dictates. So I’m coming from high volume in sales and expectations in the dance community, but that’s not a ballad like, you know, that was what “I’ll Always Love You” did. Next thing you know, I’m nominated for a Grammy and, you know, best female R&B vocalist, you know, and song of the year for, “I’ll Always Love You.” And those are the genres, you know, the pop, what pop music is, so kind of just ends up being a genre when they like it.

I see what you’re saying on the one hand really, it’s just that organic thing that you’re not even thinking about genre that much. But then the label is because they’re pushing on all, they’re saying this song when they’re doing it, but then the nature of where things go viral, how things touch people. You know, a ballad. Usually they’ll say to you if you have that one ballad, that ballad that is so phenomenal, it will touch everybody, anybody. It’s, it’s Timeless and, I’m so grateful that I’m sitting here having a conversation with you about music that is actually timeless. “I’ll Always Love You.” “Love Will Lead You Back.” “Tell it to My Heart.” Yes, they’ve crossed over many genres of music. It was always very hard to pigeonhole me.

But I was a pop artist. I mean, there’s no way around that. I was making pop records. We were doing them. We were going for top 40 all the time. Top twenties. Breaking the Top Ten. Yeah, I just believably can put out a dance record and you’re like, oh shit, this is a great dance tune. Like, you know what I mean? But then, you know, remixes started, right, late eighties remixes. So we, we could take a ballad like what they did with Unbreak My Heart and turn it into AAA Slam. I did that with “Naked Without You.” I recorded Naked Without You. The Roachford song for my 99 released the album of the same name. And then I gave it to Thunderpuss who did the same with “Unbreak my Heart” and I had a number one record again and damn.

RRX: You’re, you’re not just a musician, you’re an actress and uh on stage and film. Um You performed in uh Elton John’s “Aida” and then Mel Brooks’s “Archie” and “Mehitable”, and Dennis Leary’s “Rescue Me.” So when you’re performing in film and stage, was it a new world for you or was it just because you’ve already been a performing musician, Was it something you already had a knack for it?

TD: No, it’s not. Listen, when you take on a character, it’s one thing for me to be Taylor Dayne every night on tour and be me. But believe me, when you’re them, you know, eight shows a week. That’s Broadway. That was Aida. I was a princess in there. I was never Taylor Dayne. No, not at all. You’re in character. You’re in your person. That’s what you are, you’re in a play, you’re in a musical. And then it was Disney, it was one of the top musicals on Broadway. Aida. And then moving into “Cats” where I’m Grizabella. No, I’m not Taylor Dane. I’m the character and that’s in any film I’ve done. Yeah, that’s it, it’s not the same, but it’s a new muscle. I’m a good actress, but I’m a great singer. That muscle was highly more evolved and utilized and trained and, and, you know, the opportunities to acting, haven’t been as huge. So again, I always say I compare that as a training. I could. But yeah. Yeah. Oh Wow,

RRX: That was my last question, but I always like to give people the chance to answer the question I didn’t ask. So, you know what, the floor is yours. If there’s anything that I should have asked and I did not ask?

TD: Well, what’s the Taylor Dayne Show? This is all for, you know, my tour and “Love Me” tour and really when it says Love me, it says love yourself. You know, this is about the new music. This is about a resurgence and a re-energized, you know, tour of coming out with this, some of this new music, “Lose Me to Love Me.” We talked about thinking out loud now being back at the top of the charts with a song that was top of the charts 35 years ago. Now, back with it, you know, it just shows you the test of time and I’m ever grateful and for any platform, everybody wants to find me on, go check it out, you know where it is. The real Taylor Dane www.taylordayne.com.



More from Liam Sweeny…

Current track