It is time to relearn this voice; alone. It is time to relearn the choreography of this stage without any other bodies to accompany me. It is time to relearn myself. It is time to reconnect to this artist living inside of me. What are his desires? What is it that he wishes to accomplish? It is time for all of these accomplishments to bare mine, and only my name. It is time for the world to finally know who I am.
Once you make the decision to stand alone after being a face amongst many for so long, you’ll find that there are things you must relearn about yourself. One person in particular who knows too well about this transition is former Day 26 member Willie Taylor. After the disablement of Day 26, Taylor, is now doing all he can to strike out on his own. It is Taylor’s mission to show the world that he is more than just a former boy band member; that he is also his own artist with his own distinct perspective and voice worth listening to. After the success of his first mixtape entitled Sex Tape, Taylor is back at it with another one entitled The Re-Introduction of Willie Taylor. Even with the tremendous grind Taylor is on he still managed to take time out to answer a few questions for us:
Parlé Magazine: Before we get into your newest mixtape, I think it’ll be unrealistic to not address the recent news of Day 26 breaking up. May I just get your feelings on that? Do you feel it was for the best, or, could have whatever caused the break-up been avoided?
Willie Taylor: I feel like whenever you bring people from different areas of the world into one group it just makes it that much more difficult for it to work. There’s the issue of different personalities, of different ways of living, it’s just difficult. So I honestly just feel like we went as long as we could for the fans. It just got to a point where it could no longer work. So from that point we just decided to let it go. I still wish everyone the best. That’s just the problem with the whole “Making the Band” project, when it comes to people from all across the world, trying to be cohesive is difficult. However, at the end of the day Day 26 is always going to be one of my favorite groups.
Parlé: You’re now on to your second mixtape, which is great. Was a solo career always a part of the plan for you? Or was it just something you decided as you watched Day 26 slowly decline?
Taylor: Well, I guess it’s always been a part of me. In reality my journey didn’t start with Making the Band. I’ve been in another group before; I’ve been on my own as a solo artist before; Making the Band just happens to be the thing that helped me to take off. So even though I never kept in the back of mind while I was with Day 26, it was always something I knew was possible. If ever need be, I knew I would be able to do it.
Parlé: The name of your newest mixtape is The Re-Introduction of Willie Taylor. Why do you feel the need to re-introduce yourself? Do you feel you weren’t able to show the real you while in a group of 4 to 5 different artists?
Taylor: Yeah, that was definitely part of it. But also, I wasn’t able to show exactly who I was inside of the group in that no one knew the writer that I am, or the arranger that I am. In a group you kind of just play your part. You might hear me a little bit more in the beginning of the song but maybe not as much at the end, which was okay because at the end of the day it made for the Day 26 sound. However, now as a solo artist I’m able to re-introduce myself as well as all the aspects that I want the world to see. They can now see me as the opener, the closer, the heartfelt, the funny guy, and the writer, basically everything that makes up me as an artist.
Parlé: It is definitely not unheard of for a former group member to rise above the rest into solo stardom; for example; Beyoncé, Omarion, Justin Timberlake, etc. What is it about you that will help to propel you into following some of these former group members’ footsteps?
Taylor: I really think it’s going to be about the music and about the way the fans receive it. Right now I feel like I’m writing some of the best music of my career. I’m very excited about it, and I feel like that will make all the difference there.
Parlé: Now that you’re officially on your own, without a whole bunch of different people’s opinions and ideas. What is it that you’ve wanted to express with your music all along? How do you define your overall message as an artist?
Taylor: Well it varies, different songs call for different meanings. So if I’m writing a heartfelt song I’m going to gear directly to that. If I’m writing a club song that I just want you to have a good time with I’m going to put the dynamics needed to get you in a good mood. I’m a writer of creativity. I like to do things that haven’t been done. I like to tap into songs that haven’t been heard. For example, “Instagram (Your Body),” this song is just saying that I think you are so fly that I want to take a picture of you and share it with the whole world to show everyone the girl that I have. So it’s just a creative way of me saying how special this girl is to me.
Parlé: What are you looking forward to the most starting this career as a solo artist?
Taylor: I’m just really ready to show the world me. It’s one thing to just be in this industry, and for a lot of people that’s cool, but for me I just really want to show everyone who I am. I feel like I really want to make a mark. I don’t want to just be another person that came and left. Years from now when I leave this earth I want people to remember Willie Taylor.
Parlé: So you’ve definitely been on your grind lately; working hard. However, what do you do outside of music on your free time to unwind?
Taylor: I try to just hang back and chill with my family. I love amusement parks, and I’m a faithful patron at Six-Flags. My kids love it also, so I really just like to kick back with them and do what it is they want to do.
Parlé: What would be your advice to a young artist coming up who decides to get into the game as a member of a group? What advice would you lend to them?
Taylor: One thing I’ll say to them is to find a position. While in the group everybody can’t do everything. So once you find that position just make sure to play it to the best of your ability. What a lot of people don’t understand is that jealousy will kill a lot of situations. Don’t ever let that be the reason for your down fall. If you have a Jordan on your team, then let Jordan be Jordan. Just remember that the end goal is the championship; never lose sight of that.
No matter what anyone may think about him, one thing that is indisputable is that Willie Taylor certainly is a fighter. The crumbling of a successful group such as Day 26 is enough to cause any artist to fold. However, Willie remained focused and kept his eyes on the prize. Let this be a lesson to young artist coming up. Not everything is going to turn out the way you envision it. The trick is to keep moving and never lose sight of the bigger picture. If ever you feel stuck, allow Taylor’s story to bless you with the motivation you need to keep going.
Look out for the new mixtape, The ReIntroduction of Willie Taylor coming soon.