You probably remember Taylor Dayne from her smash 80’s hits Tell it To My Heart, I’ll Always Love You, Love Will Lead You Back and many others. I, of course remember Taylor because I was a music loving, Sun-In and permed haired, teen of the very generation that rocked out to her number ones. But what you might not know is this multitalented entertainer has been quite busy since then, performing live concert performances all over the world, acting (Taylor performed on Broadway in Elton John’s Aida in 2001, and has had numerous roles in independent films and TV shows), and most importantly taking time off for her family.
Taylor Dayne’s newest CD, her fifth studio album, drops February 5th ‘08 and she’s released her first single from it, Beautiful. Taylor says the title of her album; Satisfaction is a bit tongue and cheek. “There’s a journey there. There are moments of satisfaction. It’s very difficult to stay at one place all the time emotionally. It’s the women who dust themselves off and try again. Those are the women I admire.”
Taylor Dayne knows what she’s talking about. Approximately six years ago, Taylor made the decision to have a child, Levi and Atria, birthed by a surrogate recently turned six. “My marriage was always to my career. I’m not saying I didn’t want to [have kids]. I’ve always been in relationships. By about thirty-four I was like, I’m ready to have a kid. But I wasn’t in the right relationship. I’m not a shoulda woulda coulda person. I do things that I want. I put the energy into it and I took control of it. I didn’t see any other way. I don’t want to wait for someone to give me the kind of experience I want.” Taylor looked into all her options and found that surrogacy was the perfect way to go for her. To her surprise (and I know the feeling having just been through it) she found out she was having twins!
Levi and Astaria were born late 2001 December 30. “I had just wrapped a year of Broadway Sept 10th. I came back to Los Angeles after a year of committing to this show I starred in, Aita. I’d been working eight shows a week and I needed some time off. I never planned to take a certain amount of time off of work. I just wasn’t planning any gigs and I wasn’t recording. That time was set aside for me to have these children.
But, Taylor Dayne’s voice and creative energy and spirit can’t be stifled for long. “The next summer, I was in Europe and I met with the producer I ended up working with [on her current CD]. I signed with BMG in Germany and started recording. Although she has her twins, she says she keeps her music separate from being a parent.
I’m a different kind of mom. I’m not here to just make the lullaby album. I have something to say. I go out and do what I have to do. I ask my daughter, ‘do you want me to wake you up when I get home?’ My daughter says ‘yeah, yeah,’ My daughter and I stay up and talk. I ask her ‘do you like that mommy does her la la la?’ She says, ‘Oooh I like it a lot.’ ‘Are you proud of mommy?’ ‘Yes but I want to come to a show now! I’m ready.'”
The songs on her new CD may not be directly influenced by her twins but the personal emotions and songs about relationships are definitely still taking the foreground. “My voice and the material I choose should show my experience. There’s an honesty it sounds like I’m telling you something.” I think this is why Taylor was extremely selective in choosing the covers she included in this project. Like the fact that Taylor lends her sultry voice to the Stones’ Fool To Cry “It’s a woman’s perspective. They’re intimate perspectives. It’s very reflective. It’s like you’re the only person in the room getting the experience. Fool To Cry I did with Mike Mangini. We made a list. We did an R&B interpretation of many songs and this one really stood out. You hear the ache in there and that’s what I wanted it to sound like. I went through stacks and stacks of my CD’s trying to find something people will relate to. I was like ‘I’m feeling that. I’m feeling that!’ It was believable to me.”
The same selective process went into her other cover choices. “I have musicologist friends. I would bring a couple of bottles of wine and my friends would go through catalogs of songs. That’s exactly how she found her title track, Satisfied. Louis Taylor an artist out of the UK originally recorded it. I heard of him from my friend DJ Lo – This guy is just brilliant when I heard Satisfied I just had to do it. His chord progression were just personal, it’s like a Marvin Gaye.”
This feeling for a good song along with her phenomenal voice (which by the way, reminds me of Tiny Turner who Taylor has written a hit song for) seems to be something that Dayne was practically born with. “This started when I was four. I was in the glee club in Kindergarten. At the time this was unheard of. It was set for seven or eight year-olds. Also, my dad gave me my first transistor radio and I heard everything from the Carpenters, Steppenwolf, Chicago, Marvin Gay, The Stones… The first song I ever heard was Stevie Wonder’s, My Cherie Amore. It changed my world. I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I was in my first band at 18 and we were already doing showcases for labels. We were doing the Bitter End, CBGBs, it ended up just being me and the song writer. So we disbanded and I went on my own.
Eventually, I ran into a friend working at Warner Chapel publishing. I heard the song Tell it to my Heart. I borrowed money from my father to record it and we recorded it. We made the record. Arista Records was interested in it and they wanted to sign the single. They released it in Europe it was a number 1 hit. Next thing you know I’m opening up for Michael Jackson. I did a month of shows on his Bad tour. Sheryl Crow was his background singer.”
After that Taylor was off and running becoming a huge presence in the music world. I wondered if having children made it harder or easier to write her music.
“It makes you feel highly responsible as I still do. As a single mom there are no other shoulders to rely on. There’s no 50/50 break it’s me! My career my choice of profession takes me to different places. I really enjoy having my daughter and my son really dig it. They’ll come on stage. They love it. I did a performance at Gay Pride and my son got up and did some break dancing. I don’t know where he picked it up but he was out there. They’re proud of what I do. I have to constantly check (as all of us mothers do) are they getting this are they getting that?
Obviously her kids are getting everything they need including lessons in world traveling, and we, the fans are finally getting a brand spanking new CD. Sounds like things are working out for Taylor – somehow this smart, sassy, songstress has ended up with everything she wants. I asked her what she thinks her secret to success is and she said, “My motto is: Make the space now. You’ve talked about it enough. Now create that space for it.”
Check out her video:
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Erik Von Haines