As the iconic voice behind such '80s anthems like "Tell It To My Heart" and "Prove Your Love," Taylor Dayne is a soul survivor whose career has now spanned over two decades.
With over 75 million singles and records sold worldwide, she is set to release a greatest-hits CD in 2010. The Grammy-nominated singer talked about her musical evolution and the legacy she wants to leave behind.
Windy City Times: Why do you think that your music has been embraced by the gay community?
Taylor Dayne: It always starts with the music. And also, the gay community is passionate about a bigger voicepersonality-driven and passionate vocalshence, your Chers, your Madonnas and your Barbara Streisands.
WCT: You released your last CD, Satisfied, in February 2008 and you are on the verge of re-recording some of your greatest hits for an upcoming CD. Will it include new material?
TAYLOR DAYNE: Yes, it is going to include two to three new songs.
WCT: What will the music sound like?
TAYLOR DAYNE: I really want something that's uptempo, dance and classic-sounding.
WCT: But I am hearing that it will be released in Europe first and then North America?
TAYLOR DAYNE: That actually is the intention of the people that I am working with over there in Europe.
WCT: How has your sound evolved since the first CD, Tell It To My Heart, in 1988 up until Satisfied?
TAYLOR DAYNE: The single "Tell It To My Heart" came out in late '87. When one is 23 years old I would say the journey was that you wait your entire life and you're working hard at that point to achieve that kind of overnight stardom. And then, I was on a wave and nobody wants you to fall off the wave. I started to question the writing aspect of different material by 1992 and 1993. I think that shows on the record Soul Dancing, where there's music written and produced by me. Music evolves as the artist goes within and explores and changes and becomes relevant to the times. That's the journey.
WCT: You were recently a part of the "NOH8" [ anti-Prop 8 ] photo campaign. How did you get involved in that?
TAYLOR DAYNE: They came to me, and asked me and artists that resonate in that community. I live in L.A. and I am part of the gay community in the sense that I have performed for the gay community for so many years whether it's been for AIDS awareness and, now, there's another type of awareness that they've been crying out forand that's [ equal-marriage ] rights.
WCT: We're you a country-music fan before doing the reality show Gone Country 3 earlier this year?
TAYLOR DAYNE: I certainly had an appreciation for country music, and I had recorded a lot of my record, Naked Without You, in Nashville in 1998. I learned an awful lot on that show and I'm going back to Nashville to do more recording with some producers.
WCT: How do you feel about celebrities who brand themselves with perfumes and clothing lines?
TAYLOR DAYNE: I think it's a reflection of the times. The urban community started it because they were tired of wearing everybody else's name. They were smart enough and they crossed it over to be cool enough. That's where you're making your money. You don't make it selling records anymore. And I think that your product is a reflection of who you are musically and it's all working. I think it's genius; it tells your story.
WCT: Tell me more about the autobiography that you are working on.
TAYLOR DAYNE: It will happen but I just don't want to put the cart before the horse. There are a lot of issues that I want to focus on like my choices of marriage and not marriage, my choices of having children and who's the woman now.
WCT: What legacy would you like to leave in the entertainment business?
TAYLOR DAYNE: I don't want to sit there and say, "I could have done that and I should have done that." I think I've proven that on many levels and I've got more things to prove.