Hi Doreen, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi! Great to be here! In one word—busy! I honestly don’t think I have ever been this busy in my life! With the upcoming album release, kick off concert in Philadelphia, filming my new music video and tackling all the other stuff that needs to be done in support of the new album, life has been non-stop, but it is all very exciting!
Can you talk to us more about your single “Toy”?
Sure. “TOY” was the lead off single for my new album “Happily Ever After” and really exceeded my expectations in every way. It was my musical leap from being a successful country singer to adult contemporary/pop music and I not only rebranded my image, but also my sound and style as well. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be embraced by my fanbase, but it was welcomed with open arms! It charted on the Billboard Top 100 (in the top 50!) and reached #31 on the Adult Contemporary charts. It was playing in retail stores across the county and was even featured on Jim Brickman’s radio show! I couldn’t be prouder of it and I am anxious to see how the rest of the songs do when they are released. I think we have some very serious contenders coming out to overtake the success of “TOY”!
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
When I am in the zone writing music, anything and everything can strike a great idea for a song. Sometimes the music comes to me first; sometimes the lyrics. In this case, both came to me at the same time. The acronym for “Thinking of You” popped into my head… “T.O.Y”. I started humming the background vocals first “I’ve been thinking of you…I’ve been dreaming of you….I’ve been wanting you” and the rest was history. The rest of the song started pouring out of me and I really loved the double entendre of the lyrics as well as the sexy ‘James Bond-like’ vibe of the music. It married together perfectly!
The single comes off your new album Happily Ever After – what’s the story behind the title?
“Happily Ever After” is the name of track #5 off the new album. When I was thinking of what to name the album and also what would sum up my progression as not only an artist, but also a songwriter- the title just made sense. It’s been a long journey with a lot of twists and turns along the way, but I am now doing things my way and living my own version of “Happily Ever After”. Here’s hoping this fairy tale has a happy ending!
You said you’re filming a music video earlier. For which song on the album?
We have created amazing lyric videos for each of the 8 songs on the album and they will all be released at various times in the next few months. In the meantime, I will be filming a full production music video for the next release off the album, “Over”. The song is my personal favorite on the album and a truly powerful song. I needed to create a music video to illuminate that angst and power and have teamed up with a great director based in NY/NJ and will be filming it in October. We are planning on releasing it in early November so stay tuned!
How was the recording process?
I am blessed to work with truly seasoned, talented musicians, engineers, producers, arrangers, etc. so the process is amazing. When you put that level of talent together in a room, incredible things happen. That was the case with this new album. Everything just worked. I believe in the old school way of recording- in a real studio, with live musicians, string players…the way recordings used to be made. I wanted my album to have a modern, yet retro feel and I really believe we nailed it.
What was it like to work with Larry Gold and how did that relationship develop?
To have a musical legend like Larry Gold choose to work on your project is one of the greatest compliments any artist can get. With credits like Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Aretha Franklin…just to name a few- having his creative genius on my album was the cherry on an amazing sundae! I met Larry when I was working on my song “Colors of the USA” for the National Parks Conservation Association. I was selected by the National Parks to create a new anthem to honor the parks and to bring recognition to the Parks Centennial this year. I was recording the single in Philadelphia at Milkboy Studios and as I was sitting in the lobby, I saw multi-platinum record after multi-platinum record hanging on the wall. I always joke that I needed sunglasses when I was sitting there from all the platinum! There had to be over a 100 and they were all given to Larry Gold. I immediately asked how I could meet him- a meeting was arranged, he heard my song, and decided to do string arrangements on the tune. We developed a great rapport and musical connections so when I decided to create my new album, I immediately sought out Larry. He arranged “Happily Ever After” and did all the string arrangements. Larry tells is like it is and I love that about him. I always know when he thinks something works, and when it doesn’t and working with someone you trust like that is priceless in this industry.
How much did he get to influence the album?
I wrote all the songs and lyrics. Larry added the incredible arrangements to make them what they needed to be. We had several meetings, discussed ideas, and ultimately we have a short hand working together where we just know what each other is going to do now. He had great influence over the direction of where the sound went, but ultimately the songs are what I gave him in the beginning. I think we really make a great team!
How does Opera and your theater background influence your music?
Although my sound is not that of an opera singer anymore, that training was invaluable to me as an artist. On the vocal side, I was able to find the technique that was best suited for me as a singer and I still use that same technique today (just tweaked for mainstream music). I am able to perform huge concerts night after night and not get fatigued. That has come from the knowledge of how to use my voice properly. On the theatrical side, it has taught me how to capture an audience and command the stage. Performing on stage is probably my favorite part of what I do. My live concerts are theatrical shows, not just park and bark singing with a lot of “stuff” going on around me. I am part of the show and it is a real experience for the audience. I thank my theatrical stage experience for that as well.
Any plans to hit the road?
Absolutely! I kick off the new tour in Philadelphia on October 21st as a celebration of the new album release and we are currently planning the rest of the cities thereafter. I guess a lot of what happens depends on the success of the new music. I have every intention that we will be reaching across the US again soon.
What else is happening next in Doreen Taylor’s world?
You need more?? Haha. I am just laser focused on the album release on 10/13 and my big concert in Philadelphia on 10/21. The beautiful part about this business is that you never know from one day to the next what doors can open. I’m working with Bose right now and we are formulating some great upcoming things surrounding the new music. I am just so excited for the world to hear “Happily Ever After”! The rest will all just fall into place after that!
Hi James, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? Hi guys, I am doing great. …