In this second installment with Willie Taylor we discuss music, specifically, what’s really going on with Day26 and the real reason behind his releasing a mixtape. He also gives us slightly more insight into the dismissal of Qwanell “Que” Mosely, from Day26 and what’s next for him and the group.
Singersroom: So, I’m kind of confused personally â¦What’s up with Day26, ya’ll are still together right?
Willie Taylor: Yeah, we still together we [about to] get up in a week and a half, start recording out there in Atlanta for the third album; I’m excited about that. I know a lot of rumors have been going around. We went through the loss of Que and that started rumors, then my mixtape started rumors. But at the end of the dayâ¦nothing I’m doing is pertaining to a solo move or anything like that. It’s just more so just me showcasing my writing abilities. Because I felt like it’s lost in the shuffle somewhere during the “Making the Band” showâ¦People really didn’t pay attention to the fact that we do write. It’s really a wake-up call to the industry and letting the artist know, as well as the publishing companies as well as the labels. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, before I even went to a television screen. Like, if it’s one thing I know how to do, it’s go in the studio and make music. So, I feel like while it’s my downtime it’s the perfect time for me to let the world know, I write too.
Singersroom: Yeah, that’s true. With you releasing a mixtape, it definitely sparked concern we’re wondering: are you trying to send us a smoke signal? Are you about to slide out?
Willie Taylor: Nahâ¦ that isn’t the thingâ¦and I think a lot of people get the wrong idea just because it’s never been done before, but it’s not that, I got mad love for my brothers. They understand me a lot so even if somebody offered me something like: “Yo will come do the solo thing”â¦The time isn’t now for it, you know. Maybe later on in the future, but right now it’s all about Day26 and I want to let everybody know that.
Singersroom: Last season of “Making the Band,” Que was kind of going crazy, then you all became tight; it was all mended and healed. Now, it comes out that ya’ll voted him out of the group. Did the same thing that happened on the show, begin happening again?
Willie Taylor: Well, you know I don’t want to really go into too much about itâ¦but like I said before in any relationship you know who a person is after two years. Some things you can’t really checkâ¦But, I mean, we wish Que the best, from day one I thought he was an amazing talent, I thought the dude was the truth, how talented he is doesn’t change. At the end of the day it was a business move, we had to move forward, and we wish him the best and I’m sure he wishes the same for us and we just keep it moving.
Singersroom: You said you’ve been doing music for 10 years and I read on Wikipedia you were previously in the group Kwiet Storm, is that true?
Willie Taylor: Yes, that’s true; I actually was one of the founders of the group. We were doing a whole lot of stuff at one point, we had a video on BET I think in 2001 and it was all over the place and we didn’t even have a deal yet. We ended up at Universal and certain things happened so, I got slapped back into reality. You know, I was living a lifestyle that I thought can last forever and I thought we was going to be the next hot thing; then for the label to actually drop us, I was forced to come back to realityâ¦back in the hood where everybody was happy to see you fall. So, I feel like for God to give me a second chance, because a lot of people don’t even get to the point I was at the first time, so I feel like it’s a real blessing; I’ll never take anything for granted.
That’s one of the main things I was trying to tell Que at the time, because it’s like: “Look bruh, you don’t want to go back to the hood. Let’s work at whatever we can work out.” At the end of the day, it couldn’t work out soâ¦I do wish him the best; I never want him to go thru what I had to go thru at all.
Singersroom: That’s interesting because another thing that it said in that article was that you left Kwiet Storm to do a solo project but then the Making the Band thing happened, so, that raised a red flag again with this Mixtape. So, is Wikipedia accurate with the reason why you left?
Willie Taylor: The thing with the Kwiet Storm situation, when I left Kwiet Storm, it was moreâ¦I was already in Kwiet Storm for years, and we had so many bad contracts and I was at a point where I wanted to quit and it was like either quit or do it by yourself. So, I left for a minute, and was trying to figure that out, went and shopped for a deal, I had a couple of offers, but nothing that really stuck and made a lot of sense. So I was stuck doing the solo thing and just grinding.
Then “Making the Band” [auditions] came up, and I wasn’t going to do it, because real talk I thought just like everybody else thought. Like “Making the Band” is going to be on TV, it’s a reality show type ordeal, nobody’s going to take you seriously. And I understood that, I understood that they had all these daggers, about the “Making the Band” curse and then they had the “Bad Boy Curse” and I knew I didn’t want both of them curses on me at the same time. I’m just speaking realâ¦ So, I was one of the people like: ‘Man I want to be taken seriously. So, I don’t really want to do it.’ And like the radio station here in Chicago, Power 92 big up to them, they actually asked me they were like: “Man please go stand in the line because I think you’ll represent the city well.” So, I went down to “Making the Band” actually thinking to myselfâ¦like I told them I said” “if I don’t get picked I want ya’ll to play my record.” And they gave me the okay for that, so that’s what even made me go stand in line.
So, I wasn’t sure if I made it, I was just doing meâ¦you know I ended up making it through, but once I even made it I still had it in my head, like: “Wow, I just signed up for the 2 curses.” Right? So, at the end of the day, my grind hit a whole ‘nother place. I knew what I would have to do to make some money and I just did it and I just thank God for the opportunity he put before me to even make the money that I’ve made. So, now I’m kind of at a rebuilding stage. Same thing for my group members, as a group we’ve all went through the same type of thing. Now, it’s just a rebuilding stage where we’re trying to let everybody knowâ¦I’ve been a starving artist, I’ve been living out of my car, I’ve been at a place where I’ve needed $2, if I get $2 then I’m going to buy a cheeseburger from McDonald’s and a small fry. I’ve been there, you know what I mean? So, that’s what I think that people don’t understandâ¦they feel like you stood in a line then all of a sudden you became some star; after what Diddy did for you or whatever, or he made you get some cheesecake and now you a star and that’s not even the case for me, you know. Like, for me going in the studio now, that’s really just me showing my hunger. That drive that I had before anybody ever really seen me, that was my hunger. I was in the studio when I was broke. I made music when I was broke and I didn’t stop. And that’s just my continuation of it, by me doing this mixtape and putting it out. It’s free, it’s all self-funded. From the video you saw to the commercials you may have seen all that’s self-funded that’s just me investing in myself. Just to let the world know, for them to step into my world and know exactly who I am.
Singersroom: You explaining the whole breakdown behind why you did this mixtape now really give fans insight and that’s really refreshing to have you clear up all the confusion brought about from rumors. I was laughing when you were talking about the “Making the Band” curse and the “Bad Boy” curse because it’s trueâ¦
Willie Taylor: Right! Exactly! You know what I mean, I’m not lying I wasn’t under a rock when everybody was talking about it. I was probably saying the same exact thing. Like I just want people to understand, whatever they might think, I think they should really get to know exactly who we are first before we start judging. Some people didn’t want to see us make it just because of the TV showâ¦like at the end of the day this is not real. But we understand the importance of radio; we understand the importance of the deejays we understand all that stuff. And we were dealing with that for a long time, where radio not wanting to believe it because we were from the TV show. Deejays felt like we didn’t need them because we came from a TV showâ¦they felt like the fan base was enough and they didn’t want to help. So, like I said we understand that and I just want everybody to know that we want to stick around. Because groups are necessary, you can’t have a whole bunch of solo artists; it’s going to be something missing.
Singersroom: So, my final question what’s next for you and Day26?
Willie Taylor: Well as far as Day26, we jumping back in the studio, we all excited, you know we talk on a daily basis.
For me, I want everybody to grab the mixtape, because there are no club records on there; it’s 12 bedroom records; I call it the soundtrack to the bedroom. So, it’s pretty much like how you go to iTunes and make a playlist? I want this download to be all you need. I hit into a lot of different emotions and feelings, there’s a lot of stuff you’ll just listen to and you’ll just vibe out to it
Then, on the flip side, is my new project [Noivak Music], that’s the label I’m the CEO of. I just signed 2 new artists from Chicago. I signed Elliot Trent who’s an R&B artist and a rap artist by the name of Miracle…Which is why I wanted to shoot the video and commercials and stuff, because I’m trying to show the brand. So, if you see Noivak Music show up on a lot of stuff it’s because I’m trying to show the brand. I fixed it in my own mental that if you have a new label and a new artist, 9 times out of 10 the people not really going to want to see it because they don’t trust the brands. But if I’m a familiar face, if I could bring out my mixtape under the same label, then all of a sudden they see me and they see this label and now they’re starting to trust the brand. So, it’ll be easier to bring my artists out under this brand. But that’s just me going into my mental, that’s what made me go so deep into the mixtapeâ¦I stepped out on a lot of stuff and it’s all self-funded it’s just me believing in myself and what God put before me to, so I just did it.
—— By: Interview By Lauren M. Walker