Savvy One-on-One: Willie (Day 26) Discusses His SEX TAPE & The Future of Day 26!
When members of a group start releasing solo projects, it’s usually a sign that the end is near, right? That’s only part of what we discussed with Willie Taylor, one of the members of Grammy-nominated R&B group Day 26. His new solo project, The Sex Tape will be released Valentine’s Day 2010 and although it contains no nude media (cold shower ladies) it promises to help encourage a little nude activity on Cupid’s special day. The announcement of the project’s title turned heads, especially after the leak of Taylor’s nude photos onto the internet months ago. Check out the audio and full transcript of the interview, as we discuss Que’s departure from the group, the future of Day 26, and Willie’s HUGE plans for the future! Link to download THE SEX TAPE following the interview…
Sound-Savvy: What’s goin on man?
Willie Taylor: Just chillin man, grindin out in the studio.
SS: Word, workin on the mixtape or is it done?
WT: Yeah, the mixtape is done already. I’m workin on placing the records now.
SS: So the first question on everyone’s mind is what is the status of Day 26?
WT: We still goin’ strong man, we’re signed to Atlantic. Third album, we’ll start recording in a week and a half. We’ll be out there in Atlanta getting it poppin. We’re gonna combine album #1 and album #2 and come out with the best album that we’ve ever come out with.
SS: Diddy took Bad Boy and left Atlantic, and went to Interscope, but you guys are still on Atlantic, right?
SS: When is Day 26 looking to release the next album?
WT: Not even sure yet but it’ll definitely be this year. Probably later on this year.
SS: I hear you guys are working with Trey Songz’s mentor Troy Taylor on the next album, what do you guys think he’ll be able to bring to the table with this album and do you think he’ll be able to break this “Bad Boy curse”?
WT: Yeah, for me and Day 26 we don’t believe in the “Bad Boy curse” or the “Diddy curse” or “Makin the Band curse” because we’re still here, we’re still making money, we’re still living our dreams and we still got our jobs so right now it’s good. For us, Diddy has been nothing but a mentor. I can’t speak for anybody else; I’m not saying that what he did to everybody else was perfect. I’m not in their shoes and I don’t know. But when it came to Day 26 it just seemed like a whole different ballgame so I can’t even vouch for that.
SS: How do you think the balance of Day 26 will be affected without Que in the group anymore?
WT: Well you know, at the end of the day we pray that we stay strong. We wish him the best of luck in everything he’s going to do. It’s definitely a business move versus a personal move. We still got mad love for the kid.
SS: Have you spoken to him?
WT: Not personally, I haven’t spoken to him, but I heard that Mike and Rob had spoken to him. They told me he was doing pretty good. I guess when the time is right we’ll speak.
SS: Okay, fair enough. Speaking of your mixtape, not sure if its coincidence but it seems that you and Que are dropping mixtapes on the same day (this has changed at press time, Que’s mixtape release date is now 2/23). Some people have called it a beef, what do you think about that, is there a beef?
WT: Nah man, it’ll never be… I’m too old for beef. I don’t pay attention to a lot of negative energy that people might spread about anything. For me, it’s about the music so when I decided to drop a mixtape on Valentine’s Day, I didn’t have a clue that Que had an idea of dropping a mixtape on Valentine’s Day. I’m just about the music man. For me, when I did the record and I named it Sex Tape, I just felt like the perfect day to drop it would be Valentine’s Day. It all made sense to me, so that’s what brought me to do mine on Valentine’s Day. I can’t speak for him, I don’t know but I doubt if it’s any beef, but you know…
SS: I know that was one of the things on the show, he always said you were jealous of him…
SS: But anyway, let’s talk about the mixtape, The Sex Tape, which comes out this Sunday, Valentine’s Day. So what made you decide to release a solo project?
WT: Just because from the show people didn’t understand the real grind. For me I’m a writer as well as a singer and I didn’t want to just be labeled as a singer. I didn’t even want the label to feel like they had to keep putting me in positions to work with other producers and writers without really opening up to listening to what I had to bring to the table. I just wanted to share with the world that when I get in the studio, I do my thing. So I came up with a couple of records, I produced on some of the records and I definitely wrote everything on the mixtape, and just thinking that I’ll put this out and let people understand exactly what it is. I think the topic and everything was dope so I just rolled with it.
SS: So tell me about the topic, it’s called the “Sex Tape”, and of course that turned a lot of heads especially after some pictures leaked of you a few months ago so tell me about how you came up with the title and the whole concept of the mixtape?
WT: Well I figured with me writing – it could’ve been about anything but I did wanna stick to one theme, whatever it was gonna be, I was gonna make it that one theme and make 12 records about the same theme in different lights and different metaphors and just changing it. As far as Knock It out the Park, you can take that and say it’s about baseball and you take the baseball theme to the bedroom. So I wanted to just make the whole thing about that – nonstop bedroom music. I didn’t want any club music – well, I got two that maybe could hit the club but it’s all the bedroom feel. When you get it, you’ll really understand exactly what it is. The whole purpose behind me making it so big and shooting videos behind it was really because I just started my new record label, Noivak Music, and I wanted to put my team to the test and really show the world what I’m trying to bring with Noivak Music. And I figured if you have a brand that nobody knows about – if nobody knew my label and nobody knew my artists then why would they even pay attention to it? But if I can brand my label with my face, a familiar face to the public, then they can come and say “I wanna see what Will got…” and then they keep seeing this logo behind it and they understand. And now they’re starting to trust the brand for the quality. And then, I can put my artists after that and they’ll really trust and look at my label to see my artists because they’ll trust the brand then.
SS: Now working on the mixtape, as far as the songs and writing, who would you cite as some of your musical influences that helped you bring it all together for this project?
WT: I’m a big fan of Smokey Robinson, Babyface most definitely, R. Kelly just to name a few. Those would be the people who I really look at as far as writing is concerned and topic-wise and just going in, doing what I really wanna do.
SS: Now you mentioned, Knock It out the Park, and you mentioned the baseball reference, but we all know that song ain’t about playin’ baseball…
WT: (laughs) Of course! You know it’s not about playing baseball but it’s using the baseball terminology and takin it to the bedroom.
SS: I know there are probably a lot of tracks on there for the ladies, but which one on there do you think the ladies would appreciate the most?
WT: My wife always tells me that she feels like the ladies are gonna eat up this record I got called Taste You. And she’s been right because my DJ will take it around a bunch of girls and he said they played Taste You like 35 times so I was thinkin’ Taste You might be the women’s pick. And for the men I got all types of stuff like Knock It out the Park, King of the Jungle, Through the Mattress, it’s goin down man. For dudes, we gon really take it and it’s gonna mean something else to us.
SS: Definitely, it sounds like you’re gonna be setting off fireworks on Valentine’s Day!
WT: Ahh yeah, most def!
SS: Now to look at other artists past and present, if you were to pick your top 3 or 5 baby making jams, what songs come to mind?
WT: Ahh… R. Kelly’s Greatest Sex, Silk’s Meeting In My Bedroom, and Blackstreet’s Deep.
SS: Good choices! I like all of those. Now who did you work with on this project, any other writers or producers?
WT: As far as writers I wrote with my dude John Blue on the Through The Mattress record. I got Tommy D, he was on Making His Band, that’s my dude from out here. As far as production, Blaze Da Champ who did I’mma Put It On Ya for the Day 26 album, B. Simms that’s my dude with Noivak music. Man, we just went in. It’s all really Chicago-based for sure, I got [the chance] to really put my city on the map.
SS: That’s cool, hometown love is always good. Now tell me about Noivak Music, that’s your label, are you working on grooming any other artists with it?
WT: Yeah, right now I just picked up two artists. I picked up an R&B artist named Elliott Trent, a rap artist by the name of Miracle and right now just working on their albums. I’m fresh out the studio finishing up the mixtape. I know they’ve been anxious and ready to jump in. The day after I finished, we had them both over here, they did a record together and we just grinding it out, keeping them motivated, getting their albums done, shopping for these deals and just doing everything. In all fairness, for me, I don’t wanna be the richest man in the world, but I do wanna help a lot of people. For me it’s more of my heart versus all the money. I’m blessed right now and if I never make another dollar, I’ve seen enough. I’m in love with the music so that’s what it’s all about for me. I feel like if I can be a stepping stone to help somebody else get to their dreams, then I’d rather do that.
SS: Cool. Just to get back to your mixtape, are there any features? Any songs with Day 26?
WT: Nah, we tried to get a Day 26 record on there but we couldn’t make it happen due to so many flights, prices were amazing. So we figured, I’mma do something called The Remixes and I’mma have each one of them take a record and re-do it. I did a record with Jeremih which is an up-tempo record but we actually didn’t put it on. We were promoting it for our promotion but it won’t be on there, it’s called Last Call. So we might use that on a later project or we might put it on his project. Who knows what we’re gonna do with that record… And a record that’s actually on there with my guy John Blue, he’s another Chicago artist, and that’s the record Through The Mattress, should be dope.
SS: In the future, is there the possibility of a Willie Taylor solo album?
WT: Well who knows? Right now it’s all about Day 26 and I’mma be here as long as Day 26 is rockin. Afterwards, I love the music so I’d love to be singing if I’m accepted til I’m like 50. I’m not looking for an early retirement at all.
SS: Cool, well on behalf of the Sound-Savvy readers and listeners, we appreciate you taking the time out to talk to us about your mixtape The Sextape, which drops on Valentine’s Day, and it’s free right?
WT: Yeah that’s free at my website www.NoivakMusic.com It’s free, we doin all type of new animation, and all type of stuff. It’s just a wake-up call. I want to show people exactly what my vision is for Noivak Music, I think y’all are gonna be real surprised with a lot of stuff that I’m doing with it. I’m just trying to keep it exciting, brand it right and make everybody really open their eyes and let even the labels look at a different form of marketing.
SS: Right, cool. Are you doing any other videos to promote the mixtape release?
WT: Well, it’s all self-funded and I ain’t the richest man on the planet so I don’t know. (laughs) We might just go ahead and do it because they hit me up and said “Let’s do a Knock It Out The Park video” and they wanna do a Through The Mattress video. We’re talkin about it; at the end of the day it is just a mixtape and it ain’t like I’m pocketing anything from it. I’m giving it away for free, but it is a gift to my fans. I want everybody to enjoy it. I want EVERY HOUSEHOLD to have it. That’ll be my gift back, if every household has it.
SS: And every household is gonna be doubling the population when Sunday comes…
WT: Trust me, it’s gonna be crazy and y’all hit me back and let me know what y’all think and tell me your favorites.
SS: We definitely will, you have a lot of fans on Sound-Savvy. In fact, the ladies were all over that Sex Conversation video. I can’t even tell you some of the responses from that.
WT: That’s wassup, that means it’s doing its job. And the thing is, the funny thing about the Sex Conversation video, we went into that kinda – I don’t wanna say blind – but we made a video for the whole entire project off that one song. It’s actually me getting ready to buy a camera for the sex tape. I could actually finish that up and make that a whole movie. At first, when we first heard the record and brainstormed, it would’ve pretty much ended up looking like the Trey Songz Invented Sex video – which is exactly what I didn’t wanna do. I didn’t wanna try anything that’s already been done. It probably went over some people’s heads because they were ready to just see me in the bed kissing and licking and all that type of other stuff. We wanted to go different and make a video so we can continue this video. Like, we got the camera, and now we’re messing with a whole other chick. It is open for us to do it again, but we don’t know yet.
SS: Yeah, I definitely think you defied people’s expectations with the video. Just listening to them, they’re two very sexy tracks so people were probably expecting something a bit more intimate but it was dope…
WT: Preciate that man.
SS: No doubt, and thanks again for talking to the Sound-Savvy audience and keep making great music, we’re definitely enjoying it.
WT: Thanks a lot man and just continue to help me plug this mixtape so we can get it in every household…
CLICK HERE to download Willie’s new mixtape, THE SEX TAPE.
Photos Courtesy of Fred King @ King Vision Photography