Interview: Willie Taylor Talks Music, Fatherhood, & Acting

Willie Taylor is ready to reintroduce himself to the world as a solo artist. The former Day26 member recently spoke with Rated RnB about his transition from being in the R&B group becoming a solo artist. During our interview, Willie dishes on his new buzz single “Instagram Ya Body,” his upcoming mixtape – “The Reintroduction of Willie Taylor,” and his new acting gigs.

Willie dishes on his new single “Instagram Ya Body” featuring Jeremih…

Well, you know I’m always a creative writer. Even for my first mixtape, where I wrote everything, I had songs like “Knock It out the Park” [and] “Full Course Meal.” It wasn’t just telling you exactly what it was once you listen to the record. With “Instagram Ya Body,” it’s sort of like the same thing. Instead of telling a girl how beautiful she is… she’s so beautiful I want to take a picture of her and share it with the world – and show these other girls my girl…me knowing women, they love to be put on the pedestal and they love to be shown off as “that chick.” That’s pretty much what it was.

Willie Taylor on Instagram

Willie speaks on fans’ reaction to “Instagram Ya Body”…

The majority like it. I think anyone who [has] anything to say, they would have it towards the title without really listening to it. I guess because the newer generation [doesn’t] understand the R&B that I grew up listening to. Of course we had Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Marvin Gaye, but then there’s a time we had R. Kelly…“let me stick my key in your ignition.” Now, you wouldn’t understand that until you really heard it. It was more of a concept or creative writing style that just brought a different light to R&B.

 “The Reintroduction of Willie Taylor” mixtape…

I know people know me from the “Making the Band” show. That was a lot of live singing and getting to know me in competition mode…then you got to know me in Day26, as far as a member of [the] group. [Now,] I really want to get an opportunity to [introduce] Willie Taylor with no extra co-stars…

The writing aspect of [the mixtape]…you get to see me, my personality and my thought process. They get to live with me through the music and really get to know who Willie Taylor really is…they get to know me as a person versus just knowing just the music…

“Sextape” vs. “The Reintroduction of Willie Taylor”…

Well, you know my first mixtape was all sex music. I wanted that to be just a soundtrack to your bedroom…I wanted to make that mixtape to stand alone, where you can go from top to bottom and that can just be the soundtrack to your bedroom. [The fans] grabbed that, took that, and ran with that…they actually wanted me to do “Sextape 2,” which could come later on but who knows. I just didn’t want my very next mixtape to be the same topics. I got songs on [The Reintroduction of Willie Taylor] about heartache, pain, love, laughter. I just want it to be an emotional rollercoaster…

How Willie balances being a CEO of a record label, an artist, a husband, and a father…

I think everything has a time. I think, for me, the music is what provides for my family, so I never want to neglect that. I want to keep that going as strong as I possibly can. When I’m not doing that, I understand that my family time is a very necessary time and I’ve got to give them their time. It’s all about figuring out what they want and what they need, and I’ve got to cater to that. I try to keep my daughter and my son in lots of activities because they’re talented kids, and I just want them to be able to exercise whatever they’re interested in. I’m very faithful at football, basketball, swimming and gymnastics. I’m there for all that stuff. So, I’m really still doing my daddy thing as well as keeping the music going. It’s hard because my job is never done. But at the end of the day, I love it. It’s fun watching my kids and being able to provide for them and do something that I love to do.

Does Willie’s kids listen to his music?

My studio is in my house so it’s almost impossible to hide my music from them. But if it’s a little too raunchy for ears at that age, I try to keep it within that room…

Willie talks new acting gigs…

I just did a teleplay with David E. Talbert called “A Fool and His Money,” which was on BET a couple times. It’s on DVD now. You can get it in stores, online, Redbox, Netflix…please go check that out. I actually sing in that play as well and that was my acting debut.

I also did another movie that’s coming out this year called “Note to Self.” It’s a Christian Keyes film. It’s a really good movie.

Willie talks about his favorite actor…

Will Smith. When Will Smith grabs a role, I really feel like he puts himself into a role where he’s so believable.  No matter what you’ve seen him in before, he stands out in every role. I think that’s commendable and that’s something I strive to be like.

 We’re definitely looking forward to “The Reintroduction of Willie Taylor.” Make sure you check out his new song “Instagram Ya Body” featuring his cousin Jeremih.

Follow Willie Taylor on Twitter – @WillieTaylor

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Willie Taylor Releases New Song ‘Naked’ featuring Jeremih

Valentine’s Day may be over but love is still in the air. Willie Taylor of Day26 teams with his cousin Jeremih for a sexy new track titled “Naked.” The title of the track is pretty self-explanatory. The two sing about an intimate night with a love interest.

“Enough with the drunk talk, we already faded / And right now these clothes are overrated, can I take them off?” Taylor sings.

Jeremih comes towards the end of the track and sings about recording his session. “Camera’s on don’t you act funny on me / Booty so stupid, go dummy on it / Throw it back, I’ma throw money on that,” he sings.

Listen to “Naked” below.

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Win Tickets to See Day26 at Baltimore Soundstage

Can you believe Day26’s self-titled debut album turns 10 in March? In celebration of their third studio album, A New Day, the R&B group is launching a mini tour.

The three-date tour begins on January 25 at SOB’s in New York City and will hit Philadelphia’s Voltage Lounge on January 26 and Baltimore Soundstage on January 28. Rated R&B is giving away a pair of tickets to the latter show.

How to Enter:

Step 1: Email us at and tell us your favorite song by Day26.

Step 2: Follow us on Twitter (@RatedRnB) or Instagram (@RatedRnB).

Giveaway rules:

— Must be at least 18 years old to enter.
– One entry per person now through Thursday, Jan. 25 at 12 p.m. ET. A winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. ET.
— Winner will be contacted via email and will be announced on Rated R&B’s social media pages (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram).
– Winner must provide his/her own transportation to the show.
– Prize is non-transferable and may not be redeemed for cash and/or any other prize.
– The winner must claim his or her prize within 24 hours or the prize will be forfeited

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From 2008: R&B Albums That Turn 10 This Year

Another ten years has caught up with us in the realm of R&B music.

Let’s jog your memory for a minute. For starters, 2008 saw Mariah Carey touch the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the 18th time with “Touch My Body.” Usher showed his strength by “Moving Mountains,” while Beyoncé led ladies to the club, singing, “If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.”

We heard the debut projects from Day26, Jennifer Hudson, Tiffany Evans and Jazmine Sullivan. Also, 2008 ended listeners music drought from veterans Deborah Cox, Ashanti, Keith Sweat and Brandy.

Rated R&B has compiled a list of 31 R&B/soul albums that celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2018.

Randomness: On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama won presidency, becoming the first African-American to be elected as President of the United States.

Raheem DeVaughn — Love Behind the Melody
Release Date: January 15
Record Label: Jive Records
Singles: “Woman,” “Customer” and “Text Messages”

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