An In-Depth Interview With The Pop Superstar and Now Writer, TAYLOR DAYNE All About Her Memoir “TELL IT TO MY HEART: How I Lost My S#*T, Conquered My Fear, and Found My Voice”
Posted On 29 Nov 2018
The Grammy-nominated Pop Icon Taylor Dayne will be releasing her memoir “TELL IT TO MY HEART: How I Lost My S#*T, Conquered My Fear, and Found My Voice” on Valentine’s Day 2019. It tells the story of how she rose above her modest upbringing to manifest her own success and become a chart-topping singer-songwriter selling over 75 million records and choosing to become a single mother.
Tell It to My Heart captures Taylor Dayne’s ascent against all odds, and the stories behind the dance soundtrack of our lives. From her early life growing up in a challenging blue-collar Long Island home in the 1960s and 1970s through her years touring as a chart-topping musician through New York, LA, Shanghai, London, Paris, and Tokyo in the 1980s and 1990s, she tells-almost-all about her experiences with renowned talents including Michael Jackson, Elton John, and Whitney Houston. Readers will be immersed in her enduring 30-year career, performing for audiences worldwide, as she raises twins as a single mother by choice.
Taylor has a powerful voice, not only as a singer, but as a storyteller as well. Her personal journey is proof that childhood reverie can become reality. The humor, strength, resilience and grace that led her to stardom are woven through the scenes of her book—showing how vulnerability turns out to be strength, and how strength comes from somewhere inside when you least expect it.
Tell It to My Heart should be read by fans, musicians, artists, and women of all ages. She inspires us to live our lives with courage—to raise our voices, to take action, to believe in ourselves, and to never give up on our
Taylor describes her memoir: “It’s gritty, it’s real, and it’s truthful. It’s about love, which is good even when it doesn’t last, and God, who is good, even when it seems like He’s being kind of a dick. It’s also about friendship, but most of all, it’s about the voice which was my salvation. At fifty-fffrrshx, I feel like I’m the closest I’ve ever been to knowing peace, knowing who I am and what I need. Loving, learning, mentoring and mothering—these are tall tasks that require a strong backbone of authenticity and integrity. I hope this book will inspire readers to do the same.”
Connect with Taylor Dayne Here:
Purchase the book here- https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tell-it-to-my-heart-taylor-dayne/1129114175
Learn more about Taylor Dayne in the following All Access interview:
So what was it like writing this memoir? What was it like putting all of your personal thoughts on paper?
Well, it’s been a really extensive experience, this memoir, this autobiography. I mean, it’s not only just re-living some of the experiences and your memory, you know, it’s so incredible how you have a perception of a period of time, and then when you pull out photos and writings, it’s all very uniquely interesting. I’m actually really enjoying it at times, and sometimes I’m really not, but at the same time, I have to say it’s pretty profound. It’s been fun discussing your life over and over again with people, and then at the same time, re-living it in some ways. Yeah, there’s been some very dark moments, but there’s been a lot of, “I’m still here, damn it, and I feel good about that” moments too.
What do you think ultimately convinced you to do it? Was there a particular moment or an experience you had?
Yeah, I did a TED Talk, TED Women in 2016, and profoundly I had started dabbling very seriously thinking about the idea of putting a memoir together. It’s definitely brought up not even only as a screenplay, but musically as well. A biography and musically, the Taylor Dayne story, the girl from Long Island. There’s been a lot of echoing off it. So then I went and met with a book mentor. I went to work with a woman, a writing specialist for publishing and for also writing a book, my autobiography. It was not just me, it was about five other writers that took this course with her.
We went up to Carmel and her name was Linda Siversten and she was amazing. It was so profound. She taught us everything from chapter layout, to presentation, to what we needed to send to publishers, to what goes in the prologues. Everything. Book summary and really everything. That is where I got the confidence to say, “This is really something that can happen.” And we were traveling back and forth meeting in this room where we would go on for hours and then we’d come back and we’d all share and read.
About seven women were sharing and reading what they were writing that day with incredible instruction from Linda. I mean these were all writers. Two of them had already been published. It was an extraordinary treat. Now, all four of the writers there, four of the women had already been published, as well as myself being published. It’s extraordinary! Another one was ghostwriting for, I’m not going to say but it was just pretty extraordinary. And when Linda said, “Your voice needs to be seen in a different light,” which sounded pretty interesting but made complete sense to me.
It needs to be heard a different way, and she said, “I want you to consider doing a TED Talk.” I said, “A TED Talk?” She goes, “Taylor. I need something immediately to happen while you work on your book right now,” and I said, “Whoa, whoa.” She goes, “So that’s what we’re going to do,” and within six months, that’s what we did.
What an undertaking that was, but the compiling for that, and the story and how I ended up doing it so I urge folks to see that. You’ll really understand when you see my TED Talk. You’ll see that and understand where the experts really made me push forward for the book and push myself.
It was a catalyst, but it was more than that. The experience with her and the writing was the catalyst. I never thought to do a TED Talk, but when you see the TED Talk you see the story, you will see how it’s important for me to have had this voice and what it all meant to me.
Do you find that the book writing came maybe naturally to you as a songwriter, as a musician, than it would to someone else who hadn’t been in that world at all?
Well, I think yes and no. I mean, I’m a storyteller, right? I also sing my stories, but taking what’s in your head and your heart and putting it on paper. I mean yeah, I practice that. It’s a muscle. Being a great writer is about reading. I’m a voracious reader, so it’s important to me, but when you’re talking about your own experience it’s not like you’re making it up. I can’t flower things. Some things you can use with imagery and words, and I can tell you that, but when you’re traveling through your own experiences, the truth will set you free.
I don’t know if sometimes it’s easier. It’s not an easy process, to be clear, but I’m definitely very very involved in it because it has to be in my voice. Literally, figuratively, it has to come from my head. It has to be told in my way and that’s the only way I’ve been doing it and it’s been over a good year and a half so there you have it. I’m glad it’s coming to fruition.
I love that the book is going to be out on Valentine’s Day. Did you pick that?
Yeah, it’s a happy, not accident. It just makes the most sense, and we had to redirect for a minute, but I think it makes the most sense for Taylor Dayne to come out, for “Tell It to My Heart” to be released on Valentine’s Day.
Will you be going on a big book tour and doing some readings around the country?
Yeah, we’d love to. We’re in the process of all that right now. We’re discussing how we’re going to do it, but yeah. I’m involved in it for sure. It’ll be very exciting.
What can fans expect from your upcoming shows?
Well it’s the 30th Anniversary of the “Tell It to My Heart” show so it’s been incredible. We now have the holiday show and yhe last time I did it was, I guess, five years ago. I did it with several other artists like Jennifer Holiday and Ruben Studdard. It’s extraordinary voices and we’ve got gospel choirs and the band. It’s amazing. People can expect a lot of holiday cheer, and I’m continuing just to end the year on a high, on my 30 year anniversary. Folks are coming down!
How would you say that what motivates you to be a musician has transformed over the years? How has that changed for you?
Well when I was younger, I didn’t realize you needed the collaborative process, like how you need to work with people. That’s the only way. A film isn’t made by one person, I mean it can be. We’ve learned how we can use tools where it’s become a lot easier to record, right?
Most people record in their homes right? In their bedrooms! The digital age has translated into a lot more opportunities for people, there are a lot more opportunities to technically produce and make more music now. Before we had to book out studio time, we had to put enormous amounts of money and spend a lot of money doing those kinds of things. I would say that in and of itself is the biggest transfer in music. How music transfers, how it’s sent, how it’s stored, how we become basically where, as a society, we listen to music. It is literally a soundtrack to people’s lives in a way, where it’s on every device we own.
We don’t just go in and turn a record player on. It’s on our radio. You turn it on in your car, turn it on in your home. Now we’ve had a Walkman at one point and we had then a boombox. You remember how portable it needs to be. Now it is basically our phones, and pretty soon it’ll be in our minds. They’ll be able to, with AI. It’s quite enormous what’s changed in music if you ask me.
The business model, absolutely. We’re touring where people are so removed from people on one level, but they feel closer to an artist than ever before because so much of it is personal. It’s not just the image of what you see, it’s more than that. It’s the story. People are connected to people through social media in different ways, and it’s with an artist as well. And branding and marketing, where before it was creating the image, now it’s a full time job, marketing procedure.
What do you feel about social media?
I found it is a very important, credible tool, and it can only get better and better if used wisely. But I’m also a mother with kids, where I feel it’s been nothing but hell.
Think about it. I mean you have to be able to manage yourself; you have to be able to self-manage. My boyfriend, he’ll be the first to say I’m addicted to my phone, I mean just think about how it’s changed all our relationships with ourselves and other people. It’s very common that people are just on their phones whenever they’re just by themselves.
I’m part of that, so what is social media? Is that social media? Or is that how we get all our information now? Do we get information from one another anymore? Or are we getting it, basically, from social media and the internet? 1000%. So how do I feel about it? I feel like everybody else because we’re in the Wild West baby! Things are changing rapidly as it’s moving along, and as technology is changing. Pretty soon it’ll be obsolete, and we’ll be thinking thoughts, and we’ll be able to see it.
That’s very true. Now are there any artists out today that are really impressive to you? Who is inspiring you right now?
Who’s not? From Mike Posner, Charlie Puth, Ariana, Dua Lipa, I love them all. I think pop is killing it. Calvin Harris, I mean we can dip into all of it!
Would you love to collaborate with someone?
Halsey! I mean she is amazing.
Is there anyone you would love to work with if time and schedules were open? Like tomorrow?
All of them. Why not all of them? I’m in the studio now … if anyone’s over 23!
Do you have plans to release brand new music? Is that something in your future?
Yeah, we’re going to release, obviously, something in the wake of the book launch, so in January. But we’re working on a little bit of a Christmas number right now for the holidays.
It’s exciting. We’re all pretty much DIY. We all have our distribution deals directly with AWOL. So yeah, I can do that, and through my social media, through my hundreds of thousands of fans and followers. I can alert them.
Are you ever surprised that you’re still doing this after all these years? Or have you always felt that this would be your passion, this would be your life?
No, it’s definitely gone through moments where you want to give up, and you want to kind of just walk away and things. Then something revealing or relatable happens, and I just pull in. I get another breath of fresh air. Or something just makes it more important and the desire gets stronger. I’ve never said, “I’m done.” I never walked away from my career. I’ve had moments where I needed extended breaks. I also became a mother. There’s a lot of things going on. I’m a single mom raising kids. If anything, I’m very prolific and that’s something that means a lot to me.
Do your fans have something to do with that? Your devout fans, the ones that are always going to be around.
You see that I’m definitely a touring artist. I continue to connect with my fans and the growth of my fans and making sure and knowing that that’s a very important part of what I’m doing. Where my purpose really lies and you only can do that when you actively stay present in something, and the passion has come back. It’s comes back in waves sometimes. Sometimes we’re tired, sometimes we’re giving too much, the effort outweighs and the giving outweighs the receiving.
I’m also much older, and I have to be very on top of my health, my fitness, my program and how I can sustain it so that’s part of the new woman. That’s part of my ability of sustainability, if you will. It’s because what you’ve seen is my health, wellness, my wellness program involves Taylor Dayne as a woman and also powerful, empowering other women and empowering my fans to keep the course, and they’ve done the same for me. It’s grown, and it grows, and it changes, and it evolves, but it’s as powerful and as important as ever now.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take from not just your music right now, but this memoir? What do you hope that fans are taking away from it all?
You know what, there’s a nice thing that I can actually sit here and say is that I’ve always been critically like, not panned over. I’ve always been considered a force right? Like, “Wow, Taylor Dayne.” They always go, “Oh, she’s a badass singer.” When you think of Sinead O’Connor, two songs and you know who she is. You know what you see. You have an image in your mind. I want people to get an image in their mind and hold fast to that saying, “Wow, so this is this big mighty Taylor Dayne. This is this woman. She’s a woman and she’s gone through what she’s gone through, and she’s still here. We’re still standing up, and we’re still wanting to give and receive and be part of this mad, magical life.” That’s me. That’s what I want people to get, and I have plenty to say and that’s all I’m sharing through an open door. Having an open door policy with a lot of those older stories and experiences I went through.
To check out all Taylor Dayne upcoming shows – https://www.taylordayne.com/dates/