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‘Unstoppable’ Tea w/Doreen Taylor

Whether it was the grueling video shoot inspired by late and oh, so great boxing legend Smokin’ Joe Frazier for her latest single, Unstoppable, or its official premiere last week at Main Line Art Center which was followed by a special appearance at the 2nd Annual Legacy Exists Fundraiser honoring the dearly departed sports legend, local adult contemporary singing artist, the incredible Doreen Taylor truly hasn’t stopped. 

But now that she’s finally had a Monday minute (literally) to gather her thoughts, she ever so graciously sat down at Philly Mixtape‘s tea table once again, breaking mugs about all of her future plans and all of the Unstoppable truth you can handle. 

Or can’t you? There’s only one way to find out…take a seat right next to the lovely Doreen as she spills away about it all once more. 

Hey, Ms. Taylor! Thank you for spilling with Philly Mixtape as always. How are you feeling after the big premiere of “Unstoppable’?  I couldn’t have imagined a more incredible outpouring of love. I have always cherished my close friendship with Joe Frazier and to be able to honor his legacy with the power of music is a dream come true. I am so proud at how the music video came out and so grateful that the viewer watching it can feel the tremendous love and admiration I felt for this man. The release party at the Main Line Art Center on the 8th–incidentally on the 46th anniversary of the infamous Frazier/Ali ‘Fight of the Century’–was a great success and it was great to have members of Joe’s family with me celebrating. It was wonderful.

The video is simply incredible in every way as well. What was the experience like shooting it?  Wow, that was by far the toughest shoot I have ever had to do and I have done some exhausting ones. I have a newfound respect for what boxers (and athletes in general) put their bodies through and the strength and endurance they need to win. I really boxed and sparred for the shoot. I wanted to make sure that I embodied Joe’s spirit in the best way that I knew how and I just couldn’t fake that. It would have been disrespectful to his memory. I actually still have cuts on my hands from hitting the bag so hard in the shoot! I just hope that Joe would be proud. I really think his spirit was smiling down that day pushing me to make it through. 

Now, you and the late, great Mr. Joe Frazier were very close. What are a few of your fondest memories of him?  I have so many amazing stories about my time with Joe and some I share while others I keep personal. I just know that Joe adored music and I believe that is why we bonded on a deep level. We performed several times together in Atlantic City and he would come out to my live shows often. It took me 6 years to find the perfect way to honor him and when I was writing my new album “Happily Ever After”, I knew it was the right time to write a song for him. His memory deserves to be remembered and I am just doing my best to continue to share his legacy to a new generation of fans.

Any other news you can spill for everyone right now? I haven’t officially announced anything but yes, we are presently workshopping a brand new musical based on the music from my Happily Ever After album (go right here right now) and it has been touted as a very innovative, hybrid musical that will break a lot of boundaries. I don’t know about all that, but I am really excited to be using my past experience in opera/musical theatre and acting and also my mainstream adult contemporary recording career and fusing it all into a pretty cool piece of art! It’s slated to appear Off Broadway in late 2017/early 2018. I am sure more details will be coming soon…!! 

And…in preparing for St. Patrick’s Day…favorite u2 song of all time? “With or Without You’ and ‘Where the Streets Have No Name” are the top 2 that I think stick out as their best.

For much, much more with the incredible Ms. Doreen Taylor, get lost in the music on her Spotify page right here as well as on her official website right here. 

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Music Tea w/Doreen Taylor

Last year, Philly Mixtape got the fabulous chance to become music acquaintances with Temple graduate and local songstress Doreen Taylor, and besides being an all around tremendous talent (check out those pulsating pipes right here and our music tea right here), her love for her fans and her generosity towards others speaks in volumes that would blow out the whole damn sound system. 

Which is something that she’s actually aiming to do in 2017. 

I personally would like to wish Ms. Taylor a very Happy New Year full of music life and those grooves, and I would like personally invite all of you to take a seat at her ever so lovely local music tea table, where we broke all kinds of Lennox tea mugs about New Year’s resolutions, her ever-growing involvement with the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County and of course…..Mariah

Take a sip and enjoy! 

Kicking off our spill, how was your holiday season? It was really great. I was able to go home for a few days to my hometown of Buffalo, NY and see my family- something that my insane career doesn’t allow me to do very often. I pigged out on awesome chicken wings and beef on weck! I think I put on 10 pounds but it was oh…so worth it!

Any resolutions for the New Year? Well, to tie into the last questions, diet…diet and more diet! Well, maybe not that bad, but I have a grueling performance schedule coming up for 2017 so I definitely want to make sure my body–as well as my voice-are ready for it. So far I have kept to it so we shall see. Ask me again in a few weeks.

Okay, so….you just might have seen Mariah’s NYE performance…which…no matter what “really” happened…proves that there can be tech glitches during shows. Has anything like that ever happened to you?  And if so, how did you fix the glitch? The one thing that you learn very early on as a professional performer – sh*t will always happen and the odds are, it WILL happen. I guess the trick to being a pro is learning how to not let it derail you while still giving an incredible performance. Your audience didn’t pay good money and give a night of their lives to see you freak out on stage because the monitors are working or you’re not getting the mix in your in-ears right. They don’t care. They are there to be entertained and could care less about the technical glitches happening on or off stage. A good example (and my most recent) was my debut show “Happily Ever After” in Philly [this past October] at the Skybox Event Center. Anything that could go wrong that night….did. Because of issues that occurred prior in the day, I was not able to get a proper sound check before the show. To make matters worse, the mix that was coming out of my monitors during the show was so horrendous that I could not hear myself. I sang 95% of the show deaf. Did the sold out audience know? No. In fact, several reviews came back saying it was one of my best (and most impassioned performances ever). I think that is what happens when you truly give a crap about your fans. All the respect we have for them and the passion we have for our craft kicks in when things go wrong and we just do it- regardless of what is happening around us. The old adage was right  on, “The show must go on” and yes, it must.

Girl, that answer is everything and more! Spoken like a true professional diva. Okay, now let’s spill a little bit about your involvement with the Boys & Girls Club and what this project means to you personally…I have worked with the Boys & Girls Club of America on several different projects throughout the years. I was even awarded the 2016 “Inspiration Award” from the BGCCC but most recently, I donated all the proceeds from my “Happily Ever After” debut concert in Philly (the show I just mentioned in the previous question) to the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County. I also teamed up with them on my original Christmas single “My Christmas Wish” where I not only donated$1 from every physical purchase of the single, but also went to the Camden, NJ clubhouse to meet with the children and film the official music video with them. It was such an amazing experience and one I will never forget.

What would you like to personally tell your fans for the New Year? Hang on because 2017 is going to be insane!! Everything I’ve worked for in my career has been leading up to this point and without giving too much away…. I am presently in negotiations for a‘dream come true project. More details will be coming soon! I will also be releasing my official music video for my new single “Over” off of my new album “Happily Ever After” in mid-February with two official East coast premieres in New York City and in Philadelphia prior. This song is very important to me and I cannot wait for the world to see the incredibly powerful story that will unfold in the music video. Beyond that, I am continuing to just beat the pavement hard and get more and more of the world to hear my stuff!

One last sip, there’s no need to argue that judging from those temps outside, winter is in full effect, which means it’s time to T/V. binge! Which shows are rockin’ your Netflix world right now? Oh man, I wish I had time to watch TV, but to be honest…I watch very little. I swear, the deeper and deeper I get into my career, the less patience I have to sit still and watch something. I would rather be working! I do like “Madam Secretary” and I love “The Last Ship”, but beyond that, it is hard for me to get invested into new shows. It’s like my relationships— I don’t have the commitment level (or patience) for it!!!

Enough said. For much, much more with the fabulous Ms. Taylor, dive into her official website right here.

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Local Music Tea w/Doreen Taylor

Who’s ready for a real live music treat to kick off your weekend? Because that’s exactly what you’re going to get when Philly area native and Temple University alum Doreen Taylor takes the stage in front of a sold-out crowd tonight at the 2424 Skybox Event Center. 

However, this isn’t just any show as Taylor is coming armed and fabulous with not just with all of that undeniable talent that will be on full display, but she’ll also have a handful of accompanying backup dancers, a 10-piece band and an interactive video wall that is sure to be just as lovely as she is.

This show is important for many reasons to Ms. Taylor as for one, she’ll be back in Philly belting off the live debut of her critically acclaimed Adult Contemporary with just a touch of R&B flavored set, Happily Ever After, but two,100% of the proceeds of tonight’s show will be fabulously donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County, of which Ms. Taylor is a huge advocate for. 

As an award-winning music artist, the local songstress has woven into an extensive performance background with degrees in both opera and vocal performance, but after a lengthy run in musical theatre, she decided to branch off and make her mainstream music debut with the her country-pop album, Magic. The buzz and the reviews from her freshman record would lead her to work alongside music industry veteran arranger Larry Gold (Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake…the list goes on and on) and together the dynamic duo would cook up “Happily,” and as The Philadelphia Inquirer spills, “Taylor’s enthusiasm, personality, and musicality are engaging,” 

But indeed, perhaps another highly praised part of Taylor’s red-hot career is her extensive involvement and pride she takes in using her platform to stand as a passionate advocate for a variety of charitable causes including, The US National Parks, GLAAD, and of course, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which is one of the reasons why Philly Mixtape was eager to spill with her about it all, including how she’s feeling heading into tonight’s sold-out show and what words of wisdom she would give to someone who dared decided to step foot onto this crazy music scene. 

Show your love to Ms. Taylor below, and for much more on this local diva, including where you can get down to Happily Ever After, check this out. 

Hey, Doreen, thank you so much for taking the time to spill with me. Okay, so this is a big show for you! How are you feeling heading into your sold-out performance tonight? It’s very surreal. It feels like just yesterday I was announcing this concert and now it’s here! Of course I have the normal performance jitters, but to be honest I’m more excited than anything. My band is phenomenal, the string players are top-notch, the dancers are amazing, the production crew is incredible…everything is working together to make this night a huge success. I’m ready to just hit the stage and sing my heart out!

Congrats on your album, Happily Ever After, as well. As much as I’m sure it was making it, what was maybe the most challenging or most difficult part? I always find the hardest part is deciding what songs will end up on the album and what direction they will take production wise. There are so many different ways that the same song can sound so it’s always a challenge to make sure that the production is the best fit for me as an artist while also being fresh and relatable to the industry today.

Spill for everyone what it was like working with super-arranger Larry Gold… Larry is an incredible talent who has worked with just about anyone who’s anyone in this business for the past 40 years (Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, et al). Not many people can say that in this industry. He knows his stuff and he will always bring his “A” game to every project he touches. He also tells it like it is and is brutally honest. I respect that greatly and I know that whatever he says is up front and no BS. That helps me grow as an artist and I was blessed to be able to create my new album with him. I’ve grown to care about him like family and I hope to work on many more projects together in the future.

You have an extensive musical background in opera, as well as in musical theatre. What were those experiences like for you? Even though I don’t perform those styles of music anymore, they were essential in my development as not only a singer, but also as a stage performer. I was able to cultivate a vocal technique that allows me to sing extremely challenging, powerhouse vocal music night after night while also allowing the flexibility to create subtle artistry with my voice. Bottom line is that it has really trained me to be a well-rounded musician that can bring multiple facets to the stage.

The one album you can’t live without is… Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I think the reason why goes without saying.

What words of inspiration would you give to all of the future music stars out there? Make sure that you are in this business because you truly love music. If you are in it to get famous or to get rich, this is not the profession for you. It is not an easy life…in fact, the sacrifices you will need to make can take a toll on even the strongest person. But when the love of music inside you is stronger than all else, then use your gift and make the most of it!

One last sip, what is your favorite Philly memory and do you have any plans while you’re back in town? I love Philadelphia! As a Temple University alum, Philly will always hold a special place in my heart here. I have a lot of fond memories, but I think my favorite memory is the time I was announced as the “Ambassador to the National Parks” in front of the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall. I performed my song “Colors of the USA” at a public press conference as the National Parks Conservation Association officially announced me as their ambassador. I can think of nothing more moving than being given such a great honor on the steps of the birthplace of our American democracy. I will forever be grateful.

I don’t really have any plans. Right now, I’m just focused on my big concert and then taking a little down time just to relax and reflect on a job well done. I’m looking forward to that more than anything right now!