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GARY TAYLOR 2001 INTERVIEW

"This is the scariest record I've ever done!" says singer-songwriter and producer Gary Taylor, who has performed something of a miracle by having released not one but now five albums on his own label, Morning Crew Records. The L.A. resident is not referring to the superb musical content on "Under The Nightlight," his latest love-filled set when he expresses his fear. Instead, he's referencing the speed with which the nine-track CD is gaining attention in the U.S. marketplace and receiving equally strong reaction in the U.K. where it has been released by Expansion Records (who have released each of Gary's albums -1991's "Take Control," the 1993 set "Square One," 1995's "Mood Of Midnight" and the 1998 CD, "Love Dance"). "I've never had a record like this," says the man whose songs have graced albums by Anita Baker, The Whispers, Jennifer Holliday, Lalah Hathaway and Carl Anderson among others. "It took 'Square One' about a year and eight months to get its legs and it still outsells the rest of my albums. I sent copies of this new album to radio stations in the markets which have always been supportive like Washington DC, Detroit and San Francisco and they just wanted to know when they could start playing it on the air…"

With his own established audience, Gary has been providing his own brand of heartfelt romantic music for over a decade now and he confesses that "Under The Nightlight" was just a little different in terms of how it was recorded. "I have my own studio in my home and this is the first time I've ever produced and engineered my own record. It meant I had to be a better singer. I had to know the songs better than ever and know where I was going with them since I had to do them all the way through. A lot of the tunes on this record are complete first takes…"

Sharing about what the process of making the album was like and revealing his own personal thoughts, Gary notes, "No one was there with me when I was recording and there were times when I was standing there by myself with tears in my eyes knowing that there was nobody to share those moments with me. That is the empty part of my life. Not that I don't date but my main relationship in life is with music. I have concepts on how I want to love somebody but it's not easy to practice them when you don't have a partner. The truth is, I haven't made a commitment to having a relationship with someone the way I've made a commitment to my relationship with music…"

Gary accumulated the songs for the new album over a period of time but says that three in particular were the glue for the project: "The title track represents a symbol of what is a couple's central foundation - it could be a light in a restaurant, in a bedroom, the soul spark they felt when they first met… The other two songs around which the album was based, "Gotta Be A Way" and "About The Real" address things in my life and they are among my favorites. The song "All Or Nothing At All" had been done by The MAC Band (in the '80s) and I did it as a duet with Vann Johnson, who I'd seen sing with Yanni. She was so easy to work with as were Bridgette Bryant who does background vocals for the album, Christopher Clement who played guitar and Keith Fiddmont who did a sax solo on "The Nightlight" which was so gorgeous."

While Gary may not have achieved the superstar status of other male vocalists, he says that his loyal core audience has made it clear to him that "they don't want me to change. I get letters, e-mail and people say 'please don't ever go mainstream,' 'stay on the outside curve for as long as you can.' My audience - which is mostly female - tell me, 'this kind of music is what we come to you for' so I'm comfortable not having a major record deal but putting my focus entirely on my label, Morning Crew Records. It's scary putting all your money into making your own records but I figure that at least I have a catalog that's mine forever."

Known to some of his fans because of the content of is songs as 'The Psychologist Of Love' (which, he says is "funny, because I am a psychology major!"), Gary is getting ready to finally make a trip across the Atlantic, his first since 1988 when he visited the U.K. in connection with the release of his Virgin debut, "Compassion" which he plans to reissue on Morning Crew this year. He says that having a relationship with Expansion Records in the U.K. has been a plus: "What I've learned over the eight years we've been working together is that they are really soul music lovers whose passion for the music is the same as mine. I'm looking forward to finally performing in Britain."

About the Writer
David Nathan is the founder and CEO of SoulMusic.com and began his writing career in 1965; beginning in 1967, he was a regular contributor to Blues & Soul magazine in London before relocating to the U.S. in 1975 where he served as U.S. editor for the publication for several decades and began being known as 'The British Ambassador Of Soul.' From 1988 to 2004, he wrote prolifically for Billboard, has penned bios, produced and written liner notes for box sets and reissue CDs for over a thousand projects. He returned to London in 2009 where he has helped create SoulMusic.com Records as a leading reissue label.
  
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