Interview With, Taylor McClaine
Born in St. Lukes hospital on the Upper West Side of New York City (Harlem) and spending a while with family in Long Island… Taylor made his way down to Atlanta when he was ready to fully commit to a career in law. Excited for the future of GMC, We take some time out to chat with, Taylor about what lies ahead for him and his music.
Thanks for sitting down with us. Tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
What’s happening man, thanks for having me on the show. Really excited to be here brotha. Tampa Bay, Championship City… ahhh love the energy out here bro. Blessed to finally be on the airwaves and able to talk to the city and all the great people out here in the Bay and beyond.
One thing that I like to know about musicians is… When did you have that defining moment in life that you knew that music is what you wanted as your life?
2020 was a defining year in my life and was the year that I began my music career. 2020 was a year I feel no one will ever forget. It’s edged in stone DJ. I was a consumer of music for a long time and didn’t make the connection that I have now with my craft until I was tested and pushed harder than I’ve ever been in my life last year. Mentally, 2020 was a time to reflect on and grow from. A lot of the pain and agony I felt and was experiencing was trapped and I didn’t have an outlet for it. It wasn’t healthy, I’m blessed and grateful that the music hit my heart.
Once I hopped in the booth, it was a wrap my man. I didn’t look back. I grew up listening to Hip Hop and R&B, Jazz, and Funk with a heavy influence from East Coast vibes. A lot of those records growing up, got me through so many difficult times in my life, so now having the opportunity to change places as an artist is a true blessing bro. Being able to deliver meaningful content to people is super dope bro.
What motivates you, not just in music but, your daily life as well?
The people I love bro. The ones who’ve stood by me and rocked with me from jump. Motivated to give my mama and my sisters the keys to the castle one day and to be able to create generational wealth. That’s all the motivation I need brotha. This is more than music. This is a legacy that will continue to live on forever. One that uplifts and stands the test of time. Timeless in all aspects. That’s what I’m striving for.
When you start a new song… Where do you draw inspiration from? What does your creative process look like?
A lot of it starts off the top of the head bro. I grew up freestyling, where I would pick up an instrumental with friends and just start spittin. When it came to me taking ownership of my craft, I stuck to what I did from when I was young but added more of a regimen to it. I’ll step in the booth when I’m working on a new snog and rap and sing all the way though off the top and then go back and write.
Sometimes, I’ll already have something written, like a couple of bars before I get to the studio. So, when I hop in the booth I may go the same direction as to the words on the page or I might just change it up on the spot. It’s truly whatever I’m feeling and where the music is taking me at the present time.
Keeping in mind that everyone obviously wants to be themselves… If you could swap yourself with another musician, who (alive or dead) would it be?
Have you ever performed live? If so, do you prefer performing live or studio life?
I’ve never performed live but I’m really looking forward to it. I have a few gigs I’ll be announcing this summer that I’ll be performing at in the Tampa Bay area. Plan on making it out to Saint Pete this year to perform as well too.
Personally, I think that there is too much social media out there to keep up with. I understand why it’s necessary but, too much in my opinion. What are your feelings on social media and trying to circumnavigate through all of it?
Man, at this point, I do it with the social media because of the reach that it has and it’s a must have in this industry in my opinion. If you can’t keep up with it, you get left behind, similar to technology in general. Fortunately, it’s created platforms for different artists to get their music out there and be heard from anywhere in the world. But, in doing so, it also opens up a lot of garbage and I do my best to stay away from it as much as I can. It’s not the place to have conversations, and I think a lot of times, we as a society have fallen into the lazy way of doing things, where a lot of us don’t think for ourselves, a lot of us don’t research, and we take what we hear, no matter the source as face value. It’s dangerous, and when you have a vehicle like social media behind it look out man.
How do you find that you deal with the inevitable writer’s block that comes with music production?
I’ve been on a roll lately where I’m really finding the beat and locking in better than I ever have before. When I do run into a writer’s block, I’ll usually take a step back and start freestyling and playing with words. Then I step back in and go back to work.
Do you mix and master yourself or do you work with an engineer / producer?
I work with a producer who also has experience working as an engineer. I changed producers after my second release, and it was the best decision I could have made for my career. The style and sound we have now is what I was looking for and what the people need.
Do you prefer to be underground or is the mainstream something that you strive for?
I’m looking to get my music out there as much as I can brotha. I really see myself taking the brand international, especially when I decide to branch into other forms of media and business as an artist and entrepreneur.
Who, Musically, are some of your bigger influences?
Mary J Blige, Alicia Keys, Jay Z and Nipsey Hussle.
How long have you been making music and, what do you like and dislike about your specific genre?
I’ve been making music for almost a year now in October. I released my first single last October 2020. I would say in Hip Hop a lot less artists in my opinion take ownership of their craft. Look at what Jada and LOX did a few weeks ago in front of NYC and for the culture. That’s called owning it and true professionalism. A lot of these cats out here want the glory but don’t want to put in the work. You gotta be all in, and you have to hold yourself accountable. That’s with anything in life if you want to get the most out of it. It’s about longevity and sustainability with me. True lyricism is so important to me. I write my own verses and hooks. I’m a writer. No co-writers at GMC. None of that. My producer cooks up a beat and I go to work on the verses and hook. That’s how we move out here.
Do you have a specific song that, when you hear it, just inspires you every time?
Not sure if I can think of a song, there’s so many. But I can give you an artist. For inspiration in music, I’m always turning to Nipsey Hussle.
You’re bound to run into some haters these days, the world overall, sometimes feels to be negative. How do you keep your frame of mind and remain positive?
I’m gonna keep doing me. As long as I’m winning, people are going to talk. Take a number. Let them continue to talk. I was put on this earth for a purpose. Drizzy said it’s best. This is God’s work. My purpose is to deliver meaningful and authentic music to the masses and to continue to elevate social conscious art. I’m sticking to the script. And that’s only one part of my purpose in art. There’s more for me to uncover along my journey and it’s only beginning.
I want to thank you for chatting with us. Is there anything you would like to add personally? Shout-outs?
Thank you, it’s been a pleasure bro. Appreciate you Tampa. It’s all love and respect. Shout out GMC. GMC to the world!!
— Make sure you follow Taylor on all his links via the Link Tree below.
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