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Conversations Magazine Feb./March 2017

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

1 on 1 with Singer/Actress Taylor Dayne

by Ramona Portelli 

Very few people know that American pop singer-songwriter and actress - Taylor Dayne’s real name is Leslie Wunderman.  But many have heard about her major hit when her debut single ‘Tell It to My Heart’ reached #7 on the Hot 100.  Overall, 51 year old Taylor Dayne had 18 individual hit songs reach the top 10 in Billboard magazine.  These include the 2011 American and international hit ‘Floor on Fire’, and her 2008 song ‘Beautiful’.  She has also topped the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart three times.

As an actress, Taylor has had roles in independent films such as Fool’s Paradise (1997), Stag (1997) and Jesus the Driver (2004) amongst many other appearances and productions. 

Currently, Taylor Dayne is living in Los Angeles, although she is a New York native, and was raised on Long Island.

This year marks her 25th year anniversary release of her first single from her debut album of the same name in late 1987 - ‘Tell it to My Heart’.  

When did you first try hand at singing?
For me singing and hearing music became this life force.  Music was played in our home on Sundays which was a family day.  My dad would make a huge brunch - the tradition was music playing loudly like musicals or the Beatles, or Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66.  We would hear it as we woke and ate together, and it stayed with me.  I started to sing by 5 years old with the radio and then albums, and I had my first solo in kindergarten by 6 years old.

Can you describe your state of mind while singing?
Singing was and still is my greatest form of release and expression.  It's so trusted for me, and I get a great relief recording, when it feels right and moving notes to my will, and expressing someone off a page and bringing life to melodies

What challenges have you had to face in your chosen career?
I face the same challenges all artists do - how to get my music to fans, how to increase fans, and how to stay relevant and make money in the music business.

Are you currently working on any new projects or tours?
I tour always throughout the year and have done so for the last 25 years.  This year marks my 25th year anniversary release of ‘Tell it to My Heart’.  I was inducted into the hall of fame, starting August 21, 2013 - September 11, 2013.  I will Star as Grizabella in Cats for the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse Theatre in Upstate New York.

Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?
Hmmm fans, an encounter?  Not really.  Some are very insisting, some are so generous and give food, jewelry, notes, or even paintings.

In your opinion, what is the best thing in life?
The best thing in life is a peace that lives inside you, a knowingness that you’re doing well, and you feel that love and at peace for yourself and with those around you.  That connection is fleeting for me at best and feels the best.

In your own words, what is the problem with the world today?
Problems make the world go round, sadly greed and people’s need for their personal beliefs to be the one way are at the heart of most what’s wrong.  Compassion goes a long way, which I certainly need to be reminded of.

During your career so far, you had sold more than 75 million albums and singles worldwide, and also garnered three Grammy nominations. What are your comments about this reality?
I can't live on that.  It's an incredible acknowledgement and achievement, but I work to take care of me and my family and my need to do it, I push myself the same way.

What’s your opinion about massive tattoos on female bodies?
I love tattoo art.  I have a few and it really felt at the time I needed this art to say something about me, and I was so involved in the design and what I needed it to look like and where it would be on my body placement.  I feel it's beautiful.

Any personal ambitions yet unattained?
I have many aspirations from recording to television dreams.  All are in motion and ever evolving.

What are your plans for the rest of this year?
I have summer and fall filled with tour dates and my stage appearance in ‘Cats’.

Ramona Portelli is a Maltese born freelance writer and journalist.  33 years old, Ramona has been a freelance writer for these last past years, during which she has interviewed various Maltese and international personalities. More information about her on www.ramonaportelli.com.

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