Music Producer Troy Taylor Talks Working with Whitney Houston and Newcomers Like Jacquees

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Three-time Grammy-winning music producer Troy Taylor is an industry veteran, who has worked with legends such as Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. With 30 years of experience, he has cultivated some of the greatest musical hits of all time during his career. Even with so many accomplishments, Taylor’s career is still on the rise. His music continues to inspire, as he shares his love for R&B with the world. In a conversation with QG, he shares enlightening moments about his musical legacy.  

How did you become involved in the music industry? 

I started as an artist first. I signed a horrible deal to an indie label in NY because I was anxious and impatient. What made it even worse was I didn’t have an attorney. I just signed out of blind, ignorant faith. Long story short, I ended up getting bought off the label by a Motown executive, Timmy Regisford, who then signed me to Motown.

In the middle of working on my album, I worked with this young group from the ages of 15-17. A year later, they became known to the world as the multi-platinum group Boyz II Men. After seeing how I could do what I love without actually having to be an artist, I asked Timmy and the president of Motown at the time Mr. Jheryl Busby if I could not be an artist and focus on being a producer/writer. They granted that request, and I’ve been behind the scenes ever since. 

How would you define the creative expression behind your music?

The way I can describe it is simply put, the love of R&B.                                                                                      

What did you learn from working with legends like Boyz II Men, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston?

Well, since Boyz II Men were kids when I worked with them, it was just amazing to be a part of their history. As for Aretha, I learned why she is the Queen Of Soul. With Whitney, I learned how silly, fun, and super dope she was in the vocal booth, and this led to me naming her the Princess Of Pop.    

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a music producer?

The most rewarding aspect is the ability to help bring out the artist’s talent and soul as well as helping them to discover and use their musical gifts.

How does working with the new talent like Jacquees, YK Osiris, and Elijah Blake differ from working with some of the Greats?

Working with the new talent of today is allowing me access into the true essence of R&B, along with the new age R&B of today. I find that what’s missing are the harmonies, bridges, and chords. So when I work with them, I incorporate those elements so that the kids can hear how it should sound and feel.

What do you feel has been the greatest achievement of your extensive career?

One of my biggest achievements is helping to bring Trey Songz to the world from the age of 15 to now. That has been an amazing journey. To see that kid grow into a man as well as an artist and then a superstar R&B artist is so surreal.

Music has a way of reaching people in ways that few things can. Why do you think this is the case?

Music reaches the soul of everyone. Everyone in the world has a soul. The right lyrics, melody, and sounds can penetrate the hearts and be most effective, good or bad. That’s the true power of music. 

What did it mean to you to receive a Grammy?

To win the biggest award in music, a Grammy, meant that I’ve accomplished being noticed, heard, and seen as a part of The Recording Academy. It helped solidify me as an official writer and music producer.                                                                                                

Can you share a few details about any upcoming projects?

I’ve been working on some amazing new up and coming artists. But I’m about to run for Mayor of R&B. Stay tuned; you’ll see what I mean very soon.                                                                                  

Troy Taylor has proven to be worth keeping an eye on as he continues to thrive within the artistic realm of music and exceed all expectations in his fantastic career.

Photo credit: Troy Taylor/Song Book/TTU

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