Willie Taylor, former member of the multiplatinum group Day 26, took the stage as the featured post-game entertainer for Florida A&M University’s basketball homecoming Saturday.
Accompanied by singer Russell Foster, Taylor performed his new song “Freak of the Week” and also sang one of Day 26’s chart toppers, “Since You’ve Been Gone.”
Foster says his experience at FAMU was pleasurable.
“It was a pleasure to perform in front of people who understand the value of community and school pride. Thanks to DJ Loose Kid, the dance team and a special thanks to Elliot Charles, who took time away from his family to show us around,” Foster said.
Elliot Charles is the new deputy athletic director at FAMU who was instrumental in securing Willie Taylor’s performance.
Janine Alexander, fourth-year english student from Ft. Lauderdale, said Willie Taylor’s performance resonated with her and made her miss the days of Day 26.
“The concert made me nostalgic for my middle school days,” Alexander said. “It is exciting to see Willie Taylor doing his own thing and continuing his solo career.”
Since leaving Day 26, Taylor has released several EPs and mixtapes. He is now in the studio working to produce a body of work that further exhibits his growth as an artist.
When asked about his new project, Taylor answered with excitement, recalling artists that will be featured on his new album.
“So far I’m collabing with this artist from the islands named MaxAMillion,” Taylor said. “I got Jeremih on the album. Pusha T is on the album. BJ The Chicago Kid is on the album. It's going to be nice.”
As a Chicago native, Taylor had positive remarks about soul singer, BJ The Chicago Kid’s recently released album “In My Mind,” which Taylor believes is a classic record.
“I love the album, it's classic,” he said. “I’ve been on BJ for years, though. To see him get his just due is amazing to me.”
Though the singer is proud of his work with Day 26, he is now focused on his solo career and building the Willie Taylor brand. At this time, he is not focused on resurfacing the Day 26 era.
“That is really the mission right now. I had to close the Day 26 window just so people can really pay attention to what I bring to the table myself,” Taylor said.
Taylor, his wife and two kids, are featured on season two of VH1’s Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood. The show follows their life as they transition from their hometown of Chicago to the Los Angeles scene.
Willie’s new music can be purchased on iTunes.