ReddRoxx Rundown: Reese Taylor transitions from producer to MC
blog by Maria Redd • July 02, 2013 @ 8:15pm
One of the things I love about doing the ReddRoxx Rundown is being able to meet so many talented artists right here in Buffalo, and being able to provide them with a platform to be heard. I recently interviewed a super-talented artist who’s transitioning from behind-the-scenes as a successful producer to the forefront as an MC.
As he hones his skills on the mic, he’s been growing his fan-base and is demanding the attention of an industry where getting heard by the right person can sometimes feel like one in a million.
Reese Taylor, formerly known as AMK (Aston Martin Kidd), has already produced songs by some of the industry greats, and has major label backing of his next album! I caught up with this young multi-talented artist to get the inside scoop on his success and find out what’s next.
ReddRoxx: Okay, so I want to start out by saying, in just preparing for this interview and going over your music, you’ve gained a fan (laughs) and with that being said, I’m sure you’ll gain many more so let your future fans know who you are. You’re from Buffalo, right? In your music, you talk about your childhood. Tell us a little more about young Reese and how you got to be where you are today.
Reese Taylor: Well, I was born in 1991 at Sister’s Hospital. I was raised in Buffalo until I was 12 and moved around everywhere. I grew up listening to my father’s (who was a local DJ “DJ K-Kev”) mixes using songs from NWA to RUN-DMC, so hip-hop was a part of my life. I started making really crappy music when I was in high school, thinking I was someone, but as the era of social media started I took a jump by emailing free beats to local and rising artists.
My first big catch was Soulja Boy, Slim Dunkin (RIP) and Gucci Mane and now at The Weeknd. My life seemed to move very fast in the last few years. I didn’t really try to be an artist myself until I started to do it to impress my high school crush, and I must say it worked (laughs). Even though I wasn’t 100% into my own music, a young beautiful woman from Niagara Falls, NY, named Sharise Kent (who’s also my crush), helped give me advice and pointers on what to change and what to say. So here I am, 21 years old, with a free album backed by RCA Records dropping this year.
RR: That’s a true started-from-the-bottom story right there! Congrats on all of your success. To bring things into a local perspective, and with you being a successful artist from Buffalo, what’s your perception of the local music scene?
RT: It’s horrible, from the artist to the locals. With the artists, it’s everyone fighting to be the Gucci Mane with no one wanting to be the Waka first. I’m not just talking about our hip-hop; it’s also our R&B and rock. People see John Boy taking pictures with Soulja Boy and treat him like he created jobs. It’s like if you haven’t made it, you get no respect here.
RR: Interesting! I always get mixed feedback about the local music scene. Some feel like it’s on the verge of a breakthrough while others such as yourself feel like it’s a lost cause. With that being said, I can almost answer this next question myself but just out of curiosity, how has the reception and support been for your music locally?
RR: Once again, the support factor. I really hope that does change in our city because there are a lot of great artists that leave our city for that reason. Back to your music, how would you describe your sound?
RT: I’ve been asked this a lot and I have yet to come up with an answer, so I guess I just sound like me. Hope that answer wasn’t too corny.
RR: No, it’s not corny at all! To have a unique sound is probably one of the main reasons you’ve seen some success, so I get it (laughs). Now, you’ve seemed to have a lot of great opportunities come your way. You’ve collaborated and shared the stage with some of the greatest artists in the industry right now, how did some of those opportunities come about for you?
RT:Mostly my manager Cash, who also manages Abel (from the Weeknd), helped get me on stage and gave me tons of advice. He even gave me a chance to produce Abel’s new song “John Carpenter.” Secondly, Ester Dean helped me a lot, teaching me her ways of song writing, the business part of the music and letting me in studios at 4 a.m. just to add a few lines and sounds to Katy Perry’s “Firework.”
RR: That’s major! It seems like you are definitely on the right path to realizing your dreams in the music industry. With that being said, I’m sure you have many more collabs coming in the future. So who’s on your list of artists that you would like to collab with that you haven’t already?
RR: That is a long list! Nothing wrong with being ambitious, and I’m sure you’ll be able to collab with most if not all of those artists if you keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve named who you would like to work with, but who do you feel is your greatest musical influence?
RR: That’s cool, very few people get to meet the people we look up to! If I wanted to listen to some more of your work, where can your music can be downloaded or purchased?
RT: Google would help you more with that answer (laughs). It’s hard knowing since that I switched my name from Aston Martin (AMK) to Reese Taylor. But I’m still on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, MySpace, Soundcloud, On Coast 2 Coast mixtapes, HNHH and even Hulkshare.
RR: I guess we’ll save the reason for the name change for another interview (laughs) but for now, what projects are you currently working on and when can we expect to hear them?
RT: I’m still working on “Tea Parties And Twitter” which was suppose to be a mixtape but instead will be a free album. And hopefully I’ll release my first music video—I may need help picking what that will be.
RR: Definitely keep me in the loop on the release and if I can do anything to help! While you’re working on your album and video, you’re also performing and I heard that you’re preparing for your 500th performance, congrats! That’s a great achievement! When and where?
RT: Hopefully at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo on my birthday, Aug. 16. But like I stated earlier, with my low local support It’s becoming hard to make that dream happen.
RR: I think it’s awesome that despite the lack of support, it’s still a dream to perform in your hometown. I’m hoping that you’ll be able to realize that dream. Speaking of performances, what was your most memorable one?
RT: Awwwwwwwwwwwwww, last year when I opened for MGK at the Canopy Club in Urbana, Ill. It’s the hypest crowd I’d ever seen and even more awesome—they were awesome when I was on. It was truly most dope from start to finish. Plus Machine Gun Kelly is one of the greatest artist to watch on stage; his energy is unmatched and I’m a huge fan of his.
RR: MGK is dope so I have no doubts that that was a hype crowd! Now that we learned a little about Reese Taylor the artist, I want to talk about another side of what you do—you’re not only an artist but a philanthropist as well. Tell me a little about the work you do in the community.
RT: Well I’m a member of the It Gets Better program which tries to teach kids who are gay, bisexual or transgender who are being bullied that suicide isn’t an answer and that no matter what people say, you’re still a needed soul on earth. I do my best to help from donating the program’s book to over 400 schools nationwide to even speaking at a few.
RR: The fact that you’re already giving back this early in your career speaks volumes. As far as your music goes, what can your fans expect in the near future?
RT: An amazing album, an amazing music video this fall, also a six-track EP from songs I made from 2010 that was unreleased. And hopefully I’ll be coming to a stage near you.
RR: Your fans definitely have a lot to look forward to! Please keep me posted on everything. In the meantime, how can the people contact you?
RR: Leave us with one of your favorite quotes….
RT: “If I done it for the money I would have been a f**kin’ lawyer” - Macklemore
“Nothing in life is easy but it’s only as hard as you make it” - Reese Taylor
“You Could F**k Up Your Future F**kin’ With Your Past” - Sharise Kent