I have found what makes me unique and special. I provide a service/product that you can only get from me. This sets me apart from competition.
Taylor Mallory is an Alternative R&B looping artist, singer-songwriter, producer and entertainer making waves with his unique and intimate live performances and heartfelt original songs that focus on personal growth and gratitude.
Raised in a small town in southern Illinois, he was bullied for his religious beliefs and a severe stuttering problem. Through music, he overcame that adversity and is an example of someone from a small community with big dreams who stepped outside of his box, inspiring others to do the same. As a member of Chicago’s Level Next Music Collective, Mallory believes in “doing good while doing well” and mentors inner-city youth, teaching them that music can be a tool to overcome life’s challenges.
The Level Next Music recording artist creates his unprecedented Alternative R&B experience on stage using a series of loops — a technique called looping — comprised of smooth vocal loops, synthesizers and progressive drum programming. Mallory’s fresh musical approach has turned the heads of media outlets such as JET, The Wall Street Journal, Sofar Sounds and singersroom.com to name just a few.
In 2015, he released his first full-length album “TaylorMade.” He continues to explore and develop as an artist, slated to release his newest album in summer 2018.
“My last album, TaylorMade, found me on a journey of finding what I was really looking for in love,” Mallory said. “I was looking in all the wrong places and the very light I was looking for was right in front my eyes all these years,” Mallory said. “My new album is talking to all those who may have come out of a bad relationship transitioning into something positive. You may sometimes bring baggage and that’s okay. You have to work through it. We’re working through that and this album is a soundtrack for dealing with the past and moving forward into the future with the person you love.”
The new album continues the sonic journey Mallory started on his first release, fusing R&B, pop and soul to create an eclectic, organic mix of memorable songs for fans to listen to over and over.
“Some time ago, my mentor, Ivan Dupee, gave me advice that sticks to this day: It’s not what you do to your music, it’s what you do with your music,” Mallory said. “At the end of the day, it’s about inspiring lives and making a difference in the world.”
Mallory is also an actor and voiceover talent. He’s been featured in national commercials for brands such as Corona, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Coors Light and in TV shows including NBC’s Chicago PD.
Where did the idea to become an entrepreneur come from?
The idea initially began when I was a child and witnessing my parents in leadership/entrepreneurial-esque roles. My mother had her own cake business and she was a teacher and president of my church’s youth group; my father was the coach of all my sporting teams and he was a handy man and fixed things by himself. At an early age, I had the opportunity to see what independence, leadership and creativity looked like.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up every morning at 5:40 a.m. and I head to the gym to workout for at least 45 minutes to an hour. From there, I like to create a to-do list of things I need to accomplish by the end of the day and then a smaller to-do list of things I need to accomplish by 12 p..m. It’s important for me to have multiple things accomplished by noon because it sets the tone for the remainder of the day. In addition, it’s important for me to have something positive in the background relating to my career or spirituality, so I’ll always have T.D. Jakes, Jimmy and Karen, or The Breakfast Club on in the background while I’m working.
Right at noon, I like to make a healthy lunch and then the remainder of the day is a mixture of answering emails, rehearsing, writing, and planning for my events and performances for the next day/week/month.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Generally, I’ll write down a great idea, meditate on it, and then simply just exercise it; whether it is a looping idea or a music production idea or even an event or music video treatment. For me, it starts with imagination, believing the vision, and then simply exercising it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I really like performance art. Artists like Janelle Monae, Reggie Watts and Kendrick Lamar excite and motivate me to step up my performance art game. The progression of their live performances fused with other art forms helps me to be on the cutting edge.
In addition, I am a foodie. I love creating and finding healthy recipes to make. My speciality is breakfast foods like pancakes and smoothies. (I make a mean sweet potato banana pancake)!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My fear of not succeeding or being great. I have a daily habit of worrying if I am doing things right. Sometimes it can be a crutch, but I like that I am thinking forward instead of living in the past.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The biggest advice I would give my younger self is to not be afraid of exercising ideas and connecting the dots. Also, I would tell my younger self to not be so serious and smile more!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
That I do NOT make loud smacking sounds when I eat. Everyone says the sounds I make when I eat are comparable to someone who hasn’t eaten in months.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I keep current with my industry and what is going on. I would recommend anyone who wants to thrive in their field to keep current on how your industry is evolving. It helps me to stay ahead of the curve and create my own space within the music industry.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that has helped grow my business as a freelancer entertainer/entrepreneur is that I have found what makes me unique and special. I provide a service/product that you can only get from me. This sets me apart from competition.
Additionally, I love to foster relationships, so having lunch or dinner with a prospect client or industry vet has helped me gain an understanding of how to better service in my industry. Building positive and productive relationships is key!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest failure I had starting out as an entrepreneur was not reading contracts and taking too many opportunities JUST to do them. This put me in situations that I couldn’t get out of financially and emotionally had me all over the place — it was just a waste of time. Also, budgeting. I did not budget in the beginning and wish I would have exercised that habit so I could have invested properly.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I want to create a music fantasy sports. It will be called Music Burger. I actually created this business idea/plan in college and I have never went through with it because my career as an entertainer/performer has taken off. But, wouldn’t it be cool to bring competition into the music industry again? Just imagine if you could build music teams based off the genres you love and compete with others on what music team will stream more? (i.e. Drake, Taylor Swift, Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar vs. Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, Sam Hunt).
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently spent $100 on paying off my credit-card debt, lol. That is important so I can be free from the chains of debt!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
My favorite software to use is Logic Pro X, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro X, and my Google Calendar. Logic Pro X is where I produce all of my music in. Photoshop allows me to be super creative and productive when I am making album cover art or flyers. Final Cut Pro X video-editing software is where I edit all of my looping and blog videos.
Most importantly, my VoiceLive Touch 2 is by far my favorite device to use to create my loops. It allows me to get my creative ideas out fluidly.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Purpose-Driven Life” by Rick Warren. I firmly believe that we are all called to be a reminder and help one another, showing each other the light. This book is great for not only finding your purpose through the guidance of God but provides so many lessons on how to be truly happy.
What is your favorite quote?
“It’s not what you do to your music, it’s what you do with your music” – Ivan Dupee
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