HelloBeautiful.com’s “Base Level” column features the hottest new artists we’re buzzing about. Before they make it to the summit of superstardom, we spot them at base level–the beginning of their hopeful journey to the top.
Russell Taylor has that X factor. When trying to describe his sound, the New York resident compared his musical style to a hearty pot of gumbo. One part Adele. One part 90s emo. One part Al Green and a pinch of hip-hop and with the staleness of today’s musical scene, Russell Tayloy’s undeniable sound is right on time. The singer-songwriter chopped it up with #TeamBeautiful about how he got his start, how he continues to stay motivated and the advice he received from a famous friend that helped solidify his musical future.
Listen, while most folks are trying to keep up with the Jones’ you might want to try and keep up with Mr. Taylor because he’s the one!
Name: Russell Taylor
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Who are some of your musical inspirations? Growing up as a kid on Saturdays around the house my mother and father would listen to Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder were in heavy rotation. Nina Simone, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Foreigner, Journey and so many other different musicians. There was something about listening to these particular artists because the power that these artists had they would really would make you feel what they were singing about. You just get into the moment
What’s been your biggest break thus far?
I’ve been knocked down and have gotten back up and I’ve had to ask myself ‘Am I suppose to be this broke?’ [LAUGHS] maybe God doesn’t want me to do this. But I have friends like Lala Hathaway who say ‘I love your voice. I love your work Stay! Keep doing it. Everyone has struggles.’ But I’ve had so many big breaks. I’ve toured Europe and one of my best shows was in Paris. But to give you a definite answer my big break came when I was crowned as one of VH-1’s “Artist You Ought To Know” Just the outpouring of support from fans, from the network from people has been amazing.
What’s your biggest fear as a new artist?
My biggest fear is I don’t want to let my fans down. I want to make sure that they get me. Not everyone’s going to like what I put out, but I just want them to get me. I would be afraid of letting the fans down.
If you were the lovechild of two musicians–dead or alive–who would they be? Chaka Khan and Mick Jagger. Chaka Khan for the deep, gut, soul, on-the-stage chill. When she comes on stage and she opens her mouth, it’s a wrap! She doesn’t even have to even sing words, when she sings people are just in! Mick Jagger because of the legacy of the Rolling Stones and him as a rock star, the level of performance, the vibe the energy Its a combination of the legacy of this soul visceral artist and the sensibility of the iconic Rolling Stone.
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Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"