Taylor Dayne has finally passed the Clive Davis test.
The singer acknowledges resistance from the Arista label chief to her plans to write some of the songs for “Soul Dancing,” her third disc, which arrives in stores July 13 after being scheduled for delivery numerous times during the last two years.
Dayne, who relied on outside writers for her first two albums, said Davis was a tough critic of her writing talents. “Clive, being such a song man, was really honest,” Dayne said.
“He liked some stuff and hated others. I could have gotten discouraged, but I just kept writing.” She wound up co-writer of six of the album’s 11 tracks.
Dayne also changed the way she records. Instead of relying solely on Ric Wake (the producer behind her successful debut and its follow-up), Dayne also tapped the talents of Shep Pettibone (whose credits include Madonna) and Robert Clivilles and David Cole, the C+C of C+C Music Factory.
The raspy-voiced diva said the album’s first single was originally going to be “I’ll Wait,” a song co-written by Dayne and Pettibone that was teased for retailers at February’s National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers confab. But the song was bumped in favor of a remake of the 1974 Barry White hit “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” which was an 11th-hour addition to the album.
“Clive thought ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love’ should be the first single,” Dayne said, admitting that she would have preferred that her song be first. But the large number of radio station adds, she points out, prove Davis made the right decision. The single, released May 25, has also made a strong impact on sales charts.
Dayne has turned her attention to acting during her recording schedule. Attending classes and going out on auditions “solidly for the past year and a half,” the New York-based artist said the activity was all part of the plan.
“I’m pretty methodical about things, and this was plan B,” Dayne said. She has auditioned for everything from comedies to serious dramas, including Robert De Niro films. Although she hasn’t landed anything, she’s confident. And the acting, she believes, will make her a better recording artist.
“Even if I didn’t get one film role in my lifetime — which certainly won’t be the case — I know that acting is something I need to do to give me more dimensions.”
Dayne is off to Australia and Japan to promote “Soul Dancing” before returning to the U.S. for the inevitable round of talkshows and meet-and-greets.
A fall U.S. tour is being planned.