An Interview With… Taylor Bennett

After dropping a new project, touring the US and continuing to grind as the head of his own record label, Taylor Bennett is making waves in the world of hip-hop.

As the brother of one of the most successful rappers in the world right now (Chance The Rapper), most would say Taylor has a hell of a lot to live up to. Except for him of course, Taylor is working hard to carve out his own space in the music industry and is beginning to gain the respect he deserves as an individual.

We spoke to Taylor about his latest project, the state of the music industry, and found out about which British artists he rates!

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Taylor and his brother

Ride Music: For those that don’t know, who is Taylor Bennett?

Taylor Bennett: I’m an Independent rapper, entrepreneur and philanthropist from the Southside of Chicago. I’m 21, I’m focused and I’m here to stay.

RM: You dropped your new project ‘Restoration of an American Idol’ this year, what inspired you when creating it?

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TB: This is the most me I’ve ever put into a project. I’ve said this before but if anyone really wants to know who Taylor Bennett is, listening to Restoration of An American Idol is the best you could do for that.

RM: What has the fan response to the project been like?

TB: Its been amazing. I love my fans so much, I just came off of my first headline tour and most of the dates were sold out. It’s my second time being on tour but there’s nothing like performing in front of a whole room that’s full of your fans.

RM: You recently toured around the US, how was that experience and will ‘The Taylor Bennett Show’ ever make its way to the UK?

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TB: The experience was awesome. Having my first tour bus felt like a huge achievement. Going in and out of cities was crazy, but every time it came close to showtime it was game time. The Taylor Bennett show will definitely be making its way to the UK. At best we would love to make it that way by the end of the year. If not we are definitely going to be out there by the 1st quarter of 2018.

RM: Do you know any British rappers?

TB: Yo great question, I use to watch YouTube videos of Stormzy, Skepta, and Section Boyz; my boy Thelonious Stokes put me onto to them.

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Section Boyz

RM: Your record label Tay Bennett Entertainment looks to ‘revamp a broken industry’, what do you think needs to be done to achieve that goal?

TB: Inform! I think that’s the biggest thing. Spreading awareness is huge and I can fulfil that by being an example of a well ran label. I’ve done a few talks in music business classes. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at Columbia College in Chicago, New York University, Depaul University and been invited to speak at Temple University in Philadelphia.

There’s a bunch of companies that exist that are available to anyone who want to create music. For example Tunecore is just one of a handful of distribution companies that exist. Back in the day you needed to go through a label. Today you don’t. Of course radio is one of the biggest tools labels have, but everything starts locally. Chicago has been my back bone and has helped propel me to new heights. Never forget where you came from.

RM: Is it challenging being head of your own label as well as being an artist?

TB: Yes but everything is achievable through teamwork. There’s a lot of people that  help make our indie label work. Music comes before the business. I am blessed to have this opportunity to do both.

RM: XXL recently revealed its freshman list, what were your thoughts on it and is there anyone you’re feeling at the moment that you think should have made the list?

TB: Well it’s pretty crazy that no one from Chicago made the list. I am of the belief that they are trying to close the book on the Chicago chapter of music.

RM: Finally, what does the rest of 2017 hold for you?

TB: I’m releasing a new mixtape, it’s just me spitting over some jams. Don’t wanna say too much, but I’ll be spitting over tracks including FEEL. by Kendrick Lamar. You’ll want to stay tuned.
Taylor Bennett interviewed by J.Ramsay
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