When talking about New York rap most people only think about the 5 boroughs. Many people rarely mention Westchester and though it isn’t one the five boroughs it has always been an integral part of the game and some of the most important artists and figures and rap have come from the county. Even though most of the artists coming out of New York are concentrated in New York City there is a lot of talent coming out of the state that isn’t from the 5 boroughs if you dig deep enough.
Let me introduce you to Shawn Taylor who hails from Spring Valley, New York which is 22 miles North of Manhattan. The young rapper is paving his own path with his unique and melodic flow. Rapping is something that has always come easy and naturally for with him recently taking it seriously 4 years ago. Even though he is fairly new to the game with not too much music under his belt, the music he does have shows lots of main stream potential, especially so on his latest self-titled EP. Songs like “WTF,” “No Feelings” and “Game Changer” show off his ability to craft radio-ready singles with infectious and triumphant hooks which will remind you of 50 Cent who he cites as one of his biggest influences.
Shawn Taylor is just getting started, with his GotONE team behind him and his ability to create big singles there is no where else for him to go but up. I had the opportunity to catch up with the Spring Valley native and discuss his latest project, his GotONE movement, getting into directing and much more. Listen to his new single “Yeah” featuring Dre Day and check out the interview below.
When did you start rapping and when did you say to yourself, “I’m going to put my all into this?”
I started rapping about 19 years old, I’m 25 right now. I started getting real serious about it around 21, 22. I just felt like that was my outlet, it was my gift, my god given talent that he gave me and a lot of people started gravitating words the music, so I locked in on it.
Who were some of your musical influences growing up?
My musical influence probably has to be my man 50 Cent. He’s the first artist I actually had a CD for, that’s the first album I ever touched, I ever held. I actually stole it from my boy Kev, he thought he lost it. So 50 Cent, the whole Dipset movement, and JAY-Z.
Was there anyone outside of your musical influences who pushed you to pursue rap?
Yea my Uncle definitely. He told me to move with music, not that he thought I was the best at that time, he just thought I had a talent. So he told me to go forward and push towards your dream, whatever you feel like you can do, you can do, nobody can tell you nothing. So it would definitely be my Uncle, my friends. You know all your boys want to be apart of something, once they feel like you have that they see a lot of people don’t.
Can you tell me about how the #GotOne movement came about?
The GotOne movement basically was birthed from me just saying it. I used to say “GotOne” a lot when I started rapping, but nobody was really tied to it and then my Uncle, Tommy S he was just like “yo you should move with that, that GotOne actually sounds like something.” So with that, I made it the squad. I made the GotOne_Saint – Sammy P. We made it the phrase, we made it the movement where I’m from, Upstate New York, the 845, Rockland County.
You just released your self-titled ep last year. Can you tell me a little bit about your creative process when making the EP?
I wanted to step out my comfort zone and really go in with the music. So with ‘Shawn Taylor’ EP, I released it on Apple Music and all streaming platforms. I did the rap, but I also did the singing and the melodic flows because that was really my first project that I went that deep into just trying to be different, not just rapping. I wanted to go into songwriting and stuff like that.
What is your favorite track off of the project and why?
Man, that’s a hard one because they all my sons. That’s like saying what kid you like the most. I’m going to say “Billions” for now because I’m in that mood where it really reflected on how I just need to get that money, that bag; For my team, for my family, for my community. I need a billion because a lot of people I know are locked behind bars, and a lot of people I know don’t have an outlet to get out where there from so that track really stuck out to me.
Can we expect a new project this year and is there anything you can tell me about it? How does it differ from your last tape?
Well, my last tape, ‘Shawn Taylor’ it was just me having fun, going into the creative process of being different, but with this new project, it’s going to have a little bit more content. I’m still going to give people that flow that I created, but I’m just going to be talking about a little bit more.
What else do you have planned for 2017?
2017, WE TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE GLOBE BABY!! I’m trying to go into everything. With my last tape there was track, “No Feelings” we actually put a video out and I was behind the camera, I was directing, I was making treatments. I want to go into the music, I want to go behind the camera be a director, and I’m also going to be behind my other artists Sammy Picasso and Dre Day. I’m going to be helping them out with music they want to drop and visuals and just the marketing team with pushing my GotOne brand.