Welcome to UFRONT MEDIA INSIGHTS;
Today I wanted to focus on individuals in the media that are Creating History Now and one of those individuals is Mr. Kevin E Taylor.
Kevin E. Taylor makes multi-tasking sound easy. He’s a pastor (9 years in January 2010), a writer and producer for television (12 years in television and more than 15 years running TM3-his own video production company), an author UNCLUTTER, a “help-yourself” book he published in 2003 after leaving BET to pastor full-time; JADED, a novel released in 2006, which was Top 10 on several Amazon charts and 2 books —IT’S TIME FOR SOME ACTION and BECAUSE HE LIVES, a lecturer/empowerment speaker, who has spoken at colleges, universities and community groups for the last 20 years, and he has also been conducting a series of workshops on everything from pitching a TV show idea to uncluttering your life.
“It seems like I’m a multi-tasker who’s got too much on his hands, but I’m successful at it because I don’t try to do it all at one time. I know how to focus on each task at hand. My task is to greet each person that attends a seminar or a service to reach for their greatest potential.” This new venture will guide its members through procrastination to perseverance and directly into producing a final product. With the tagline: Those words came in handy when Taylor applied for college and his English essay is what got in him into several schools. Those words helped the English student, who also studied primarily in Accounting and Spanish.
Those words helped when he transitioned from a safe municipal position as a Budget Analyst to Black Entertainment Television (BET) and soon became a producer, where he interviewed such icons as Maxwell, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Sade, Diana Ross, Lenny Kravitz, Patti Labelle and later her reunited group Labelle and his personal favorite Natalie Cole, with whom Taylor developed a personal relationship and later did research for and wrote the discography to her 2000 “Angel On My Shoulder” autobiography, which later became an award-winning NBC made-for-TV movie.
During his tenure at BET, Kevin created such shows as ACCESS GRANTED, TESTIMONY, LYRICALLY SPEAKING and NOTARIZED, which gave the network its highest day-ratings in its history in 1999 and where he won a Gold World Medal for International Programming for a special (24 HOURS WITH DRU HILL) and a pair of NAACP Image Award nominations, competing against himself in 2001 for his Aaliyah episode of ACCESS GRANTED and his interviews with Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige for TESTIMONY. Taylor also wrote biographies for projects or featured articles on Anita Baker (“Rhythm of Love” and “My Everything” cd releases, Jennifer Holliday (cover story for REAL magazine), Rachelle Ferrell (The Black Guide) and Tina Turner for the 1996 cover feature of Sister2Sister magazine.
Taylor has also done EPKs (electronic/video press kits) for various record labels and recording artists. Now, having left commercial television to pursue work in ministry and to write books that he calls “help-yourself” guides (because if you don’t help yourself and do the work, nothing will change”), Taylor is prepared with this new decade to help people achieve the kind of life that that have seen him have right before their eyes. “A lot of eyes have been on me since 2001, when I was with Aaliyah on the set of her ‘Rock The Boat’ video and left the set in the Bahamas early, to speak in Baltimore, MD (foregoing his seat on the plane after an assistant asked him to change flights). People continue to friend me on all of the social networks and of the thousands of people who say hello, there are hundreds who want to know about my faith and how I have been able to have this life and this career, especially given my background. I am only too glad to share the tenacity of my faith.” With empowerment coaching, I am able to use all of my life experiences to help someone see the way out of the present clutter and into a safe space, where they can live in their dreams.” “I want people to invest in themselves. People spend this on gyms they don’t attend or on fast food in a matter of days.
If I can get people to turn their lives around and change their minds and investing in themselves, I am sure that people will fully live up to and in their greatest potential. That’s what I want. I want my story to not be the exception but rather the rule. I want people to see that the sky isn’t the limit. It’s the launchpad!”
Here is my exclusive interview with Mr. Kevin E Taylor:
Roger: How did get started in the media business?
KEVIN: I went to college for Accounting, English and Spanish and was working for the DC Government when I passed BET HQ on the bus. I had no idea that outlet was in my city! I wanted to work there but had no idea how to even dream that big. So I just asked GOD to let me work there and went on with my life, having no idea how to get into a field so outside of why I studied in college. I tried to make changes in my life at my “good government job” and that went on for about 2 more years.
Finally, working in the Office of Communications, and being told at a certain level that I should just stop working so hard, I knew I had to leave. I couldn’t just be okay with security. I left and tried another job and I was sick everyday for 2 months. They were moving from Downtown DC out to VA and offered to give me my job NOW as opposed to another month of probation and I elected to simply quit. I rested for the first time in 14 years, having worked since I was 12 in offices and various clerical positions. Then I needed something to do and went to a temp agency and that agency ultimately took me into BET. Lydia N. Cole gave me a break and a boost because after a year of working for her, she saw something in me and promoted me to BET’s Music Researcher and Record Label Liaison. Cindy Mahmoud made a producer when she had me pulled me in to do an interview with Natalie Cole after reading my questions, written because my job as Researcher was to do that, but I was also Ms. Cole’s #1 fan…and still am. Lyrically Speaking aired on BET in June 1993 and Luther and Anita and Patti and Stevie and Tina and Lena all followed.
Roger: Tell me how you started your show Now what with Kevin Taylor?
Kevin: I left BET in 2002 to pastor full-time and write. I got pulled into the freelance field and got back into production. But with all of these changes in my life, people were always asking me HOW DID YOU DO IT? HOW DO I DO IT? They wanted answers but were (and are) afraid to do the work. I wanted to show them that the work is d do able! So I developed a show that would allow me to interview people in entertainment and architecture, fitness and health and other realms, and talk to them about how they stepped into their next level AFTER something happened that forced them to deal with their own dreams and answer NOW WHAT?!
So if you were fired or had a heart attack, got dropped from your label or had labels placed on you, WHAT DID YOU DO NEXT TO GET OVER AND BEYOND IT? Now What with Kevin E. Taylor is about me, a man who has had to do the same work, talking to people, some famous and some fabulous, some grinding and some already great, and ask them NOW WHAT?
Roger :When did you decide take your career in your own hands?
Kevin:I knew it was time to put my hands on my own career when I saw Kick starter and other outlets for crowd funding arise. I knew I wanted to do something where I got to ask the questions and edit the content and such, just like with my books. But it was always about funding. When crowd funding came along, I realized that I already had the followers and friends in place AND THE VISION WAS ALREADY IN PLACE. So the vision was birth in my time at BET and the ability to make it happen came later. But it’s about being able to tap into your NET WORTH before you reach out to your NETWORK or get stuck waiting for own to come along when you can build your own. YouTube gives you your own channel and while OWN is Oprah Winfrey’s Network, I had an epiphany that I can build my own as well. It’s about realizing that you already do what you want to do and believing that you CAN DO IT! If you want to do something that is a surprise to all of your friends, YOU SHOULDN’T BE DOING IT! Somebody, one person, should already know what you are up to and that you can do it or you are just fooling yourself!
Roger: How do you use social media to market and promote your brand?
Kevin: I knew it was time to put my hands on my own career when I saw Kick starter and other outlets for crowd funding arise. I knew I wanted to do something where I got to ask the questions and edit the content and such, just like with my books. But it was always about funding. When crowd funding came along, I realized that I already had the followers and friends in place and the the vision was already in place. So the vision was birth in my time at BET and the ability to make it happen came later. But it’s about being able to tap into your NET WORTH before you reach out to your NETWORK or get stuck waiting for own to come along when you can build your own. YouTube gives you your own channel and while OWN is Oprah Winfrey’s Network, I had an epiphany that I can build my own as well. It’s about realizing that you already do what you want to do and believing that you CAN DO IT! If you want to do something that is a surprise to all of your friends, YOU SHOULDN’T BE DOING IT! Somebody, one person, should already know what you are up to and that you can do it or you are just fooling yourself!
Roger: What advice for future content creators?
Kevin: My advice for content creators is that do it now and get off your ass and do something.
Roger: Kevin, Thank you for your time and your telling your story and for more information about Kevin Taylor good to his website at http://kevinetaylor.biz and you can check out these products and links about Kevin E Taylor:
“Take Chances And Take Notes!”
Roger: Thank you and look out for more ONE on ONE interviews on UFRONT MEDIA INSIGHTS.