Happy Friday my friends! I’m excited to close the week out by sharing some more music with you, this time coming at you via Phoenix, Arizona by way of Los Angeles, California, by way of both of our hometowns of good ole northeast Ohio. The duo, comprised of Donny Taylor (Donny grew up in the same area as Ady and I, and has been a close friend of Ady’s from early on in life—our “brotha from another mother” as we all like to say) and Teddy Semaan, from Lebanon, have concocted a totally groovy, funky vibe that comes together in the music of Dame un Beso.
In another in the string of interviews I have been conducting (which has quickly become one of my favorite parts of doing this blog) I bring to you the sights and sounds of Dame Un Beso, and so, heeeere’s Donny!
Before you start reading, I’m going to start you off with a few new songs, so click play and read the interview to a Dame un Beso soundtrack! So put on your dancing shoes, have a listen and a read, and when you’re done leave some feedback for the guys either here on the blog, or on their website, Dame un Beso.
in it & of it:
TT: Take it away Donny! Tell us a little about who Dame un Beso is.
Donny Taylor~vocals, keys, guitar, bass, RC-50, percussion
Teddy Semaan~ drums
Right now we are in Phoenix having our “desert sessions” writing, arranging and putting the set together. Teddy is from Lebanon and I’m from Northeast Ohio, we met in Akron.
TT: Tell us about the name, “Dame un Beso”
DT: “Give me a Kiss” I was trying to figure out a name for a few months and living in San Diego at the time enriched in the latino culture. For some reason I wanted a translation name and then one day my latina girlfriend said what she would always say…”dame un beso” and I said, “THAT’S IT!”
TT: In five words, describe your sound.
DT: Vibrational, dynamic, affectionate, perpetual, conscious.
TT: In what way did our hometown (northeast Ohio) have an influence on your sound, if any, and has it changed with your location changes?
DT: I’m not one to blame environment but truthfully it seemed to come out more depressing there, I think I was younger and it stemmed from ego and the “feel sorry for me” vibe. I do believe environment is extremely important to artist it is directly representational. Now I’m a lil older and I live in the sun……now I write for the collective!
TT: What music has influenced your style?
DT: I was very lucky to have brothers ten years older. I got introduced to tons at a very early age. Early on it was my brothers classic rock stuff, Rush, Queen, ELO etc… while my other brother was turning me on to The Gap Band and more funky stuff. I then made some of my own choices leading into The Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash & Whodini. The next year it went straight to the punk rock scene out on the west and east coast, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Minor Threat and then I found Fugazi, life changing for me. Now it’s anything sincere, Fela Kuti, Antibalas, old jazz, old funk etc. I really appreciated open minded artist that cross genres like Johnny Cash, Ray Charles & Les Paul
TT: What is at the root of Dame un Beso?
DT: These days politics don’t even come close to being part of the message, it’s more about the collective and bringing people together in the moment. We are not really trying to judge anyone or anything, leave that shit at the door and “Let’s Dance”!
TT: What other creative outlets do you have besides music?
DT: For me music has inspired me to become a painter, I also LOVE to cook and drink wine with the cool kids. Teddy is in another band with his girl “Desert Figues” and wait, wait…..I see him working in his garden as I type! I would say communication is a huge outlet for both of us.
TT: Guess what’s coming next? The super hero question! What would your super hero name, costume and power be (you know you want one!)?
DT: Love it!…I would be DJ D and my head would be a turntable and my power would be putting people in a trance and making them dance!………ahhhh world peace.