#ArtistTalk: Darnell 'Showcase' Taylor is a Man of Many Talents | The Urban Twist
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#ArtistTalk: Darnell ‘Showcase’ Taylor is a Man of Many Talents

Musician Darnell Taylor gives us some of the many reasons why his nickname is “Showcase,” and the future looks bright for this talented artist.

Brennen Jones

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Who is Darnell “Showcase” Taylor?


I’m a musician, songwriter, producer, and engineer who never stops dreaming of the power of creativity. I’m a creator who believes that anything is possible if you hone your craft and work hard.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Moncure, NC, which is a small town with a population that is smaller than most of the arenas where I play. When I reflect on the journey, I can’t help but be amazed. I am grateful for my roots and excited about all that is to come.

What or who are some of your musical influences? Who inspires you? Describe your upbringing?

My musical influences were passionate local musicians that I met in the church such as Kelvin Crump, Xavier Martin, and Joe Nathan McKoy. I’m also inspired by other professional musicians, especially when I see them giving their all to this industry. I’m also moved by everyday people who excel at what they do. I am a firm believer that I can learn from anyone in any environment. The attributes that make you great, like determination, resilience, and humility, work across all industries.

If you were to take our readers on a tour of where you come from, what would we see? What experiences can you share with us that led you down this path of chasing your dreams?

This is an awesome question that makes me really appreciate my humble beginnings. The 2010 Census reported that there are 711 people who call my town “home.” To put this in perspective, I play guitar for Grammy Award winner Anthony Hamilton who just tore the house down at the Hampton Coliseum in front of 10,000 fans. That’s more than 10 times the population of Moncure!

Moncure is a special place where people take the time to get to know you as a person. The people who run the market, the gas station and the local shops are all people who you know. Whether you played as children or live on the same street, there is always a personal connection. Moncure doesn’t have glitz and glam but it has a charm that feels like you are somewhere where you’re more than a number.

"Showcase" | My Guitarist | The boy is bad!

Darnell "Showcase" Taylor | My Guitarist | The boy is bad!

Posted by Anthony Hamilton on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How did you get started performing? What was it about that roped you in figuratively speaking?

I started performing for a gospel solo artist named Mary Lowery. She and her husband asked me to join their band. A few of my cousins were already involved so I was excited to be included! At that time, I had been playing music about two years or so. I still remember that we rehearsed on a Wednesday night. That weekend, I was on local stages playing a solo on her closing song called “God is Real.” Every show, people would always compliment me, especially because I was so young. As a 14-year-old, I was hooked on the magic of performing. The crowds, the stage, the lights all had me amazed. It was a way to travel and see something bigger than my town and earn money. I’ll never forget making my first $100 dollars for playing in church. I was there for two hours and played only 30 minutes and they paid me “all” of that money. I knew right then that music would be a big part of my life.

How do you come up with the ideas for your songs? Is there a particular method to the “madness”?

Ideas come from so many different places. I can be in a restaurant and hear a sound. I can hear a guitar riff or chord progression in my head and say, “That’s it.” I also warm up by playing different notes and sometimes my fingers just go. There is a magic that just ensues.

How many instruments do you play? And did you go to school to learn how to play or are you self-taught?

I play Guitar, Bass, and Piano, which was all self-taught without any formal training.

Take us through your thought process of how you create your music?

I create music with the final product in mind. I think of the final mix, mastering and the marketing of the song. I ask myself, “What will people be inspired to do?” It’s more than just those three to four minutes. I think in terms of lifestyles and what action I hope to motivate. After I create the melody or main progression, I then build the different parts from there. I always hear different sounds and parts in my head. The challenge is to get them to come out the same way that I heard them.

How was it working on a successful show like “Shots Fired”?

“Shots Fired” was a great experience. I can’t fully explain the value of seeing the process of a Hollywood production and to be part of an amazing movement. The music supervisor, Jabari Ali, is a great spirit who was beyond committed to creating a family of musicians who understand that “Music Provokes Change,” which is his coined tagline. Although this show is fictional, this music is real. The themes of the show like police brutality, failing schools, and poverty is real. I can’t wait for my next film/television project so to all the music supervisors out there, let’s work!

What artist(s) out now, if you were to compare yourself to someone, would you compare yourself to? Who would you want to work with?

As an artist, I see myself in my own light with my own approach to creativity that varies greatly. However, if I had to mention artists who consistently inspire me, I would have to salute Kenny “BabyFace” Edmonds because I’ve always admired his writing/production skills. I also have incredible respect for Master P in terms of how he learned the business and recognized the power of entrepreneurship.

What’s your favorite thing about being an artist?

Every day I wake up with the goal of creating.  I am so thankful that the thing that excites me most is also the thing that pays my bills. I grew up admiring a guitar brand called Ibanez and now I have an endorsement deal with them. It’s just an indescribable feeling. Furthermore, to know that your creativity inspires people across the world is also amazing.

During the NAMM Trade Show earlier this year, I met two people from Japan who are fans of my work.  They shared that they keep up with me on YouTube and other social media.  I was blown away, to say the least.

What’re your future plans? What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my first solo project, which includes traditional soul/jazz elements. There is also a track that fuses trap music and I am so excited to show the world that you don’t have to choose one genre. I am also creating a cartoon and producing a project with soul artist Calvin Richardson. I’ve also been mixing songs for other artists. Simply stated, I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to live a life of purpose.

Make sure you follow Darnell “Showcase” Taylor on Instagram, and check out his website.

Brennen Jones is the leading founder and publisher of TheUrbanTwist.com, a leading entertainment and media blog. He is also the founder of P.S. Web Pros, which is a web design and internet marketing company. He's also TheUrbanTwist.com's resident filmmaker and has produced and directed several short films under his Kitt HoRizon Films imprint and he's produced and have worked on video productions and commercials for various government agencies. He plans to turn The Urban Twist into a media haven so stay tuned. Brennen currently lives in Baltimore, MD. So be my friend on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter!

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#ArtistTalk

#ArtistTalk: Don’t Blink On Eyelid Kid

See why you should never sleep on this artist.

Christina Jeter

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Paul Grant aka Eyelid Kid was born in Austin, Texas and music has always been a part of his life. Some of his first memories with music are of him dancing under the bar light to his father’s Blues tunes. Naturally, Eyelid Kid followed in his father’s footsteps and created a world for himself within music.


Eyelid Kid’s first single off his upcoming Untitled EP will be titled ‘ROSEGØLD’ and is set to release early 2018. The single’s album art features actors Violett Beane (The CW’s ‘The Flash’), Tyler Posey (MTV’s ‘Teen Wolf’) and Sophia Taylor Ali (MTV’s ‘Faking It’).


A rising force in the music industry, Eyelid Kid also designed the EK Fashion Line that consists of both screen printed and digitally printed designs on high-quality fabrics. The EK Fashion Line is available here.

What made you want to become a musician?

My father is a musician, so it seemed to come pretty naturally.

What inspires you to write a song? 

Any heightened state of emotions usually gets channeled into a song. However, there doesn’t seem to be a very linear timeline to what is bottled up on the inside, so some songs can seemingly come out of nowhere.

How has growing up in Austin influenced your music?

Growing in Austin has greatly influenced everything I’ve done. It’s a very supportive city with a lot of creative resources to offer. Honestly, Austin is one of a kind and everything that comes out of it has a certain tick to it.

What advice can you give people to find a partnership like you have with your longtime girlfriend actress Violett Beane, who directed, edited, and starred in your music video, ‘Landscape’?

I wasn’t actually looking for a long-term relationship when I met Violett but there was no avoiding it. I guess my advice would be to keep an open mind and heart towards everyone that enters your life, people can often surprise you!

Describe the feeling you get when you are performing on stage? 

Every time I step onto the stage, all my doubt is washed away and I feel like I can breathe again. In other words, I feel hype!

What is the single ROSEGØLD” about?

“ROSEGØLD” is a house inspired original that conveys feelings of desperation and determination. This track seems to provoke a lot of emotions without needing to say too much… Plus it’s perfect to pregame to!

What inspired your stage name Eyelid Kid?

I was asked to brainstorm a name for a college short film that I acted in and Eyelid Kid was one of the names I came up with. I later convinced the director not to use it, cause I planned on making it my new alias.

Do you play any instruments?

YES! Piano, guitar, and vocal chords!

When can fans expect your next single or EP?

Can’t say exactly but my “sophomøre” EP is in the works and on the way so SOON!

What is the story behind you designing your fashion line ‘EK Fashion Line’?

Apparel has always been one of my focuses and my goal with the EK line is to take it a step beyond band merch. I wanted to create something that could be appreciated separately from the music but that also compliments it at the same time. Keep your eyes out for the “ROSEGØLD” Tee!

Links to “ROSEGØLD”:
iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rosegøld-single/id1281549894
Amazon:http://a.co/ck8MaP1
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0KrgwPNB13LtF3RvOVsN9S
SoundCloud:https://soundcloud.com/eyelidkid/rosegold

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#ArtistTalk: JC Triple Threat Shows Why He’s a Threat to Heat up the Airwaves

JC Triple Threat’s style is different and he knows it. He embraces it and uses that vibe to help fuel his growth as an artist.

Brennen Jones

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JC Triple Threat

Brennen Jones: Who is JC Triple Threat?


JC: I am an urban pop artist who intertwines different styles and flows in each song to create a unique sound.

I couldn’t help but notice “Triple Threat” being a part of your name.  What exactly is a “triple threat” in your opinion?

To me, a “Triple Threat” is someone who does not want to be known for just one thing. They want more and do more then what is expected. A triple threat is not someone who just does three different things, for example I got my name “Triple Threat” because I started on all aspects of the football field. This included offense defense and special teams. I did it all.

What makes JC a  “Triple Threat?”

I would say that I’m a triple threat because I strive to be more than just a pop artist and more than just a rapper. I want to leave people a performance that they will remember. Doing things that are unexpected for others, but expected out of me. I don’t want to be known for just one thing.

I got you. So where are you from?

Born in Ohio, but raised in Arizona.

What or who are some of your musical influences?

The music that I grew up on for example; “Earth, Wind and Fire”, “Prince”, “Michael Jackson”, “Linkin Park”, “ACDC”, “U2” and more.   

Who inspires you?

My Family. They’ve shown me what strength, determination and hard work looks like.

Describe your upbringing?

There was music always playing in the house no matter the genre. That’s where my love of music comes from, but football was my passion at the time. My parents were very supportive of me doing football as long as I did well in school. Education was always a priority in my household.

After My injury in football, I was left with my education. I was very thankful that I had that going for me. I still had options in life, but I felt incomplete like something was missing. I came to realize that music filled that void for me and thus started my music career.

If you were to take our readers on a tour of where you come from, what would we see?  

You would see a person who is 100% dedicated to his passions and dreams.

What experiences can you share with us that led you down this path of chasing your dreams?

I had a career ending injury that made it impossible for me to compete in football. I used music as a means to cope with my injury and that’s when my passion for creating music was kindled.

JC Triple Threat – I Know

How did you get started performing?  

My parents would tell me stories about when I was very young I would put on shows in the grocery store for random people and comedy show for the teachers and kids in the preschool. I guess I always had an affinity for performing to entertain people. The only thing that had changed was the medium that I used.

What was it about that roped you in figuratively speaking?

Once Big Heff started working with me on artist development, I got to perform in places I never had before. I got the chance to perform at  SXSW on four different stages, I even left the country to go to Toronto for a performance. I got to see first-hand that music can take you anywhere and I want to take my music everywhere now.   

How do you come up with the ideas for your songs?  

From life experience or even just a story, I want to tell.

Is there a particular method to the “madness”?

I really don’t have a process, my end goal is to make good music.

JC Triple Threat – Don’t Stop

Take us through your thought process of how you create your music?  

I like to immerse myself in the instrumental and let the song reveal itself to me, much like how a statue is revealed before the sculptor puts a chisel on the slab of marble.

What artist(s) out now, if you were to compare yourself to someone, would you compare yourself to?  

Childish Gambino, The Weeknd, Drake and a drop of Kanye West because that’s all you need.

Who would you want to work with?

My top two would be Childish Gambino and Justin Timberlake.

What’s your favorite thing about being an artist?

Songwriting and going through the whole process of recording a song.  Performance is a close second.

What’re your future plans?  What are you currently working on?

I’m working on the video treatment for a new single that was produced by Young Yonni as well as going on a mini promo tour in SoCal during BET weekend.

You can learn more about  JC Triple Threat over at his website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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#ArtistTalk: Quantum Split’s Law of Music Will Certainly Leave You Wanting More

Social media brought this group together, and through their music, they’re hoping to bring the world together.

Brennen Jones

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Quantum Split Band Members:


Soleil Laurent: Lead Singer and Guitarist
Anthony Anderson: Drummer, and Percussion
Adrian Read: Lead Guitarist
Ivan Hardy: Bassist

Who is Quantum Split?

Quantum Split is a movement that will reach the masses! We pride ourselves on authenticity and to showcase the world the beauty (and BadAssNess) of being yourself and loving what you do.

Our music is dynamic and intended to uplift our listeners with a raw intensity that will reach the souls! We are a melting pot embraced with a multicultural undertone of music that will attract all people regardless of what genre they are attracted to. We create music for anyone and everyone. The imprint that we strive to create is a band that has a platform for people to stand up and be motivated! It is okay to be yourself! No effs given to people that can bring negativity into your life.

Music is universal, everyone loves to rock out! Own your Power! Say What You Got to Say! Be A Boss!…those are just a few of the mottos that are reflected in our music.

Where are you all from?

Soleil Laurent: Born and raised in Long Island, NY.

Anthony Anderson: Born and raised in the Bronx, NY. Currently living in Long Island, NY.

Adrian Read: Born in the Dominican Republic, Living in the Bronx in NY.

Ivan Hardy: I was born in the Bronx. Grew up in Washington Heights, NY.

What or who are some of your musical influences? Who inspires you? Describe your upbringing?

SL: My main musical influence and inspiration is my father. He has trained me to be the best musician I can be, as well as a performer. He was exceptional at pushing me to attain my greatest potential through tough love.

As far as musical artist (s) who inspires me, I’d say Janis Joplin, Beyoncé, Rage against the Machine, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and more.

But my parents are my biggest advocates and have supported me and this dream in every aspect. They are my greatest inspiration.

AA: Some of my musical influences come from many genres but mainly Rock and Hip Hop. My favorite drummers include Travis Barker, Tony Royster Jr, Chad Smith, Taylor Hawkins, and the list goes on.

They’ve inspired me throughout the years but my main inspiration to me is also my father. He was a bassist and a drummer. I have been playing the drums since the age of nine. My father was the main reason why I started to play. He showed me how to hold the drumsticks, striking down on the drums and even creating drum beats.

The first rock band he had me listen to was the “Red Hot Chili Peppers”. My father passed away that same year. Ever since then, the love for drumming became even more real. From working in concert bands, marching bands and even playing in countless others bands out of school. It is the main and most long lasting memory that I have of him…our connection through and with the drums.

AR: Growing up, I hated music until I was 14 years old. I started listening to Linkin Park, and that blend of rap and rock stuck to me. Then one day, my guitar teacher presented me with a song and a band that sparked my want to become a Rockstar…it was Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine”. When I saw Slash, the guitarist, I saw the epitome of what being a “Rockstar” represented, and I knew that I would be next. As I got older and my skin got tougher, I started listening to more Hip Hop and even Trap music. Tupac and Eminem are two of my favorites.

IH: The roots to my musical influences include Punk, Hard Rock, Reggae, and Metal. I will soon be the face of a new type of music I call “Reggae Rock!”

Band-wise: Pantera, Metallica, Mudvayne, Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Ozzy Osbourne, Fall Out Boy, The Ramones, My Chemical Romance, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Stone Temple Pilots, Bob Marley & the Wailers, and Alice in Chains to name a few.

Bass-wise: Jason Newsted, Robert Trujillo, Cliff Burton, Geezer Butler, Ryan Martinie, Rex Brown, Fieldy, Luis Johnson, Jaco Pastorius, Johnny Christ, Tim Commerford, Michael Anthony, Toshiya, and Paul McCartney.

Quantum Split

If you were to take our readers on a tour of where you come from, what would we see? What experiences can you share with us that led you down this path of chasing your dreams?

SL: I would take you to two places that I consider my refuge, my home in Long Island and my grandmother’s oasis in Brooklyn. If you went inside my house you would see that my family is vision driven. Our home has literally become the Quantum Split Headquarters. Served as the space for team meetings, hour-long rehearsals, and our vacation home to relax and take a dip in the pool…when we are given the chance to!

We live, eat, and breathe Quantum Split, so being in an atmosphere where we are surrounded by each other every day breathes comfort when we are at my house. My mother and father’s passions went into the creation of that house. Surrounded by glass to showcase what you see is what you get. That is our motto: BEING YOURSELF, LIVE FREELY!

My grandmother is the root of all the musical talent. Her living room was our stage complete with a karaoke machine that every family member would have a turn to “Rock the Mic”.

Her prized possession is the piano that has been there for generations, touched by every musical family member to create his or her own tunes. You could hear my grandmother’s dreamy opera voice at every family event. My cousin CeddyJay of rap group “RAAA” is a hard hitting lyricist proud to represent his Brooklyn roots! We are a family of creatives, dope at what we do, with the intention to make ourselves known…if we haven’t already!

AA: I would take them on a tour to where I grew up. The raw and grittiest…and actually another inspiration of mine…The Bronx.

It is where I was raised, where I grew up, and what I have stride to leave one day to explore the world while showing people no matter where you come from, through poverty, there is a richness that you can attain. I intend to be that example. Where I come from, humbles me, it is my strength that serves as a constant reminder to give my all with my artistry and position in this band. It pushes me to inspire other young boys (and girls) that where you come from may be where you were raised but it does not define you.

The ghetto to me is my greatness because I know what it’s like to have nothing and deserve everything simply by continued hard work and dedication.

My circumstances and surroundings also pushed me to better my life and live my dreams. Hanging out with the wrong crowd or people that could have influenced me to choose a different or even more dangerous path would have stopped me from focusing on my craft. Roses have come from concrete thus Rockstars can derive from the wreckage. My passion for drums became my profession, so I packed my bags at 15, changed my surroundings, and was blessed to be given a place in my Aunt’s House in Queens, another place that I believe served as my inspiration and refuge. I then finished school, got the opportunity to learn how to read music and embrace as well as participate in other bands.

AR: You would not see white picket fences and rainbows from where I am from. A neighborhood full of supporters for your hopes and dreams…NAH! What you’ll see is liquor stores on every corner, crime, poverty, and mayhem. Make no eye contact walking down the blocks, plug in your earphones and keep on truckin’.

A Five-year-old kid getting shot in the head in plain daylight; that happened in front of the building next to mine. I am from The Bronx. Where sounds keep you up at night and you are waiting for the day to change your life. This is where music became my haven and my inspiration to turn down the noise of the streets and make music with my beats.

The tour would make you always remember where you come from and where you are going. It’s the motivator, the survivor of the fittest mentality that will prepare you for everything. I chose to get tougher in the neighborhood that raised me so that I could one day come back and change it!

IH: All the boys are from THE BRONX…can’t you tell? A place where you would see many areas filled with poverty but strong people. People who do NOT give up! You’d see communities filled with many broken dreams and promises but also rays of light in the eyes of those who wish to aspire to be something and either make it out of the “hood” or help it. Growing up seeing the struggles of what my parents went through to raise the family was a tough pill to swallow.

To see my father wake up early every day for a 12-hour shift (at least), while my mother stayed home to raise my brother and me was a hard thing. As a child, I didn’t understand the hardship but as I got older, I began to understand how much my parents have sacrificed in order to give us the opportunities they didn’t have. Whether it was in the hood or not. Wanting to live my life differently without settling for mediocre jobs or anything that would make me feel stuck were probably massive factors in helping me chase my dream.

Even when I graduated from HS, I still wasn’t sure of what I wanted in life. I got into acting shortly after that. I always had an interest in music but couldn’t muster the courage to pursue it as I was growing up. Then around when I was 17 I attended my first festival. Bamboozle 2009! I saw many bands I liked, but it wasn’t until I saw Fall Out Boy, who headlined that year, that I was inspired to pick up a bass as that was my interest as a musician. I felt this calling to overcome my fears and travel to the festival. I’m glad I did because if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t be having this interview right now. Ultimately, the chance to live the dream that I want and to be able to give back to my parents for everything they’ve done as well as helping the world are what continue to push me to go further.

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