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5 questions with Terrence 'TAT' Taylor
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5 questions with Terrence 'TAT' Taylor

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Name: Terrence "TAT" Taylor

Age: 31

Occupation: Entertainer, morning host on Y103 102.9 and midday host on Hot 105.5, family support coordinator for Decatur Public Schools

City of residency: Decatur

How did you get your start in radio?

I got my start from my mentor, Shawn Thomas, who was my assistant track and field coach at MacArthur High School. I always wanted to do broadcasting since I was about 8 or 9, when I used to record myself with a boombox and cassette tapes. Coach was the program director at Magic 1050 (now ESPNDecatur), and I kept asking him if there was an opening.

It wasn't until he saw my work ethic, and the opportunity presented itself, that he told me the station needed a new part-time person. He told me to come by during my lunch break, we had a conversation, and he hired me on the spot. I started off filing papers and doing background work for jazz and gospel shows. I was doing that for about four or five years until Suava on Hot 105.5 was promoted to program director and asked me to do the night show for the station. 

What do you love about being on the air?

With the platform of radio, it's just me being myself. It's me being able to influence, entertain, motivate and inspire all at the same time. It's a blessing to be heard in people's cars, on the job and at home. I love the interaction that I get to have through the airwaves, and I love to be out and about and active in the community. 

Why is having a presence in the community important to you?

I never did see a young, black entertainer being active in the schools when I was growing up. I want to show the young people that you don't have to go to the big cities to be successful. They can make it anywhere. It's one thing to be heard, but it's another thing to be seen. I wanted to be an example that you don't have to get in trouble, and you don't have to learn the hard way. Nothing says that you can't be successful doing whatever it is that makes you happy. 

You're a very busy person, TAT. What keeps you going?

Family is the main reason. I've got a lot of people who want to see me do well, and make a positive impact. I also don't want to be the person who complains about what's up in the city, but doesn't do anything about it. I would feel weird if I wasn't as busy as I am. I'm blessed to be moving and breathing, and I better do it while I'm young. 

Do you have any advice for young people who want to break into radio?

I'm a mentor, and I ask my mentee and all of the other young men and women that I speak to the same thing: "Are you a fan of what you want to do, or are you passionate about it?" There's a difference between being a fan and being passionate. I've always been passionate about broadcast media. I also tell them to be productive and to be active. That way, you'll evolve and people will want to put their trust in you. 

jcook@herald-review.com | (217) 421-7980

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Related to this story

Terrence "TAT" Taylor, 31, is a radio personality on Y103 102.9 and Hot 105.5. 

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