Local teacher launches first R&B album

Published 7:08 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A long time ago, Daryll Blakely had a dream of becoming a performer, and today that dream has become reality.

The Brantley fifth grade teacher and up-and-coming R&B artist’s debut album titled “Cater 2 You” will drop into stores on Tuesday.

The son of a minister from Clayton, he began singing in church at the age of 5.

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At 16, he was in a boy group in which he and the others had the opportunity to travel and open up for some major artists, he said.

“I knew in high school I wanted to be a performer,” he said. “I went to college to get degrees to have a back up. When I got done, I knew I wanted to pursue it.”

When college came around, the group went its separate ways, but Blakely’s drive and desire to become a performer didn’t stop. He and his family took to the road, standing line for hours and sleeping in their car for a chance to audition for “American Idol” and “The Voice.”

“I auditioned there, and they felt I was very talented,” he said. “But it wasn’t my season. I kept going to other auditions – some I’d get, others I wouldn’t.”

Finally, in April 2012, he sent a demo to TMG Records in Oklahoma City.

“I didn’t hear from them until Aug. 20,” he said. “It was so exciting to experience that with my students. A year later, here I am. I’ve stayed in so many hotels trying to make this happen. It’s been so expensive.”

Blakely said school administrators have been very supportive of his desire.

“I have pursued it during the weekend,” he said. “Sometimes, I’m in Atlanta or Charlotte, N.C. on the weekend. I’ve driven in from Atlanta on Monday morning, made it to Troy in time to change clothes and get to school on time to teach my students.”

What sets Blakely aside from other R&B artists, he said, is his lyrics are “clean and motivational.”

Blakely is already performing a lot of shows, he said.

“The next step is the decision process,” he said. “Eventually, I’m going to have to make a choice. Will I be an entertainer or will I be a teacher? I love my students and I love my job, but it has always been my dream to be an entertainer and travel the world.

“When I started asking God for this, he started opening doors for me,” Blakely said. “I know that I am going in the right direction. I love teaching, but I know I was born to entertain. I have had the opportunity to reach students in a school system, and why not reach people in the world?”

“Cater 2 You” is available online at tatemusicgroup.com, or for pre-order at iTunes or amazon.com.

It is expected to also be available at Walmart and walmart.com.