Teyana Taylor

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Teyana Taylor
Teyana Taylor Wikipedia.jpg
Taylor backstage at a Diesel fashion show July 17, 2008
Background information
Birth name Teyana Taylor
Born (1990-12-10) December 10, 1990 (age 23)
Origin Harlem, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop, pop, R&B
Occupations Singer-songwriter, rapper, dancer, actress, model
Years active 2007–present
Labels GOOD Music, The Island Def Jam Music Group
Associated acts Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, John Legend, R. Kelly, Pusha T
Website teyanatayloronline.com

Teyana Taylor (born December 10, 1990) is an American recording artist and actress. She first came into the public's awareness via her episode on MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen, a show depicting over-the-top 16th birthday parties of rich teenagers. In 2012, she signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music label and The Island Def Jam Music Group, after previously being signed to Interscope Records and Pharrell Williams' Star Trak Entertainment.[1]

Early life[edit]

Teyana Taylor was born and raised in Harlem, New York City. She is of African-American and Afro-Trinidadian descent. Taylor is an only child on her mother's side. On her father’s side she has 2 brothers and one sister. Her mother, being wealthy decided to raise her on her own and would eventually become her manager.[2] At age 9, she reportedly picked up a microphone in front of a crowd and began performing. Teyana was enrolled in many different talent competitions, including the Apollo Theater National All-Stars talent search, although she never won. Taylor had strong influences from Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Lauryn Hill.[3] Before Taylor was signed to a record label, she was a skateboarder and basketball player. Her label reportedly did not like the image portrayed by her hobbies and she chose to give up her physical hobbies in exchange for her career.[4] The first time Taylor stepped into a recording studio, she was seven. She started out singing on the train to make money. It was then that she realized that she wanted to pursue music as a career and slowly started to enjoy it more.[5] She had also appeared in season 4 of MTV's hit show My Super Sweet 16'

2007–2011: Career beginnings with Interscope and Star Trak[edit]

The Harlem, NY native is a self-made artist who has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. Taylor’s debut in the spotlight came about when she was featured on MTV‘s “My Super Sweet 16” in 2007.[6] Before it aired, she signed to American recording artist and super producer Pharrell Williams' Star Trak Entertainment imprint, through Interscope Records.[7][8] In late 2007, Taylor appeared in the music video for Jay-Z's single "Blue Magic", where she can be seen dancing and popping.[8]

Taylor released her commercial debut single "Google Me", in February 2008.[9] The song was released as the lead single from her debut full-length project, a mixtape titled From a Planet Called Harlem. The tape features production from Jazze Pha, Pharrell, Mad Scientist, Frost, Shondre and Hit Boy. The tape also features a mix of throwback break beats, futuristic boom bap, and melodic renderings is the perfect backdrop for the starlet's musical mayhem.[10] "Google Me" peaked at number 90 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. From a Planet Called Harlem was ultimately released on August 16, 2009, online for free download and billed as "the mixtape before the album".[11]

She was a member of a band called U.G.L.Y., along with band-mates Mijo, Braxton and Ethan. A snippet of U.G.L.Y.'s single "Wasted" was released early 2010. No further releases from the band have since been mentioned.

In 2010, Taylor ventured into acting, appearing in the sequel of Stomp the Yard, titled Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming, which was released in August.[12] She also made an appearance on the debut episode of House of Glam on Oxygen, which aired in October 2010.

In late 2010, just hours before Kanye West's fifth studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, had be to turned in, West called Taylor to the studio to look at some fashion pieces. Taylor had struck up a friendship with West and the GOOD Music family before, first meeting West on his Glow in the Dark Tour, with Pharrell's band N.E.R.D. and Rihanna.[13]

While in the studio, Taylor was determined to make an appearance on West's album.[13] She purposefully hummed along with the tracks he played for her, to get his attention.[13] He eventually asked her to put vocals on a few tracks, notably "Dark Fantasy" and "Hell of a Life." Upon recalling the experience of recording "Dark Fantasy," Taylor stated that "at the time it was pretty empty, just verses."[13] She remembers that West "put [her] in another room by [herself] and said, 'Go'." Taylor came back with the "intro and chorus," and "did all the scratches and the cuts [herself]." She admitted that she was "nervous" upon letting West hear her contributions to the tracks, trying to cover her nervousness by stating that she "hadn’t been in the studio for so long." [13]

Towards the end of 2010, Taylor contributed to one of GOOD Music's GOOD Friday tracks, entitled "Christmas In Harlem". The track was released in a shortened version to the iTunes Store on December 17, 2010, featuring American rappers Cyhi the Prynce and Kanye West.[14]

Teyana has appeared on runways during Fashion Week and also occupies herself using her talents for promotional use, such as her inclusion on the title track on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.[15] As an aspiring songwriter, Taylor has worked with and written records for major artist such as Usher, Chris Brown, and Omarion. She was expected to work alongside Brandy as well in the future.[16]

In 2010, Taylor, alongside American rapper Bow Wow, were offered roles for Tyler Perry’s play-turned-film Madea's Big Happy Family, the latest instalment in Perry's series, which was released on April 22, 2011.[17] Shortly after, Taylor delved back into music and was featured on the hook of the single entitled "Party Tonight" with rappers Randyn Julius, Jim Jones (rapper), and Cam'ron.[18] Randyn Julius later enlisted Junior Reid to do the remix which also featured Teyana.[19]

2012–present: Beginning of GOOD Music era[edit]

In early 2012, Taylor was released from her contract with Interscope and Star Trak.[20] Taylor stated that she and Star Trak founder Pharrell Williams, have remained amiable since the end of their business relationship. She has credited him as a "big brother" and sees her early signing to Star Trak as a "blessing."[21] Taylor has stated on many occasions that her release from the label was necessary because she wanted to have a level of independence in the music industry. In an interview with DJ Skee, Taylor mentioned that "when [she] was signed for six years, [she] felt like she couldn't do [anything]," and that she "couldn't prove to [her] fans that [she] had the talent" and "couldn't sing from [her] heart."[22]

As an independent artist at the time of her release, she had begun preparing her second release, a mixtape titled The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor. The tape drew influences from 1990s R&B legends like Lauryn Hill and Mary J. Blige.[23] The tape was released in the first half of 2012, and was preceded by the release of "Make Your Move (feat. Wale)"[24] and "D.U.I." (feat. Jadakiss & Fabolous), which was released on February 25, 2012. More positive reviews of the latter track note that "The Harlem songstress channels Janet Jackson as she glides over the smooth Hit-Boy-produced beat with her airy vocals, while fellow New Yorkers Fabolous and Jadakiss ride shotgun".[25]

After some time as an independent artist and taking time to find herself as an artist, Taylor signed a joint-venture deal with Kanye West's label GOOD Music and The Island Def Jam Music Group, on June 14, 2012.[1] Taylor had established a relationship with the GOOD family before her signing. As part of GOOD Music, Taylor appears on the GOOD Music compilation album Cruel Summer, released September 18, 2012.[26][26] She provides vocals for the opening track "To the World," with Kanye West and R. Kelly, provides the hook and chorus for "Sin City," which also features John Legend, Cyhi the Prynce, Malik Yusef and Travis Scott, and also duets with John Legend on a song titled "Bliss."[27] Taylor and Legend's duet on the album was highly praised, Erika Ramirez of Billboard.com notes that "Teyana Taylor's beautifully brash voice ... illuminates in the electric-guitar heavy, Hudson Mohawke-produced 'Bliss'."[28] Trent Fitzgerald of Popcrush.com also complimented the duet, saying that he hoped to "hear more soulful duets from [Taylor and Legend]."[29]

In addition to featuring on Cruel Summer, Taylor is in the process of recording her major-label debut album, to be released eventually through GOOD Music and The Island Def Jam Music Group.[30]

Teyana has also garnered attention for her Twitter "beef" with singer Rihanna. Reportedly, Rihanna posted a video online that was interpreted as mocking Teyana. Teyana became angry and responded to Rihanna via Twitter. Rihanna's fans reacted to Taylor angrily, and Rihanna posted an image comparing her net worth ($90 million) to Teyana's ($500,000). Teyana responded with an image of Rihanna's bruised face following her assault from then-boyfriend Chris Brown, alongside an image of herself pretending to be hitting Rihanna. Teyana and Chris Brown have been reported as being good friends.

On July 27, 2014, Teyana announced that her debut album will be called "7" and will be released October 21 through Def Jam and GOOD Music.[31]

Business ventures[edit]

In 2013, Taylor signed a deal to design and release two pairs of sneakers with Adidas. The first pair released were the Harlem GLC's which hit stores February 16 the same year. According to Adidas Global Director of Entertainment and Influence Marketing, Jonathan Wexler, Taylor currently holds the record for fastest selling sneakers in Adidas Originals history.[32] She is currently focused on designing and releasing her second pair of sneakers with the brand.[33]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details
7

Compilation albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions, sales figures and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US US R&B AUS CAN FRA SWI UK
Cruel Summer (with GOOD Music) 2 1 7 4 30 10 2
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released.

Mixtapes[edit]

List of mixtapes, with year released
Title Album details
From a Planet Called Harlem[11]
The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor[35]
  • Released: March 12, 2012
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US US R&B/HH US R&B
"Google Me" 2008 90 From a Planet Called Harlem
"Maybe"
(featuring Yo Gotti and Pusha T)
2014 54 24 7

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US US R&B
"Christmas in Harlem"
(Kanye West featuring Cyhi the Prynce and Teyana Taylor)
2010 113 103 GOOD Fridays
"Party Tonight"
(Randyn Julius featuring Jim Jones, Cam'ron and Teyana Taylor)
2011 Non-album single
"Ballin'"[36]
(Fat Joe featuring Wiz Khalifa and Teyana Taylor)
2013 TBA
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

Writing credits[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Teyana Taylor Signs to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music". Rap-Up.com. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  2. ^ "Early Life 1". 
  3. ^ "Teyana Taylor biography". Artistwiki.com. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  4. ^ "Early Life 2". 
  5. ^ "Early Life 3". 
  6. ^ "Career 1". 
  7. ^ "Teyana Taylor Biography - AOL Music". Music.aol.com. 1969-12-31. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  8. ^ a b "TEYANA TAYLOR DROPS HER DEBUT ALBUM, ‘FROM A PLANET CALLED HARLEM’ IN MAY". Skope Magazine. Skope Entertainment Inc. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  9. ^ "Google Me - Single by Teyana Taylor". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "Career 2". 
  11. ^ a b "Teyana Taylor - Star Trak Presents.....From A Planet Called Harlem // Free Mixtape". DatPiff. Idle Media Inc. 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  12. ^ IMDb - Stomp the Yad 2
  13. ^ a b c d e Wete, Brad. "Interview: Teyana Taylor Talks Joining G.O.O.D. Music, Influencing Fashion & Being Doubted". complex.com/music/. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Christmas In Harlem - Single". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  15. ^ "Career 3". 
  16. ^ "Career 4". 
  17. ^ "Career 5". 
  18. ^ "Randyn Julius – Party Tonight feat. Jim Jones, Cam’Ron, Teyana Taylor & Alphared (Duane DaRock)". 
  19. ^ Hip Hop Singles. hiphopdx.com
  20. ^ "Teyana Taylor Released from Star Trak/Interscope, Readies Free EP". Rap-Up.com. 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  21. ^ Universe, Sway. "Teyana Taylor explains why she asked to be released from Pharrell's". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  22. ^ Skee, DJ. "Interview: Teyana Taylor Talks Star Trak, Wale, Meek Mill & More with DJ Skee". YouTube.com. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  23. ^ Wete, Brad. "Interview: Teyana Taylor Talks Joining G.O.O.D. Music, Influencing Fashion & Being Doubted". complex.com/music/. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  24. ^ "STREAM/DOWNLOAD: Teyana Taylor ft. Fabolous & Jadakiss – D.U.I.". Under the Gun Review. 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  25. ^ "New Music: Teyana Taylor f/ Fabolous & Jadakiss – ‘D.U.I.’". Rap-Up.com. 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  26. ^ a b Alexis, Nadeska. "Teyana Taylor Is G.O.O.D. Music's 'Spoiled Brat'". MTV.com. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  27. ^ Inc., Apple. "Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer". apple.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  28. ^ Ramirez, Erika. "G.O.O.D. Music, 'Cruel Summer': Track-By-Track Review". billboard.com. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  29. ^ Fitzgerald, Trent. "KANYE WEST + G.O.O.D. MUSIC, ‘CRUEL SUMMER’ – ALBUM REVIEW". popcrush.com. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  30. ^ McGloster, Niki. "Teyana Taylor: G.O.O.D. Girl, Urban Chic". vibevixen.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  31. ^ https://twitter.com/TEYANATAYLOR/status/493509726056247296
  32. ^ "Jonathan Wexler twitter". Twitter. February 16, 2013. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Teyana Taylor Talks Her Adidas Harlem GLC Sneaker, Being The Top Female Sneakerhead with HHS1987 (Video)", Hip Hop Since 1987, February 15, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  34. ^ Cite error: The named reference releasedate was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  35. ^ "Teyana Taylor - The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor // Free Mixtape". DatPiff. Idle Media Inc. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  36. ^ "Ballin' - Single by Fat Joe (feat. Wiz Khalifa & Teyana Taylor)". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 

External links[edit]