Singer-songwriter, actress, model, choreographer/dancer, Teyana Taylor announced her retirement from the music industry Friday night.
In an Instagram post, the singer thanked fans for their support by sharing a photo from Spotify’s 2020 Artist Wrapped list. The post shows Taylor received over 162.8 million views in streams over the past year. In the caption she explains how “under-appreciated”, and “overlooked” she felt as an artist, with minimal support from the industry and her label, G.O.O.D./Def Jams. During the span of her career, the singer was signed to major artists such as Pharrell Williams (Star Trak Entertainment) and Kanye West (G.O.O.D.) . Her latest record, The Album was released on Juneteenth of this year featuring songs with artists such as: Kehlani, Big Sean, Erykah Badu, Quavo, and King Combs.
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The Harlem native is no stranger in the industry. At fifteen, she peeked the interest of many after helping create the choreography for Beyonce’s Ring the Alarm music video. Signing to Pharrell Williams label, Star Trak Entertainment and featuring on MTV’s hit show, My Super Sweet 16. Her career sky rocketed to the top as she released music, acting in many movies and tv shows, and becoming a judge on America’s Best Dance Crew. In 2016, she married Brooklyn Nets shooting guard, Iman Shumpert. Together the couple have two daughters, Junie and Rue.
Taylor has heightened her creative ability with the number of music videos she’s directed and collaborations with other artists. One of her most notable collaborations was her performance in Kanye West’s Fade music video back in 2016. Premiering on the MTV’s Video Awards. Her performance blew everyone away and was talked about in the media for weeks. Her fit body captivated audience members as she moved to the beat of the song’s bass. Reminding everyone how talented she is.
Branching out into video production, Taylor has directed videos for Schoolboy Q, T.I., Lil Duval, and Macy Gray. As well as directing a few of her own videos for her K.T.S.E. album. She spoke on her appreciation for visual creation during her interview with WWD.
“One thing that I’ve always been very, very good at is helping others and creating for others, I enjoy getting their vision out, because I know how it feels to maybe not be super technical, but to also know what you want. My job as a director is to be that happy medium.”
The Album (2020)
During her latest project, titled The Album she channeled into her creativity with the determination of fully representing herself this time around. Mixing up her sound with rheumatic lyrics, rasp melodies, and sensual harmonies to show just how diverse her musical abilities could go. Taylor was involved in every part of the making for the album, everything she did was intentional. Right down to the release date of the album being on Juneteenth. The first year the Black holiday was being nationally recognized by the country. A set to historical recognition and freedom to learn about a racial past meant for secrecy. The day that slaves were officially free throughout the United States of America (Texas being the last state). In an NPR interview, Taylor expressed her intentions behind the release date.
“I personally felt like it was only right, because it’s a celebration for my culture and my people, to show that no matter what we go through, we always pull through.”
Taylor went on to add more intimacy on her album by including a snippet of a 911 call made by her husband during the birth of their first born daughter as the intro track. The emotional range in the intro sets you up for the journey you’ll take while listening to the following tracks list of the album.
Many were disappointed in hearing Taylor’s statement of leaving the industry. Fans gathered in the Instagram comments and on Twitter to express their sadness. Some celebrities even took the time to express their own thoughts by posting as well. Cardi B took to Twitter with her thoughts on the decision.
If you know me then you know Teyana Taylor’s album it’s my favorite of 2020.I swear she really got the best album this year.I hate that she feels how she feels cause she sooo talented and the music is soo good.— iamcardib (@iamcardib) December 5, 2020
The artist shared her love for the 2020 album and her empathy for Taylor’s experience while in the industry. Many wondered if Taylor’s recent decision had anything to do with the recent Grammy Awards Show.
Setting the Record Straight
On Saturday night, the artist once again took to Instagram, but this time on live. Clearing the air that her post wasn’t related to the Grammy’s and she explained her reasoning for leaving in full detail after feeling misunderstood.
“Majority of what that post was, was towards my label. That I’ve been signed to for almost 10 years…yes I am going to feel unappreciated if I’m putting in 110%, and my label is reciprocating 10% of that. I constantly feel alone, I constantly feel unappreciated, I constantly feel failed, because there’s literally is no push.”
She mentions that she has approached Def Jams on numerous occasions to be dropped from the label. How she’s given all she could and only seeks to be at peace for herself and for her children. Her decision to move on gives her the chance to be free and reach a new stage in her life, to begin something new.
Now she’ll have the opportunity to do so and venture on to her next path.