For many people, their first introduction to Teyana Taylor was during her appearance on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16″ in 2007.
For nearly two decades since the episode’s release, the Harlem native has blossomed into one of today’s top multi-hyphenates as a singer, dancer, actress, creative director — you name it.
Taylor has found great success in all of her endeavors. However, the early stage of her career as a teenager appears to have started off on rocky ground.
In an interview with the “Angie Martinez IRL” podcast, the 32-year-old recalled her experience being signed to her first record deal at Pharrell’s Star Trek Entertainment imprint at the age of 15.
Lacking a stable father figure during her adolescence, she said she held the music mogul on a high pedestal but felt let down by him at the time.
Taylor revealed she later had a very open conversation with Pharrell about how she felt after starring in Kanye West’s “Fade” music video in 2016.
“I just think a lot of hands started going into the cookie jar,” Taylor told Martinez. “It’s P. He’s not gonna be like, ‘No, y’all n-ggas back up.’ Maybe he was hurt about some things. You just don’t know. It could’ve been a thing of pride and ego at the time. We don’t know.”
She continued, “To me, as a 15-year-old, it was, ‘you didn’t protect me. You let everybody mishandle me when I signed to you. And you let everybody get in the way. You let everybody break us apart.’”
Taylor expressed having wanted Pharrell to not only protect her at the time but also fight for her. Despite being hurt in the past, she told Martinez that she was able to share her thoughts with him later when she was in a grateful state of mind rather than bitter and resentful.
“I be basking in my blessings,” Taylor said. “I do. And I be having those moments where I’m just thinking like, ‘Damn, no matter how I felt when I was younger, none of these doors would’ve ever opened if it wasn’t for [Pharrell].”
While taking a break from her music career since her last tour, Taylor has been tapping deeper into her acting bag with her roles in “A Thousand and One” and “White Men Can’t Jump.” What’s more, her production company, The Aunties Production, has been growing its portfolio, and she has been named as Latto’s new creative director.