Teyana Taylor Talks Working With Kanye West On ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’

I was in L.A., and I get a call at like 9:00 a.m.—I’m not a morning person I should add. But I checked my email a little later and saw that Kanye had hit me up saying that I should come by the studio and just vibe out with him. So I thought “okay cool,” but I had no intentions of recording anything or even doing a feature. But deep down inside I was thinking, “You never know what could happen.”

I was just honored and excited that he even wanted to meet with me in the studio. When I got there, Kanye played me “Blame Game,” “Hell Of A Life,” and basically the rest of the album. And we were just talking music, he was telling me about the shows that he had planned. But then mentioned that he had a record, “Dark Fantasy,” that needed something more, so he asked me to hop in the booth and lay some background vocals. He basically let me do whatever I wanted. ‘Ye was like just do whatever you feel like that track needs—just do it.

So I went into the booth and it got crazy. I didn’t want to come out—they had to drag me out. After I came out,they played it back and Kanye loved it from the jump. He’s a very honest person and will tell you what he wants you to change or what he’s not feeling. But he didn’t say anything like that, he was just playing the record over and over again. And then he told me my vocals compliment his voice so well that he wanted me on a few other songs. I put background vocals on “Hell of A Life” and a tiny bit on  “Runaway”.

What’s crazy is that he didn’t even know that I also sing. Like we’re genuinely friends, the way we met is over fashion. When he was showing me some of pieces he was going to wear on tour I started buggin’ out, and he was just saying “I knew you would appreciate these, I knew it!” All my contributions on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy happened by chance. We actually have another session coming, so we’ll see what else we come up with.

But the show at Bowery Ballroom was a whole ‘nother experience though. When I found out that he wanted me to perform with him, I was happy and scared at the same time. There were so many things going through my mind. But we turned that show in a hip-hop opera. I will never forget that I was on the stage with Kanye West. I really can’t describe the feeling of sharing the stage with a talent like Ye. —As Told To Mikey Fresh