Teyana Taylor: G.O.O.D. Girl, Urban Chic

Teyana Taylor

Under the calculated Island Def Jam imprint, G.O.O.D. Music, the Louis Vuitton Don has enlisted a team of not only creatively forward lyricists, singers, scribes and producers (who happen to expand Ye’s über artsy vision), he’s thoughtfully gathered an arsenal of fashion assassins. For the stand-alone G.O.O.D. Music princess, her timing and placement among this particular all boys club is all too fitting. “Even beyond the music, I’ll always have fashion,” she spews exactly. And it’s wonderfully apparent, even though not always respected.

Mingling with entertainment heavyweights has allowed her to choreograph, double as a stylist and even help design Yeezy’s most recent, leather-accented Paris Fashion Week offerings. “When he did his first line, people were pretty harsh, so I guess when he did his second line, he wanted to make sure everything was just right.” She recalls, “I definitely think me being there brought a whole different breed to it. There were already people there from London and Paris, and I definitely think I was more urban.”

Rumblings of The Miseducation of Teyana Taylor infiltrated the inter-webs in March, around the same time she was making a few PFW appearances. People slowly latched on to the slightly comprehensive project that featured old and new cuts. With overly anxious fans waiting on Cruel Summer (on which the songwriter snatched up two feature spots), Pusha’s solo debut and other G.O.O.D. vets’ efforts on the horizon, could Teyana find her projects on the back burner? She reassures of her spot-lit moment.

“That ain’t ever gone happen,” she says. “I deserve more credit because it wasn’t like I could be a socialite and be comfortable with that. I’m designing, I’m helping ‘Ye design his line, I’m dancing, but people don’t want to see me do good. You can go to YouTube and see I have a million things that I’ve choreographed that is so blind to people. I’m not worried because the right people know what I do. When people like Beyoncé and Hov come up to you and they tell you to keep pushing, that’s what inspires me. Beyoncé came up to me like, Oh my god, I love “Her Room.” I’m so proud of you. That’s all that matters; I see Hov and his nickname for me is either Lil Swag or Superstar. It feels good to sit in the room with Bey, Hov, Spike Lee, and John Legend, and Ryan Leslie, just in a room talking kicking our feet up drinking wine. I’ve been around too much greatness to let anyone put me down.”

Pusha T sheds light on her work ethic. “She’ll stay in the studio all day, all night. She just doesn’t leave. She’ll be holding up in a writing room. Whatever the case may be she just doesn’t leave. Even if she’s not working on anything she’s just trying not to miss anything or miss opportunity. Working in the whole G.O.O.D. Music family man, records come from nowhere, ideas come from nowhere. You can always miss something, you can miss something huge.”

While Teyana gallivants the globe and keeps her Instagram filled to the brim with vintage threads and classic athletic gear, the only focus is her developing debut album. Snagging time in the studio whenever, however, she’s painfully aware of others’ expectations of her. Most importantly, her own.

“I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to really, really start working and let it be bigger than the clothes and the fashion. I’m not comfortable being a profile. I want to be an entertainer and that’s what’s going to happen. Hopefully second time’s a charm.”—Niki McGloster