Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor

In 1959, Mattel, Inc. launched Barbie, a doll that was marketed as the “teenage fashion doll.” She wore a black and white striped swimsuit, with open toe sandals and had the face of a goddess. It’s 2008 and Barbie is 49-years-old and there’s a new teenage super-star- Teyana Taylor. This doll can sing, rap and teach Beyonce how to do the Chicken Noodle Soup.

With the face of a goddess, big jet-black curly hair, Ice Cream sneakers and a similar physique to Barbie, 17-year-old Teyana Taylor is dropping her debut album From a Planet called Harlem (Star Trak/ Interscope) this upcoming May. With noticeable style and flair, the “Teenage President” is becoming the walking “paper doll” for urban fashionistas across the globe. If you’re not sold on the Harlem native’s single “Google Me” find her on the side of megastar Pharrell Williams, in Jay Z’s “Blue Magic” video, or on MTV’s My Super Sweet 16. As a matter of fact, catch her here at Format.

“School comes before anything- no matter what the job is, I make sure I get my work done for my classes”

Format: You’re still under the age of 18, yet you’ve done worked with Jay-Z, Beyonce and N.E.R.D. How is it going to school by day and being amongst superstars at night?
Teyana: It’s all about priorities and taking things serious. School comes before anything- no matter what the job is, I make sure I get my work done for my classes. It’s like a dream to me. I’m home schooled, so I have a tutor, but it’s always going to be a dream to me. No matter how successful I become, it’s always going to be a dream come true and an honor to work with these people.

Format: MTV’s My Super Sweet 16 was your breakthrough into mass media and exposure. In retrospect do you think the show has helped your career or given you a stigma as the “16-year-old girl with the big hair?”
Teyana: It’s definitely helped me and it gives people a sense of my style and personality and what I’m about. I’m kind of glad that I haven’t gotten stuck in that My Super Sweet 16 box and people are taking me seriously as an artist.

Format: You’re label mates with musicians Chester French, Kenna, N.E.R.D. and Snoop Dogg. What do you think you bring to Star Trak Entertainment?
Teyana: That Harlem swag.

Format: Describe that “Harlem swag” for people who have never been to Harlem.
Teyana: Harlem is pretty much something you have to see. Harlem is its own planet. The way that people eat, walk, talk, it’s the first place that people see when they get to New York. It’s amazing.

Format: You have a lot of similarities with singer/songwriter Kelis, who was once signed to Star Trak. Being that you’re a female from Harlem with big hair and an edgy style, what else do you think it is about you two that make you two qualified to be in the mist of such a talented label?
Teyana: I think it’s great, crazy and weird. It’s funny because she’s from Harlem as well and we both got signed to Star Trak [laughs]. You’re right. The only thing it proves is that the world is so small. I think that she’s pretty great and the idea of it is great.

Format: Speaking of Harlem, the neighborhoods are changing. I was on 143rd and Lennox one day and I saw you with your friends, chillin’ on the streets. What about you symbolizes what Harlem used to be?
Teyana: I never forgot where I came from and when people recognize that, they respect it. People respect it and they appreciate it. It also goes to show how honorable someone is. I love going back to the old hood, because it reminds me of the days when Big L, Ma$e and all of them use to be out on the block chillin’. I think that’s cool.

Teyana Taylor

Format: On your Myspace page it shows your influences are Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill-
Teyana: And KRS-One

Format: And KRS-One, dope. If you can pick one trait from each one of those artists that you possess, what would they be?
Teyana: Definitely with Lauryn Hill, I would have to say the fact that she’s singing and rapping and she has such a great voice. The same thing with KRS-One, everything that he says is amazing. His lyrics are amazing. Stevie Wonder and his incredible voice and his incredible talent and his songwriting skills were so beautiful. With Michael Jackson, him being an entertainer and being the best at what he does, as a singer and an overall entertainer.

Format: What genre of music do you fit in?
Teyana: I wouldn’t say that I’m not in one set genre. I try to switch lanes and not stay in the same boat. I think that’s pretty cool.

Format: Your first love was dance. What made you make the transition into singing?
Teyana: I’ve always been singing, dancing and rapping since I was younger. In Harlem, I was known but I hadn’t really sung for anyone else really. One day I just started to make things happen, hard body. You know? I love music.

Format: Being that you are still underage, are they’re any pressures being a “tomboy” and making the transition into womanhood?
Teyana: I try not to let think about it until it actually happens. I’m still young and I’m still doing me. You know? As I grow I’ll have other opportunities. I’ll mature and I’ll grow and the more I, the more I’ll become a young lady. I think that’s something special.

Format: From a Planet Called Harlem is the name of the new album, what can we expect on the album?
Teyana: Everything you want to hear [laughing], seriously. Everything from girl empowerment to individuality, anything that everybody can relate to is on this album.

Format: Would you say that you make music for all ages are specifically for young people?
Teyana: This is young people music because I am the Teen President but in the end, it reaches out to people of different cultures, backgrounds and ages. This music is for everybody from the mothers all the way down to the young men.

Format: At the end of the day, what does Teyana Taylor represent?
Teyana: It’s only right that the Teen President would represent for the teens. Teyana Taylor represents girl empowerment and individuality.

Dominque Howse

Latest posts by Dominque Howse (see all)

31 comments

  1. what is the reason for all this, I can tell u now that her album is going to flop. i’m hating her 15 minutes of fame….

  2. graffitiilane says:

    this girl cannot sing and her dance steps are stolen from ciara. Weve already saw just about everything she does and when she has to prove herself without pharrell’s name hanging on everybody is going to see what most of us already know….

  3. when is pharrell going to sign some acts that will make him money. I’m thinking that he is using these acts as taxs writeoffs

  4. im gonna give this chick a chance. hell, not enough females out there trying. Must be hard for her to juggle school and rehearsals. Good for her though, don’t give up, no matter how many haters are out there. Plus she’s got a good head on her shoulders for being 17.

  5. dwania da kings kid says:

    in my opinion you need the haters cause they reallllyyyyy! make you do wut you do 2 the fullest so keep doing yo thang mommy ,sounds good 2 me ,who wouldn’t wanna be living their dream?oh i 4got…. losers do cuz they have time 2 sit @ home and hate, I happen 2 b on my break, but anyway God bless and stay prayed up.

  6. Hmm…I think teyanna is going to do good in her career and she’s following her dream. Plus, atleast she got signed by Pharell because some of you “haters” don’t even have enough talent to get signed. And even if her music career doesn’t end to good she could always be a model…

  7. dutch the dutch says:

    teyanna has a unique thing– and if kids are gonna follow mass marketed artists, it might as well be someone with some originality as opposed to whats out there now.

    teyanna got style and can dance her ass off. point blank. i hope she makes it.

    not from ny but harlem stand up!

  8. teyanna you already cool. you might be too cool for school, get a tutor and hit the road. lupe’s albulm flopped but he kept grinin overseas and now they’re on the jock.

    dont expect star trak or harlem to do it for you love.

    touch the people. contrary to popular belief ny aint the center of the universe

  9. yeah shes dope for real.reminds me a lot of Jazzell Williams who is a teen mc. crazy their similarities. lol

  10. first off i will say i love her… she’s sooo fly and unique and i think that’s exactly what’s missing from hip hop (and music period) today.

  11. haters if you got the chance you will go 4 it, she got the chance and she doing her thing. And all you hater that are saying she copying lil mama or ciara, just take a look at music now aint it the some thing, they are talking about the some thing over and over again and again. SO HATERS CLOSE YOUE DOORS AND LET HER GET HER DOOR

  12. i cant belive that your name is my name likei wont to become just like you becuse i like to sing i like the type of music

  13. teyana fuck them haters and do what we do i love you and married to the swagger!but dont let no body tell you you wack or they dont like yo1 music because its swaggerrific and guess what those who saying it dont have no style.yo outfitts/wardrobe speaks 4 itselft im a ska8board and i think your dope realy hope we meet soon i would love for you to be in my teen fashion maggazine.you should come to new orleans and do a concert we lov you here you will fit in so good i fell like i know you already.i know your a sweet hearted person because your the teen president.

  14. wats goin on short stop we seen u round the way in harlem check for them harlem dudes up and down 7th and lenox bmxin it up peace God bless baby girl

  15. Do what you do! There will always be hater pulling at your tale coat… As long as you rememeber that your good… kick em off and keep it moving?

  16. Anderson hill says:

    My name is Anderson hill I think your very pretty and I have a big poster on side my wall of you. Keep on do what you do because you inspire me.

  17. i wanna say that teyana is fantastic i love what she do.for me her sweet sixteen was the biggest thing and probably the most fantastic party i ever seen .those who tell rubbish on her are just jalous of his career.i wish her the best.

  18. teyana iz very pretty!! iluv what she did for her sweet sixteen birthday party even though she didnt ghet the skate board ramp iht was stil very nice!it was very different from the rest of the other sweet sixteen birthday partys i seen on tv! i loved the way her dress was nd how she came out of the babrie doll box!
    nd i loved her bike and all i want to say is that keep doing what you do!
    – Alexis

  19. teyana me encanta como eres ii thu forma de vestir kmo baiilas i cantas me en canta tu stilo desde venezuela se te scucha okis

  20. I think she will be a success and i love her syle.. So haters with no life stop hating just ur life sucks…

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