Teyana Taylor is something like a Jill of all Trades. Whatever she lends her talent and creativity do, it makes an impression. Whether it’s her own personal music, a cameo in a blockbuster film, or stealing the show in a Kanye West video, she’s got that it factor. And has had it since many of us were first introduced to her on MTV’s “My Sweet Sixteen.”
Recently, we had the opportunity to speak to Taylor about a few of her recent and upcoming projects, including her partnership with Olay, her thoughts on doing music, her role in “Coming 2 America,” and the Dionne Warwick biopic.
See what she had to say below.
MadameNoire: First and foremost, before anything else, the people want to know are you really retiring from music or is this just a refocusing? Are you reprioritizing?
Teyana Taylor: It’s a refocus, it’s a reprioritize. Like I said in the beginning, for me, I just need to make sure I’m in a space of happiness. And I can’t allow anybody to affect that happiness because I have a family to live for. I have loved ones to live for. I’m just elevating and tapping the other parts of my talent that probably wouldn’t have gotten as much attention from me if I was just focused on one thing.
I’m literally doing what makes me happy and doing different things that I love. Once I can find something that makes me happy within the music space, I will come back. But for now, it’s a dub.
MN: What can you tell us about the Dionne Warwick biopic? Is it going to focus moreso on her career or her life? What can we expect?
Teyana: As far as Dionne, she’s been in the industry for so long. How many people can say that? And she’s still at it. She’s the queen of Twitter right now. I’m like, ‘Girl, this is going to be a four-hour movie. Baby, what is we doing? Cuz you got so much greatness within yourself and in your career. Right now, we’re trying to figure out how to show the world a little bit of everything and even the other side of things. Because I’m sure people see the glitz and the glam. But what about the the process it takes to get there, to get to icon status. We need to incorporate all of the amazing decades that she’s been in the industry. This is going to be a tough one but an amazing one.
I’m excited to tell the story.
MN: Is it going to be a series or a movie.
Teyana: It’s going to be a series. A movie is just not enough. We could be at a season finale and there’s still be more to her story. Her story is still going. So I don’t want to put her in a box where we’re trying to figure out her whole life in an hour and a half.
So I’m looking at it from all aspects. As an artist, as a director as a producer, in all ways.
MN: Did you know that she was such a fan of you and your work before she said she would like for you to play her?
Teyana: Honestly, I didn’t but I was always a fan of her so it didn’t matter if she was a fan of me. Laughs.
But there were people who used to always tweet that I look just like her and she would always retweet it. A few years now, we’ve been going back and forth with people saying we look alike. But this was the year that we said, ‘Let’s actually make this happen.’
She started calling everybody out, ‘Listen, I’m letting all y’all know if you’re going to do anything about me, this is who is going to play me. And that’s signed, sealed and delivered.’
And I said, ‘I know that’s right, auntie.’
MN: Tell me about your role in Coming 2 America. How did that come about and what was it like working with so many legends?
Teyana: It was absolutely amazing. I ain’t gon front, I had to pinch myself a few times. Like, is this really real? Being a kid, watching this movie, laughing at this movie, wishing to be a part of something like that, to actually being a part of something like that is crazy.
It’s really an iconic movie and for them to want to do a part two and want me to be involved in it—honestly, I would have been involved in whatever way they wanted me to. I would have sat there and cleaned off all the props if they needed me to. It didn’t even matter. I just wanted to be on the set and they gave me such an amazing opportunity.
MN: Tell us why you decided to partner with Olay Body. Why was that a good fit for you?
Teyana: To come from an era where we didn’t really have social media, we were big on commercials, music videos, television shows and things like that. Television was the place to be. And I always wanted to be in an Olay commercial. I always loved their products. I’m a CVS head. I’m the girl that’s there getting all the products. Their advertising was always so amazing. They really sold you. But it wasn’t just what you saw on tv. When you go get it, it actually works. When you’re younger, you don’t know. But as you get older, as a young woman, when you start knowing and understanding how products work? It was amazing. I’ve been a fan for a long time.
So to have the opportunity to work with them, I just feel like this year has really been a blessing. I’ve been working with a lot of people I’ve had dreams of working with. Olay is big for me.
Right now, we’re on a new wave. They have the new Olay cleansing and renewing nighttime body wash. Then they got the night time rinse off conditioner for the body that is crazy. That’s my new favorite on top of everything else they put out. These two products are my absolute favorites now.
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