When you pop in Kanye West’s new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy on November 22, one of the first voices you’ll hear before Ye is Teyana Taylor. The singer-actress is still in disbelief after finding out that she is featured on one of the most anticipated albums of the year.
The 19-year-old, who stars in the Tyler Perry film Madea’s Big Happy Family next year, can be heard singing on the album’s opening track “Dark Fantasy,” which includes an intro from Nicki Minaj. Teyana stopped by the studio to visit her “big bro” in Los Angeles last month before the premiere of Runaway, but had no idea she would end up on the album.
“[Kanye] was like, ‘Yo, T. I’m at the studio, come over and vibe out.’ We were sitting there listening to the music, he was showing me different pieces for the tour, and he was wanting me to do some vocals,” she tells Rap-Up.com. “First I was just doing different backgrounds and then he was like, ‘I feel like it needs something else. I’m gonna put you in a room with an engineer with the song and just do what you do.’ And he put me in another room and I just went crazy. When he heard it, he kept playing it and playing it and everyone was giving me high fives.”
Teyana was grateful for the opportunity, but even more surprised by Yeezy’s reaction. “It was a big opportunity for me. I emailed him the day after and thanked him. He was like, ‘Thank you. The pipes you put on that is crazy.’ I was like, ‘Wow, this is really big coming from Ye,’ but he’s super humble.”
While in the studio, Kanye also had Teyana add her vocals to other tracks. “I also sing along with him on the chorus for the album version of ‘Runaway.’ He just wanted extra female vocals. I did some backgrounds on some other songs.”
The former star of MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16 hopes the placement will silence the critics who question why she’s famous. “I’m still in awe. I kept pinching myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream,” she says. “A lot of people are always asking, ‘What does she do?’ and for my first feature to be on a Kanye album is big for me. It shows that at the end of the day, it don’t matter what haters are talking about. When people like Kanye stand behind you and believe in you, it don’t get no better than that.”