Teyana Taylor recently opened up about life as a musician in her early teen years. In a new interview with Angie Martinez, the 32-year-old revealed she wished her mentor Pharrell Williams would’ve done more to protect and nurture her.
Ahead of the weekend, Martinez dropped her “IRL” podcast chat with Taylor and key moments from the discussion continue to make their rounds on social media. One takeaway from their sit-down was the songstress’ admission that she didn’t feel that the person she looked up to did all they could to further her career and preserve her mental health at the time. About halfway into the hour-long interview, the “Gonna Love Me” singer got candid about her abandonment issues.
“Getting signed to a man, it was like a figure to me. I looked at these people like figures. Whether it was as a dad, as a brother, it didn’t matter. So it’s like, you didn’t see me, you didn’t hear me, you didn’t protect me. You kind of just like, fed me to the wolves type s**t without probably even knowing. Some of those conversations still need to be had,” Taylor said while reminiscing on signing to Williams’ Star Trak Entertainment label when she was just 15 years old. She also noted she had a strained relationship with her father. “He was the first person to sign me. He was Skateboard P, I was Skateboard T. You cannot tell me that wasn’t my pops,” she shared, adding that the connection made him feel honored because he longed for a child of his own.
The “Issues/Hold On” hitmaker added that due to his kind nature, she believed he wasn’t able to defend her from industry pitfalls. “He’s not confrontational at all. He’s literally one of the sweetest people in just the whole wide world, you know what I’m saying? So, it wasn’t that he didn’t protect me, it’s just that a lot of hands started going into the cookie jar. It’s P. He not [about] to be like, ‘No, y’all n**gas back up,” she claimed. “To me, as a 15-year-old, it was, you didn’t protect me. You let everyone mishandle me. I signed to you. You let everybody get in the way and everybody break us apart. You didn’t protect me,” she continued.
“Teyana is so vulnerable in this interview. From speaking on her career, her feelings regarding Pharrell, her spirituality, and how she’s viewed herself internally, even concerning her physical appearance. WOW, she opened up! This was an iconic interview, in my opinion. Bravo, Angie, for truly giving Teyana a safe space to express herself,” one person commented on the YouTube video. Over a decade later, Taylor and Williams have resolved their issues and are both proud of how far each has come.