Watch Teyana Taylor as never seen before in new documentary
Teyana Taylor is a natural-born star. Born and raised in New York City, the singer, dancer, songwriter, actress, director, model and choreographer first appeared on our screens in 2006 starring in MTV’s mid-00s hit show My Super Sweet 16.
She reached a new level of national attention as part of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint and since then, she’s become a Billboard Top 100 artist, built a fitness empire, launched fashion lines, earned a coveted spot in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and released ‘K.T.S.E.’ – her critically acclaimed 2018 album that cemented her as an unstoppable force in music.
Before going behind-the-scenes of her first House of Petunia show at Red Bull Music Festival New York, we share the stand-out moments from the revealing new documentary Assembly Required that will be available to watch above by clicking on the play button and Red Bull TV from February 20. Here is what you can expect:
– Taylor’s aiming for greatness – and expects the same from everyone around her. Taylor’s hands-on approach is immediately visible during the making of House of Petunia. After making an open casting call for dancers on Instagram, over 1,000 people showed up to audition—and Taylor teaches them the choreography herself, step by step. In return, she expects nothing short of greatness:
“I’m a very passionate person. I expect that to be reciprocated. When it’s not reciprocated, I feel like my kindness is being taken for weakness.”Teyana Taylor
– Taylor’s an uncompromising force in a male-dominated industry. Taylor confided to her team that she has a lot on her plate in the build-up to the show – and she certainly has no time for complacency.
“Sometimes people get comfortable and I gotta fire them,”Teyana Taylor
“Being a black woman in the entertainment business, trying to make this shit right, I ain’t got time for this shit,” she reflected. “[People have] been shitting on me my whole career but I still stand tall. I still get through all that.”Teyana Taylor
– Family is everything to her. Balancing being a mother, partner, daughter, and global star; she makes room for everyone she loves – whether that’s working with ‘momager’ Nikki, including her husband into her live shows, or finding the time to play with their four-year-old daughter Junie in between rehearsals.
“Nikki and Teyana are the best momager couple I have ever seen,”says dance captain Coco
– She finds empowerment through her sexuality. Taylor has always centered female sexuality in her music, from her honest lyrics about love to the sexually-charged dance routines that invigorate her live shows. House of Petunia, a production that she has complete creative control over, builds on this philosophy. During a dress rehearsal, when a dancer is concerned about wearing a revealing top, Taylor immediately retorts: “Free the nipple, bitch!” Soon after, her “lapdance contraption” is unveiled, with Taylor overseeing its usage to “make it sexy in the whole room.”
– Taylor’s a brilliant storyteller – and completely in control of the narrative. At House of Petunia, narrative is everything. From song choice to choreography, Taylor wants to tell a story. Emerging from a bright red, altar-like staircase, she paints a very clear portrait of a woman fully in control of her craft. The theatricality of the performance is reminiscent of a fairy tale, her rags to riches story; a rose surfacing in Harlem.
– Costumes are an integral part of her artistic vision. For House of Petunia’s fashion, Taylor pulls out all the stops. Enlisting the help of a costume designer who has worked with Beyoncé and Britney Spears, she picks out her show-stopping chess board gown, which has a train that stretches as long as the staircase on the stage.
“Costumes are the icing on the cake. I’m so hands-on with everything that I do, but especially wardrobe and costumes. Nobody else is gonna see the vision like how you see it, so it’s important for [me] to be there,”Teyana Taylor
– Taylor is her own biggest critic. Despite the hurdles thrown her way during the making of House of Petunia, the show is met with roaring applause from her team, fans and critics. Persevering through a pre-show ankle sprain, a debilitated voice and stage lighting issues—her dream show was a success – but that doesn’t seem to be enough for Taylor, who is visibly agitated backstage.
“Anything that can go wrong, will,”Teyana Taylor
“The part that pissed me off even more is when Teyana is nice, nobody listens. When Teyana turns up, Teyana is mean. When Teyana is passionate, Teyana’s mean.”Teyana Taylor