Teyana Taylor is walking away from her music career. The “Bare With Me” singer and mother of two announced that she would be retiring beneath a post of a screenshot of her end-of-year artist’s analytics from Spotify. The streaming service reported that Taylor’s three albums and one EP received 162 million streams from 15.2 million unique listeners in 92 separate countries.
“Wow, who did that? Y’all did that! Thank you,” she wrote. “I ain’t gone front in times of feeling super under appreciated as a artist, receiving little to no real push from the ‘machine,’ constantly getting the shorter end of the stick, being overlooked, I mean the list on and on lol…”
She went on to reveal that she is “retiring this chapter of my story with the comfort that i can depart with peace of mind seeing that all the hard work & passion put in was indeed loved & supported somewhere in the world!”
Taylor has plenty of other creative careers to fall back on. She acts, models, choreographs and designs.
Fans were deeply disappointed by the sudden announcement. Taylor followed up by explaining her choice in a video on Instagram Live. Her decision stemmed from her frustration with her label G.O.O.D Music/Def Jam. “The majority of what that post was to warn my label who I’ve been signed to for almost 10 years. Everything that you guys see of me, everything that I put out, everything that I do is 100% me,” said Taylor.
“There’s no gun to anybody’s head to do anything that they don’t want to do. So yes, I am going to feel under appreciated if I’m putting in 110% and my label is giving me – they’re reciprocating, what, 10% of that.”
She said she actually pleaded with the companies to allow her to negate her contract and move on with her career. “The crazy part about it is I asked Def Jam to drop me on almost 10 different occasions, straight to their face, up in the building, at the table. Like, ‘Yo, just drop me, because at this point, I can’t let this kill me,'” she said.
Taylor assured fans that her choice was not related to her recent complaints about being snubbed by the recording academy, and acknowledged criticisms that her declaration might be received as arrogant.
“I can see maybe how my message can come across, but at the same time, I feel like it’s a tiny bit selfish to say, ‘What about your fans? Do it for your fans,'” Taylor said.
“Baby, I gotta do it for my mental health. I have to do it for my emotional health. I have to do it for my kids, so I can stay alive for my kids. Until I’m free, until I can get [my label] to release me, yes I want to retire. I don’t want to do this anymore.”