For those who missed out on the debut, the project features a scantily clad Teyana Taylor dancing in a gym with sweat dripping down her insane physique. And just when you think it can’t get anymore racy, Taylor hits the shower with her real life fiancé and Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Iman Shumpert. The video then ends with a shot of the couple and their baby posing among a herd of sheep. Oh, and Taylor apparently transformed into some kind of cat near the conclusion. Why? We don’t know, but it looked dope.
A day after the “Fade” video premiered, Vogue caught up with Taylor to discuss her involvement in the project. The Harlem artist, who is also signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music label, dished on how she landed the starring role and what was going through her mind when the video was unveiled.
“I was on Twitter and Instagram, but my phone was shaking because my hand was shaking. I was so nervous because it was really a do-or-die moment,” she explained. “But it was dope that I was able to really sit back and really take in the whole moment. It’s emotional because I’ve been in the industry for so long and I’ve never understood why certain things weren’t happening. And now I feel like my story, everything that I’ve been through, makes this moment so much more special.”
Taylor said Kanye approached her in the recording studio shortly after her Lil Kim tribute performance at this year’s Hip Hop Honors. She explained that they primarily discussed her young family, which seemed to really inspire Kanye, and later that night, she received a phone call from a G.O.O.D. Music rep asking if she’d like to participate in the “Fade” video.
“When they first reached out about the video, all I knew was that he wanted me to dance. At that point he didn’t have to tell me twice,” explained Taylor, who also revealed that a portion of the “Fade” choreography was originally intended for Beyoncé’s “End of Time.” “She loved it but she wound up not being able to use it because she was pregnant.”
Vogue later questioned Taylor on the final scene, which depicted her with a cat face. And, unsurprisingly, it was all Kanye’s idea.
“Yeah, he was just like, ‘I’m going to put you in this cat face. It’s going to be chic,'” she said. “At the same time, being an actor, I love doing stuff like that—to be able to get dressed up and get out of my comfort zone. I was very excited to do something different and artistic, but since we shot backwards, at first, I didn’t know what was going on. I thought, ‘This crazy mother-effer. He’s got 15 sheep in this gym right now, with poop all over the place.’ It’s crazy the thing that happens behind the scenes; my wig almost flew off. It’s just so dope to watch the final product and know all the things that went into it. From the bottom of the heart this meant so much to me.”
You can read Taylor’s full interview at Vogue.