On Friday (Dec. 4), the nearly 30-year-old R&B singer-songwriter wrote on Instagram that she feels “super under appreciated” as an artist after receiving “little to no real push from the ‘machine,’” and announced that she’s “retiring this chapter of my story.” Her comments left many fans wondering if she’s actually quitting music for good.
The following day, Taylor took to Instagram Live to share a lengthy video further explaining her original post. In her updated remarks, the singer confirmed that she does indeed want to retire from music, primarily because of ongoing frustration with her record 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,” Taylor said in the clip. “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.”
The singer added that Def Jam has given her “literally no push” over the years and she has repeatedly asked the label to drop her from its roster.
“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.
Since her debut in 2014, Taylor has released three albums and one EP, the most recent being 2020’s The Album. The set debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart in early July.
The multi-hyphenate has also worked as a choreographer, actress, model, fitness guru and shoe designer.
Following the 2021 Grammy nominations in late November, Taylor expressed frustration after The Album was snubbed for best R&B album. But on Saturday, the singer assured fans that she doesn’t want to quit as a result of being overlooked by the Recording Academy.
She also addressed fans who suggested that she’s a “quitter” and should continue releasing music out of obligation to her fans.
“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 [Def Jam] to release me, yes I want to retire. I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Watch Taylor’s full video below.