Tatyana Ali Explains Will Smith's Mentorship In Her Music Career

The singer/actress also speaks on Will Smith's status as an emcee.

Speaking with VladTV, former “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Tatyana Ali explained Will Smith’s role in the success of her music career following the cancellation of the series.

“When I sang on Fresh Prince, which they wrote into the show after I sang at...a karaoke wrap party...They were like, ‘Oh, you can sing? We should write this in,’” she said. “After they did that, Will asked me, he was like, ‘Would you ever think about singing for real and recording?’ So I signed to his production company. After Fresh Prince, during the end, we started recording. A couple years after, that’s when I started to put out music. That’s when we also did music together.”

Responding to a question about her album Kiss the Sky being certified Gold Ali said “it felt amazing.”

“The thing that I loved most about it was performing,” she said. “I got to see the world. I toured all over the country with N’Sync which was like every little girl’s dream at the time. Then I toured around Europe with Backstreet Boys and Monica and 98°. It was incredible.”

During the interview Ali, who released a new EP earlier this year, explained why she thinks Will Smith isn’t given his just due as an emcee. 

“I have this conversation a lot and it’s about art, especially music,” she said. “People called him corny because he didn’t curse. He had songs like ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand.’ He was really positive, middle-class, talking about his own experiences. I think that’s the real interesting thing where it’s like, and I’ve found this too in music being a young artist myself, everyone was always trying to push. ‘You need to show more this. You need to be more like this. You need to be more edgy.’ I think that definitely has its place. But in Pop culture speaking your mind from where you come from and being authentic, whether it’s positive or not, that always rises to the top. It’s the weirdest thing. I have friends in music who are nurturing young artists coming up. They’ll have this incredible singer on their hands. This beautiful, 16-year old young woman who is doing her thing, she can dance, she can sing, she can whatever. They’re just like, ‘I don’t think she’s really edgy enough.’ I’m like, ‘Will you leave that child alone and just let her be herself. Let her express herself.’ At the end of the day, just like you said, who won the first [Rap] Grammy? Yes. It’s okay to be positive and be successful. I think that’s cool. That’s why people wouldn’t mention him even though those songs that he made.”

On the prospect of Will Smith returning to music, Ali admitted that she’d heard the actor speak of the possibility years ago.

“I don’t know, wouldn’t that be awesome?” she said. “I’ve heard him talk about it years and years ago.”



  • Anonymous

    Wait... this bitch had/has a music career???

  • Joset

    Shes trully a gorgeous ebony queen hopefully she can get a movie role that will turn her into a super star she deserves something big. Good luck to you Tatyana Ali

  • Anonymous

    "That Girl" was absolutely terrible. I'm SO glad they canceled it!

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  • aa

    ashley banks could get itttt

  • Anonymous

    definitely rubbed a few out to ashley banks as a lil shawty

    • Ghg

      google this phrase and watch the vid of ashley "(Ashley i think we should make love) Fresh Prince Of Bel Air"

    • Ghg

      no lie i beat it to a lighter skinned porn lookalike of ashley banks (courtney devine, looks sorta like her with the right hair) and came back to this post to apologize to you. now im going to go watch the ashley double date episode and reminise on good times. i actually liked the episode when hillary turned ashley into a clone of her so i could fulfill my threesome fantasies

    • Anonymous

      ashley was closer to my age dog, i said as a lil shawty and im talkin when ashley was in highschool, going on dates and shit lookin all fine remember when will took her on a double date to the mini golf

    • Ghg

      If you wasn't jacking it to Hillary then you a pedophile

  • Tatyana Ali

    I have no music career. This site needs to stop lying

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Shawty lookin aight after all these years She was my original celebrity crush, had a lil nigga fantasizing for the first time in 1990

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  • Anonymous

    she seems cool. its weird cause shes a woman, but she was always growing up in the show. it must be weird for her

  • Anonymous

    Kiss the Sky is the debut album by American singer and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air actress Tatyana Ali. The album was released in August 1998, peaking at #106 on the Billboard 200 and #47 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

  • NM

    Nah..Boo...Will Smith was not one of the best rappers because he was not a lyricist...a Grammy does not make you the best...it just makes you famous...dig

  • A


  • Anonymous


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