Meet Squid Game Star Reagan To: From Netflix Sensation to Hollywood Rising Star

Photo Credit: Tim Schaeffer Photography @lindsphoto / Hair: Mika Fowler @mikahairstylist / Makeup: Anton Khachaturian @antonmakeup / Stylist: Alex Clough @alexclough.style

Reagan To, best known as the English Dub voice of the iconic Squid Game Doll, is rapidly becoming a household name. Squid Game has officially broken records, becoming Netflix’s biggest series launch, reaching more than 1.65 billion hours of viewing. The series follows Seong Gi-hun and hundreds of desperate, indebted contestants competing in a high-stakes, violent competition. Reagan’s chilling portrayal of the Squid Game Doll has become a viral phenomenon, inspiring a recent Saturday Night Live (SNL) skit. Additionally, she voices the main character’s daughter, adding to her growing list of credits.

Reagan is no stranger to the small screen, with notable appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! alongside stars like Channing Tatum, Rami Malek, Lena Waithe, and Guillermo Rodriguez. Her rising prominence in the industry was further recognized when she presented at the Movieguide Awards, which aired on UPtv. Her presence at this event highlighted her status as an up-and-comer in Hollywood.

Her career shows no signs of slowing down. She can be heard as “Big Kid Ember” in the animated Pixar movie Elemental. Her talent and charisma have earned her a loyal fanbase, with a large verified social media presence, including over 1 million likes and 130,000 followers on TikTok, as well as 173,000 followers on Instagram. Her impact on popular culture was highlighted when her video with Young Hollywood host Joely Live went viral on TikTok, amassing over 16 million views to date.

Beyond her acting career, Reagan is an award-winning Latin ballroom dancer, having trained under renowned instructor Shirley Ballas. She competes in dance competitions around the world and complements her ballroom expertise with ballet, showcasing her versatile talent in dance. Reagan’s creative pursuits also extend to modeling, with credits for top brands such as Nike, Old Navy, Forever21, and Little Tikes. She is a budding musician, proficient in piano and flute, and is currently learning guitar. In her spare time, Reagan loves to bake and dreams of opening her own bakery.

Reagan’s impressive versatility and dedication continue to capture the attention of both fans and industry professionals. As her career unfolds, there’s no doubt that Reagan is a star on the rise. StarCentral Kids recently caught up with Reagan, and here’s what happened:

Wow, being part of Squid Game must have been amazing! How does it feel to be part of a super cool show that lots of kids love to watch?

I feel like I’m living in a dream! I see a lot of fans love the show, and the Squid Game pop-up experiences are incredible! I don’t think kids my age can watch it yet, but it does not feel real when I still hear the doll’s voice pop up on TikTok and everywhere on social media. I’m not allowed to watch the show, so I really cherish every time a fan comes up and gives their support. Recently, I was also super lucky to be part of the cast for Disney’s Elemental! Meeting fans at the premiere was such a crazy experience as well, and they were all supportive when I was doing interviews for the movie, too. They are just as excited as I am about Elemental. Thank you to all our fans!

Your character, the Squid Game Doll, has become really popular on the internet! What’s the most fun or exciting thing about being a famous character like that?

What amazed me was how quickly the voice/character became viral! The funny thing is that I’m not allowed to watch shows like that, but I heard my voice all over social media! I was surprised when my friends asked, “Wait… isn’t that your voice on Saturday Night Live?” for the Squid Game skit. It’s magical to hear my voice all over the world!

Squid Game is such a cool show with lots of action and surprises. What do you think makes it so much fun for kids to watch?

I wished I knew. I’m just a kid! My friends and I could not watch the show, and even at the studio, I was not told too much about the show. That actually made it very special because I really enjoyed working with my cast mates and the voice director on Squid Game. There were a lot of emotional scenes, and we had to get everything together just right. We didn’t know anything about what would happen to our characters, and I got to focus only on the scenes I had. I think everyone likes that because the script feels very real. I also voiced another character in Squid Game, too, and those scenes took longer to perfect. We try to put ourselves in our voices, and I think that’s what the fans really love about all the cast and voices on the show.

Photo Credit: Tim Schaeffer Photography @lindsphoto / Hair: Mika Fowler @mikahairstylist / Makeup: Anton Khachaturian @antonmakeup / Stylist: Alex Clough @alexclough.style

You also voiced the daughter of the main character in Squid Game. Can you tell us more about how you brought that character to life and what it was like?

I had a blast voicing Ga-Yeong in the show! It was exciting and challenging, but getting my voice right was tricky at first. I kept asking myself, “Do I have moments with my dad just like her with her father?” Then it hit me! My dad and I always have movie nights, so I thought I found the perfect inspiration. I wanted to make her voice real and relatable. I was thinking back to those nights to perfect Ga-Yeong’s voice. It was such a cool process with the voice director, and I’m very grateful to bring the voice to life.

You’ve been on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with some really famous stars. What was it like being on TV with them? Did you get to meet any other cool people?

I feel very lucky to have met everyone on Jimmy Kimmel Live! My dad and I watch the show together, so we look up to them! It was super magical to film with Mr. Rami Malek. We spent the whole day at the Museum of Ice Cream. I was nervous at first, but he was very friendly and shared advice, too. Mr. Channing Tatum and Ms. Lena Waithe are all super friendly and hilarious in person, and that made it very hard to stop laughing at our skits behind the camera every time. I can’t wait to be back!

You have a lot of fans on social media who love seeing what you’re up to! How do you balance being a regular kid with being famous on the internet?

When I was super young, I went through a very scary experience at the hospital. It was like, whoa, everything just stopped for a bit. It changed how I see things. Now I appreciate the little stuff way more. And it makes me want to grab every cool opportunity and just try it out, from acting and dancing to everything in between! But that also means I had to learn a lot about managing time and focus. Practice is key, and I learned that on the way to the world dance competitions. For me, a perfect day is when I get to spend the morning on my studies, followed by ballroom practice with my dance partner. I love being curious and trying out new performances, characters, and voices. That’s when I get to be myself!

Photo Credit: Tim Schaeffer Photography @lindsphoto / Hair: Mika Fowler @mikahairstylist / Makeup: Anton Khachaturian @antonmakeup / Stylist: Alex Clough @alexclough.style

Besides acting, you’re also a really talented dancer! How does dancing make you feel, and do you ever use your dance moves when you’re acting?

I have been dancing Latin ballroom for over seven years now. Every time I step on the dance floor, let me tell you, it’s like pure joy! Latin dance is all about those unique body movements, and I love bringing all this energy with every step. It’s perfect because I get to show my personality. And Ballroom dancing? Oh, it’s elegant, and it’s classy. I feel like I’m a Disney princess out there on the dance floor every time! I love it when I get to combine dance and acting together. The other day, I was on set for Young Sheldon, and between scenes, I found some time to practice for my next Latin Dancing competition, and suddenly, the whole cast started to dance as well! I showed Iain (Armitage) a few moves, and we had so much fun! We need more dancing in the world, and honestly, moments like this make my daily dance practice all worth it.

What are some of your dreams and goals for the future? Do you want to keep acting, or do you have other things you want to do too?

I’m going to keep acting and dancing! I love telling stories with my performances, and it’s awesome when they can hit in all sorts of emotions. I was in a short film, Eureka, and I really enjoyed the experience of talking about Asian American history. That inspires me to keep acting and explore exciting stories. And hey, the other day I was thinking of a story of a professional dancer who doesn’t have a home and she has to travel alone everywhere. That’s the role I want to play. Thank you for chatting with me today!

Introducing Your Newly Crowned Miss Little, Junior, and Teen Earth Australia 2023

Photos courtesy of Bob Reyes

On the evening of April 29, 2023, the grand ballroom in Tang Media Performing Arts Centre was abuzz with excitement as eleven exceptional kids and teens from across Australia took to the stage to compete for the coveted titles of Miss Little Earth, Miss Junior Earth, and Miss Teen Earth Australia 2023.

The competition was fierce, with each contestant bringing their unique talents and strengths to the stage. The audience was left spellbound as the finalists for Miss Little Earth 2023, Serena Antonia Peralta, Jayden Kaitlin Ederadan, and Adrielle Avie Morales, showcased their poise, grace, and charisma. Their performances were nothing short of spectacular, and it was evident that the judges had a tough decision to make.

The contestants for Miss Junior Earth Australia 2023, Ellie Marie Bojarskil, Jehan Namrawi, Sittie Mariam Busok Calle, and Layla David, left the audience in awe with their show-stopping performances. Their talent and grace were truly remarkable, and it was evident that they had worked tirelessly to prepare for this moment.

Finally, the contestants for Miss Teen Earth Australia, Chantelle Marie Rowland, Jerlyn Rama Gubat, Jadila Namrawi, and Donita Webb, took to the stage and showcased their remarkable talents, confidence, and beauty. Their performances were breathtaking, and it was evident that they had poured their heart and soul into their preparations.

After much deliberation, Serena Antonia Peralta was crowned Miss Little Earth 2023, much to the delight of the audience. Ellie Marie Bojarskil was named Miss Junior Earth Australia 2023, and Chantelle Marie Rowland was crowned Miss Teen Earth Australia, rounding off an unforgettable night of glamour, beauty, and talent.

The Miss Little, Junior, and Teen Earth Australia 2023 coronation night was a resounding success, and all the contestants should be proud of their remarkable achievements. Their dedication, hard work, and passion for positively impacting the world are truly inspirational, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for these exceptional young women. Their performances were a testament to their determination, talent, and grace, and it was evident that they were all winners in their own right. Here’s to another successful year of the Miss Little, Junior, and Teen Earth Australia pageant and the continued success of these remarkable young women.

Below are the complete set of winners overall:

SPECIAL AWARDS WINNERS

Miss Photogenic

Miss Little Earth Australia – Serena Antonia Peralta
Miss Junior Earth Australia – Ellie Marie Bojarski
Miss Teen Earth Australia – Jadila Namrawi

Miss Talent

Miss Little Earth Australia – Serena Antonia Peralta
Miss Junior Earth Australia – Jehan Namrawi
Miss Teen Earth Australia – Chantelle Marie Rowland

Miss Friendship

Miss Little Earth Australia – Adrielle Avie Morales
Miss Junior Earth Australia Fire – Layla David
Miss Teen Earth Australia Fire – Donita Webb

People’s Choice

Miss Little Earth Australia Air – Jayden Kaitlin Ederadan
Miss Junior Earth Australia Water – Sittie Mariam Busok Calle
Miss Teen Earth Australia – Chantelle Marie Rowland

Environmental Speech

Miss Little Earth Australia Air – Jayden Kaitlin Ederadan
Miss Junior Earth Australia – Ellie Marie Bojarski
Miss Teen Earth Australia – Chantelle Marie Rowland

Green Achievers

Miss Little Earth Australia Air – Jayden Kaitlin Ederadan
Miss Junior Earth Australia Air – Jehan Namrawi
Miss Teen Earth Australia Air – Jerlyn Rama Gubat

Long Gown Competition

Miss Little Earth Australia – Serena Antonia Peralta
Miss Junior Earth Australia – Ellie Marie Bojarski
Miss Teen Earth Australia – Chantelle Marie Rowland

Festival Rave Competition

Miss Little Earth Australia Air – Jayden Kaitlin Ederadan
Miss Junior Earth Australia – Ellie Marie Bojarski
Miss Teen Earth Australia – Chantelle Marie Rowland

Miss Little Earth Australia 2023 and her Elemental Court

Miss Little Earth Australia 2023 – Serena Antonia Peralta
Miss Little Earth Australia Air 2023 – Jayden Kaitlin Ederadan
Miss Little Earth Australia Fire 2023 – Adrielle Avie Morales

Miss Junior Earth Australia 2023 and her Elemental Court

Miss Junior Earth Australia 2023 – Ellie Marie Bojarski
Miss Junior Earth Australia Air 2023 – Jehan Namrawi
Miss Junior Earth Australia Water 2023 – Sittie Mariam Busok Calle
Miss Junior Earth Australia Fire 2023 – Layla David

Miss Teen Earth Australia 2023 and her Elemental Court

Miss Teen Earth Australia 2023 – Chantelle Marie Rowland
Miss Teen Earth Australia Air 2023 – Jerlyn Rama Gubat
Miss Teen Earth Australia Water 2023 – Jadila Namrawi
Miss Teen Earth Australia Fire 2023 – Donita Webb

Get To Know The Breakout Star of Netflix’s 13: The Musical: Frankie McNellis

Photographed by: Jules Kaye I Hair by: Mika I Styled by: Adeel Khan

16-year-old Filipina singer, dancer, and actress Frankie McNellis is the breakout STAR of Netflix’s upcoming musical feature film 13: THE MUSICAL, which was released globally on August 12, 2022, in over 190 countries to 220 MILLION subscribers. Starring opposite Emmy Award-winning actresses Debra Messing and Rhea Perlman, as well as Josh Peck of “Drake & Josh” fame, the film is the screen adaptation of the groundbreaking Broadway musical 13, which was Ariana Grande and Elizabeth Gillies (“Victorious”) big debut.

13: THE MUSICAL centers on ‘Evan Goldman’ (Eli Golden), who, after his parent’s divorce, moves from NYC to small-town Indiana and must master the complex social circles of his new school and win friends by turning his Bar Mitzvah into the coolest party of the year. McNellis plays ‘Lucy’, a popular and mischievous cheerleader who has a crush on the boy that her best friend ‘Kendra’ also likes. She plots an elaborate scheme to prevent them from kissing, roping in an unwitting ‘Evan’. The role, which originally starred Elizabeth Gillies on Broadway, also features one of the film’s most elaborate and impressive musical numbers (“Opportunity”), with Frankie leading the song and dance routine.

The breakthrough role comes at the heels of another momentous starring role for McNellis, who booked the job while filming the Sony Pictures and Build-A-Bear Entertainment film HONEY GIRLS, now streaming on Netflix. In the film, mega pop star ‘Fancy G’ (Ashanti) hosts a contest to find the next big solo artist. But the young contestants’ Alex’ (McNellis), ‘Charlie’ (Ava Grace), and ‘Maya’ (Aliyah Mastin) realize they are “better together” and secretly form a band called Honey Girls which become a huge hit cloaked in mystery.

Born in Gilbert, Arizona, McNellis, half Filipino and half English/Scottish, has been singing since she was born and began taking dancing classes and vocal and piano lessons at age 5. At about nine years old, she auditioned for ARIZONA’S GOT TALENT, where she was a finalist and met her manager. Soon after, she booked her first job and made a move to Los Angeles at the age of 11 to pursue her dreams of working in entertainment. In 2019, she joined the famed Pentatonix-formed kid’s acapella group AcaPops! KIDS, whose videos have over 6 MILLIONS of views on YouTube. In her free time, McNellis enjoys writing her own music and dancing at Millennium Dance studio, where hip hop and jazz funk are her favorite dance styles. She plays the guitar, piano, drums, and base and aspires to be a global pop star.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Frankie to discuss her journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I have been training in music and dance since the age of 5. My dad is a musician, so I got my musical genes from him! When I was 8, I competed in a talent competition where I met my manager, Mattie from Mattie Management. She sent me my first audition, and the rest is history.

What do you like most about acting?

I love being able to transform into a completely different person. I get to break out of my shell and do things that I wouldn’t typically do in my everyday life. I also love being on camera.

Can you tell us about your role in 13: The Musical?

I play the popular mean girl Lucy Hallman in the film. Lucy is a popular cheerleader that is determined to kiss her best friend’s boyfriend. Although she makes horrible mistakes, she grows and becomes a better person.

What sort of person is going to relate to this character?

Anyone could find a unique way of relating to Lucy. She is a popular middle school girl who abuses the use of her popularity and threatens to ruin Evan Goldman’s life if he doesn’t do what she wants. She tends to think that she is always right, even though that might not always be the case.

How is this character like you? Different?

Lucy and I are both very determined girls. When we say we are going to do something, we truly mean it. I, however, would not stab my best friend in the back and make her cry on purpose.

Photographed by: Jules Kaye I Hair by: Mika I Styled by: Adeel Khan

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?

I will always be a fan of Liz Gillies and how she played the role on Broadway back in 2008. She is iconic, and it would be cool to see her reprise the role.

Besides yourself, which actor/s in this musical is going to blow people away?

All of the kids are so insanely talented. I am so excited for everyone to get to know each and every character because we all bring different elements to the film. Gabriella Uhl, Lindsey Blackwell, JD McCrary, Eli Golden, Jonathan Lengel, Ramon Reed, and Nolen Dubuc are absolute stars in the film and the songs they all sing are definitely showstoppers.

What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?

The biggest challenge to taking on this role would probably be the amount of stamina needed to perform the song “Opportunity.” Lucy Hallman is a cheerleader, so singing live and dancing at 6 in the morning was fun but a lot of hard work.

If you could play any other character in this series, who would it be?

Fun fact! I was actually first asked to audition for the role of Kendra. It would’ve been very interesting to see me in that role, but Lindsey Blackwell was definitely made to play Kendra.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Filming 13: The Musical is definitely the most memorable experience for me. Working on this project was so fun, and being in Canada for six months with my best friends was a dream.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

It was so cool meeting Jason Robert Brown. He is such an iconic Broadway legend, and working with him was the coolest thing ever. He is such a kind, talented, and genuinely funny person.

How active are you on social media?

I am always on my phone! I love posting on TikTok and Instagram. (NOTE: You can follow Frankie on Social Media via Instagram: @FrankieMcNellis and TikTok: @FrankieMcNellis)

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I dream of being a successful popstar like Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, etc. Although many little girls say that, I truly mean it, and I know it will happen one day!

Rising Star Spotlight: Find Out More About Music Star Desi G

Vancouver-based influencer and musician Desi G went viral when a video of her performing attracted the attention of the internet.

Music has always been a part of Desi and is ingrained in her identity; she has had a passion for singing since she could string 3-4 words together. She started performing on stage when she was six years old at schools, local events, and festivals. She has been involved in school plays and was cast in several semi-professional plays through the Delta Youth Theatre. Not stopping at just singing and acting, Desi also plays the violin, piano, and clarinet.

Desi also raises her voice for social injustice and racial discrimination issues. According to her, “My music is a vehicle that allows every emotion to freely engage with the music and with those that listen and embrace my music. The biggest motivation behind my music is connection. That is the connection with music, myself, and with others.” She was also quick to credit her fans, who encouraged her to perform better.

To give back to the community, Desi partnered with local singers on a single to raise money to help provide lifesaving resources to frontline workers in Canada. A portion of the proceeds from the single, ‘Canadian Girl Power – We Are The World,” released on Dec 13, was pledged to CanadaHelps COVID-19 Healthcare & Hospital Fund.

With a fast-rising fanbase of 1.4 million followers and 100k Spotify listeners, Desi G recently released her new album of all original songs titled “Lucid Thoughts.” A highlight from the album is Online World, an infectious bop about the pressures and frustrations of a life lived for Instagram.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Desi G to discuss her journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:

How did you get started in the music industry? How were you actually ‘discovered’?

I have been singing since I was a little girl and started taking vocal lessons when I was six years of age. I then competed in local competitions and was also in three musical theatre plays. I wanted to be able to start recording like my idols, so I started to attend a recording studio, and the owner, who is a music producer, Andrew Van Slee, took me under his wing. About three years ago, I started putting my music onto social media and built a large following on my Instagram page, currently at 1.4 million followers. This year I was also verified on Instagram.

What do you like most about singing?

Singing is a part of who I am; it completes me. Music, in general, is like a heartbeat for me. I love how I can be creative and express emotions that I can’t necessarily put into words, but I can express them through song.

Can you tell us about your album Lucid Thoughts?

Lucid Thoughts is a compilation of songs that I wrote during Covid. It was written when I was figuring out who I was and figuring out my relationship with myself and others and the feelings that I went through it. I utilized the songs that I’ve written in this album as a coping tool and way to empower myself and, hopefully, empower others.

What sort of person is going to love this album?

I sing pop, so it does open it up to a wider audience, but there are some songs that are a little edgy yet deep and could appeal to an indie audience. I’ve had teens that have reached out and told me they were inspired by my songs or really felt that they could relate to my songs and I’ve also had adults say the same thing. Because a lot of my songs are based on connection, they can really be relatable at all age levels.

What inspires you to be creative?

Life and experiences inspire me. A lot of my personal experiences and world experiences are translated into my songs.

Is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset?

I do have a schedule and set time where I do songwriting, but as many songwriters have experienced, songwriter’s block does happen. When that happens, I take a break and do something for myself, whether that is going rollerskating, going for a walk, or just having some me time. Sometimes I will get an idea in the middle of the night, and I always make sure that I have a book next to my bed to write down those ideas or record it on my phone, so I don’t forget.

What message, if any, do you try to put into your work?

We’re not alone, and it’s OK not to be OK; it’s OK to have the feelings we are having and to learn and grow from them.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

I think my most memorable experience would be actually recording my own songs. It was definitely a highlight to see my songs come to life beyond my bedroom walls. Another highlight is the connections I have made with other musicians and artists who truly inspire me. I have met some inspirational and very talented musicians, and it’s truly been an honor. I even had the honour to meet Bryan Adams in person through my journey, which was absolutely beyond amazing. He’s such a legendary artist and truly just such a kind and caring person.

Who is your greatest influence?

My influences in my music career are Billie Eilish, Celine Dion, Adele, and Barbra Streisand.

If you hadn’t chosen your field, what would your alternate field have been?

That’s an interesting question. A lot of people don’t know this, but I love biology. Since I was little, I have been fascinated with the body. So if I wasn’t in this industry, I might have pursued a career in genetics or something to do with medicine.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it

Well, I currently finished writing 14 more songs, which will go into another album that I’ll be recording at the end of this month. I plan to release that album and continue writing and growing my skill set in the industry. I want to learn more about making beats, really understanding the whole process, and producing music. My future goals are to continue working towards being nominated for the Juno Awards and eventually tour the world.

Rising Star Francine Diaz Makes Her Debut In A Metro Cover

Francine Diaz, one of ABS-CBN’s most sought-after next gen leading ladies, continues her 18th birthday celebration with a classic-romantic fashion editorial. The gorgeous Star Magic artist makes her grand debut in a  Metro digital cover, modeling dreamy and sparkly creations by fashion designer Michael Leyva.

Francine, whose breakout role was via the 2018 TV series “Kadenang Ginto,” is now making another breakthrough as a rising leading lady, this time without her “Gold Squad” co-members. She’s the star of the upcoming iWantTFC limited series “Bola Bola,” which features a coming-of-age story that delves on body positivity. In this new show, Francine is paired with three up-and-coming actors: Vance Larena, BGYO’s Akira Morishita, and KD Estrada.

In her exclusive interview on Metro.Style, the cover girl talks more about this upcoming project, as well as her struggles to get to where she is now, her thoughts on turning 18, despite being an old soul.

Francine’s three-cover special with Metro was revealed one by one through a livestream on “Metro Chats” via Kumu’s FYE Channel, and it was the first time this top fashion and lifestyle brand unveiled a cover in this manner. Francine dropped by the show, where the young star saw her covers for the first time, and she’s so happy with the shoot’s outcome because it was something she has never done before.

This cover was photographed by Seven Barretto, under the creative direction of Chookie Cruz and supervision of Metro.Style People section editor Grace Libero-Cruz. The glam team was composed of makeup artist Denise Go-Ochoa, hairstylist Brent Sales, and fashion stylists Drew Lacia and John Erick Reyes. The production design was by Dindo Pangalangan and Che Katigbak of Rooster Production Design. The video outputs were by Pat Buenaobra. The cover story was by Metro staff writer Renee Nuevo. The shoot was also made possible with coordination by Metro editor-in-chief Geolette Esguerra and managing Editor Ceia Ylagan.

For more exclusive articles, visit Metro.Style and @metrodotstyle on IG and Twitter, and /metrodotstyle on Facebook. #MetroLovesFrancineDiaz

Rising Star Spotlight: Find Out More About La’teisha Fernandez

La’teisha Fernandez was previously crowned International United Miss – Teen Australia. She has been involved in Australian Pageantry for a number of years now, competing in both Miss Style and Glitz Pageantry.

La’teisha is also a trained Disability Support Worker, who is passionate about Disability and Aged Care and ensuring the more vulnerable members of our community have a voice. She volunteers weekly at the Ability Care Programme, where children of varying intellectual and physical disabilities are taught sporting skills and primarily have lots of fun. She believes strongly that pageantry is more than just a pretty face, it’s about using your title to give back to the community by volunteering, raising funds and awareness for charities, and importantly being the change you want to see in the World.

StarCentral Kids recently caught up with La’teisha to discuss her pageant journey and here’s what went down:

1. How did you get into the pageant industry? How were you actually ‘discovered’?

I wish it was something as glamourous as being discovered but the reality was, I was 11 years old at the time when I saw the Miss Universe competition on TV. I did some research about beauty pageants and found out that there were other pageants in Australia besides Miss Universe Australia. I convinced my mum to enter me, and I have loved them ever since.

2. What do you like most about being a beauty queen?

I love being on stage but more importantly, being a queen that allows me to promote causes close to my heart. I volunteer at the Broadbeach disability program where we work with children who have varying physical and intellectual disabilities. Being a beauty queen is more than what’s on the outside, and what we do with that title is what makes us a true queen.

3. The downside to being a beauty queen?

The negative judgment you can get from some people because they don’t understand what a “beauty queen” is. But I have learned from a young age to not worry about what people think of me. It’s more important to stay true to yourself.

4. What has been the most memorable experience of being in the pageant industry so far?

I was competing at a local pageant and just before the interview segment, I got makeup all over my interview dress, the dress was unusable. To my relief, another entrant, Bek and her mum Nicole came to my rescue and loaned me a dress of theirs. I went on to win that section of the pageant, which would not have been possible without their kindness. It reinforced to me, that whilst we are competing against each other, we can still be kind and caring. Luckily I was able to repay their kindness by lending Bek a dress of mine which she wore when winning a prestigious international pageant. We are friends to this day and value their support and love.

5. Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I was fortunate enough to meet Steve Roddy (founder of the pageant planet). During our lengthy conversation he found out I was having a pageant break at the time, he was so incredibly encouraging and convincing about me returning to pageantry. I value his advice and support to this day.

6. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the pageant industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

You should never compare yourself to anyone else, you are your own person and unique in every way. Don’t try to blend in, your difference is what makes you unique.

7. Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

Being in a big family means no one lets anyone else take themselves too seriously. I was always brought up to be kind to everyone no matter what their job is, what they look like, and how they act to you. it’s important to look past the exterior of a person.

8. Is your family supportive of you being in the pageant industry?

Yes, my family has always been my biggest fan. They have always gone to my pageants, been my biggest cheer squad, and made an effort to help me practice my routines and speeches.

9. What are your future plans? Inside pageantry or out of it.

I completed my study this year to be a disability carer and start working in June for an amazing organisation whose focus is on providing support to not only Disabled members of our community but to refugees and their families as well. I feel very blessed to be able to fulfill my passion in this area.

I am currently Teen Australia for International United Miss and am very excited to be a part of this amazing organisation who values community service and charitable work. I hope to compete in the US in July this year.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Frozen 2

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Being caring and kind to not only your loved ones but to random people.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Go to a third world country and experience living in the small villages and to help where I can.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” Swim with sharks

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My nose, I used to be really insecure about my “Indian nose” but since I have gotten older I have realised that it makes me unique and makes me “me”.

Introducing The Incredible K3 Sisters Band

Described by Variety as an “All-Female Band Blowing Up on TikTok”, the K3 Sisters Band is a group of three Dallas-born sisters Kaylen (20), Kelsey (19), and Kristen (16) who have struck it big on the platform, amassing a quarter billion views and 36 million likes on TikTok alone! The musically talented sisters have found a niche performing harmonic melodies inspired by Harry Potter. They also write and perform their own music for a weekly Live show on their YouTube channel every Saturday at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET.

In just a year, the K3 Sisters Band has exploded across TikTok and social media, with Teens and Tweens alike falling in love with the girl’s beautiful songwriting and lyrics, funny original videos, and amazing cosplay costumes. But it’s not just Gen-Z who has taken notice, FORBES, GOOD MORNING AMERICA and VARIETY have all featured the girls, hailing them as the future of music for their fortitude to use TikTok and social media to release their own original content. Having performed LIVE at venues large and small for years, the girls were ready to keep their fans entertained when stay-at-home orders hit due to COVID19. They set up their own home stage and began streaming live weekly shows on their YouTube channel. Heavily influenced by folk-rock legends like Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young, the girls have added their own ‘girl power’ twist to their music, with elements of folk-pop, Celtic, country, and rock. True hippies at heart, the girls released their most recent LIVE album “Earth Day 2020” in April which celebrates nature and Mother Earth with hits like “Cotton Candy Sky” and “California Redwood.” Most recently, as an ode to their Harry Potter-loving fans, they released the single “Queen Bellatrix”.

In the winter of 2019, they began doing LIVE performances across YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Soon their TikTok blew up when people discovered that they were not only musicians but also cos-players and actresses honing their acting skills on short skit videos, especially ones centered around Harry Potter. This led to a quarter-billion international views on TikTok in less than a year! Now many international brands have reached out to them looking to book them for endorsements and campaigns, but the girls have made a conscious decision to remain true to their brand and only work with other brands that are an organic fit, such as the recent videos they did with K-SWISS who just launched a “Harry Potter” inspired line of shoes. The videos have already received millions of views in just a few days, a true testament to their rising influence.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with the three K3 Sisters, Kaylen, Kelsey, and Kristen, and here’s what went down:

How did you get started in the music industry?

Kaylen: Our families on both sides going back 4 generations were into music which included singing, playing instruments, and performing on stage. So, at every family gathering, it was a tradition to form a circle, sing, and play instruments. At the time, it seemed to us that we were the “stars” of these “shows” at 4 and 5 years old!

Kelsey: Our mom and dad met on stage, and formed a band for which we did hundreds of cameo appearances growing up. Also, all three of us began studying the violin when we turned 4 years old. We loved “charming the audience” when we 3 sang and performed fiddle tunes across Texas, Oklahoma, and on cruise ships with our parents and grandparents.

Kristen: For about 8 years we appeared weekly on several North Texas stages where we sang, acted, and performed hundreds of shows for children who were part of various homeschooled groups and church groups. We also created a “Power of 3” show with educational elements and performed it for 19 public school elementary-age assemblies in either their gym or cafetorium. What was so ironic is that there we were performing for public schools, but we never attended one day of public school in our lives! Our parents decided to home school us because they both have teaching degrees, and wanted to keep touring and playing music with us in tow!

How were you actually discovered?

Kelsey: Well, it was an “overnight sensation” that only took 11 years! You see, with all the hundreds of shows we did growing up, we caught the attention of everything from Americas Got Talent to ABC’s Good Morning America and Nickelodeon’s Americas Most Musical Family shows. But in a twist of fate, after performing for their producers, we always refused to sign the final contracts preferring to keep developing as a “do it yourself” operation where we keep control of all our music, merch, and brand. But all this exposure began to add up.

Kristen: We began getting coverage in various North Texas newspapers and invited to perform at some pretty big venues such as state and local fairs and festivals, Great Wolf Lodge, and Six Flags Over Texas to name a few. Each appearance and the promotion of it on our social media increased our reach throughout Texas and beyond.

Kaylen: The huge catalytic event that resulted in our international “discovery” as performing artists was our meteoric rise on TikTok. In less than a year we garnered 1.7 million followers and over 228 million views of us singing, acting, and basically cutting up! Besides our highly produced content, one reason we popped was that the Covid-19 pandemic forced us and just about everyone else in the world into the role of a captive audience. And, as fate would have it, we ended up being incredibly entertaining and popular with this global captive audience!

Can you tell us about your single Queen Bellatrix?

Kristen: Queen Bellatrix is a song that I developed overtime during the pandemic. In the process of blowing up on TikTok and our other social media platforms, we loved the attention and praise. But suddenly, we began getting hate comments out of nowhere from internet “trolls”. In particular, I was falsely accused and bullied on my anime/cosplay account. It really hurt me. So, after considering how Taylor Swift and others have written songs to deal with mean things like this, I ended up creating an original character modeled after Harry Potter’s bully character, Bellatrix Le Strange. The song became a kind of a release of the pain and frustration I was feeling. I made it end with this fictional bully getting what she had coming. Over time it has really helped me, but surprisingly Queen Bellatrix has become one of our most requested fan favorites at our live stream shows because I often get dressed up in a black dress, and lose myself during the song into a wild split-personality character in order to perform it. You can watch the original music video on our YouTube channel, or check out live versions on one of our weekly live stream shows.

What sort of people are most likely to love your two most recent live albums “Apple of My Eye” and “Earth Day 2020 LIVE”?

Kaylen: One fact about our K3 Sisters Band is that every concert is quite different than the last one. We constantly draw from dozens of songs we’ve written which include many different styles and genres. We have covered everything from pop to light rock, world, Texas swing, Celtic, ballads, instrumentals, and folk numbers. So, there is something in our shows for just about every age and liking. People of all ages and cultures really get into our love songs.

Kristen: Lately, we have been hearing us described as “a band that defies description.” We take that as a compliment because we have a love for so many different styles of music. As a result, we attract people who like variety in music. Of course, the fact that we are all multi-instrumentalists really keeps them guessing as we’re switching instruments every other song. I think the fact that instead of trying to do what we think this or that audience would like, we do what we like and see who wants to join our unique musical ride. So far it’s working.

Kelsey: Since our TikTok account blasted us onto the international scene earlier this year, we are totally amazed at how many teens from over 50 countries around the world come to our live stream shows and chat live with us during the shows. They are also flocking to our website where they can listen to our music for free, watch us perform live, and read our detailed biographical info. When we live chat during YouTube premieres, or before our YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook live stream concerts, it’s not uncommon to find all of us trying to read multiple languages, and finding out how many states and foreign countries are represented on the live chat with us. It’s incredibly exhilarating to be serving and sharing life with young people close to our ages all over the world. And the fact that we are willing to connect with them keeps them coming back to a meaningful relationship with us as well as with the other regulars that attend pretty much every premiere and live stream show.

What inspires you to be creative?

Kaylen: Our creative inspirations range from current events to personal joys and struggles that we have undergone or are currently experiencing. These situations are the food for thought that feeds our creativity. As I’m strumming an acoustic guitar, I never know what will suddenly pop into my mind or come out of the guitar. When it does, I often feed and develop it into a song or ballad that we all help shape, arrange, and enjoy performing. At other times it’s just plain old strumming!

Kristen: Sometimes it hits me like a bolt of lightning, and I record snippets of melodies or lyrics into my cell phone notes for further development. At other times, it is a more constructive, intentional, and thought out work process such as with Queen Bellatrix. It’s not uncommon for me to take up to 3 years to develop some songs, and less than an hour for others! I think it’s all about how I feel at the moment. Also, I’m not afraid to “shelf” a song unfinished, and be creative over a long stretch. Kind of chip away at it when it feels right. Quite unpredictable though! No deadlines either.

Kelsey: I believe that we got “creativity genes” from our parents and several older relatives who traversed the fields of creativity before us, and passed the passion on to us. Also, as part of our homeschooling, our dad had us researching all kinds of singer-songwriters from the ’50s, 60’s and 70’s, as well as watching all of the Rock Legends shows and giving an oral report on each artist or band. We spent our tip money and savings attending concerts from the greats such as One Direction, Five Seconds of Summer, Cheetah Girls, Dead & Co., Haim, Charlie Puth, and Twenty One Pilots to name a few. They added to our creative juices big time!

Is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset?

Kristen: Sometimes I just need to release some emotions, and find myself writing music.

Kelsey: Well at times I’ve just been writing some poetry for fun, and suddenly thought, wait…this could be tailored into song lyrics. For instance, that’s exactly what happened on my song “Upside Down World” which you can still see somewhere on YouTube with us walking behind a kiddie train in a park for kids. The cameraman was sitting in the little caboose!

Kaylen: Definitely. When I’m practicing long or short hours on guitar or fiddle, as I said earlier, it quite often turns into a creative moment, but not always. Practicing is more than just practicing if you let your mind wander. And I’ve found it’s best to do this creative wandering in private.

What message, if any, do you try to put into your work?

Kristen: OMG! It turns out that all three of us embed a lot of double meanings and symbolism into our lyrics. Some of this stems from our analysis of lyrics as part of our homeschooling English lessons. Great songwriters like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Jerry Garcia use such colorful imagery in their songs that we have learned to do the same. So, it could be there is a simple meaning, as well as a much, much deeper message of hope, sorrow, or philosophy in our original songs.

Kaylen: We try to uncover the kinds of feelings that people we meet are experiencing. Then, we write and sing about it. It’s like this. Almost every girl I’ve met wants to be loved and needed, so my song “Apple of My Eye” shouts out the heart-felt hook lines, “Cause I love you and I need you. Do you love me, do you need me like that?” We also detest bullying of any kind, so we have written messages of staying strong into our songs such as “Sticks and Stones”, “Phoenix” and “Livin’ the Dream”.

Kelsey: We also write lyrics that suggest finding love or losing love. As an example, our song “Temporary Guy” explores the relationship of a guy who is only a temporary friend who will never be anything more to the girl than that. “Temporary guy, he can be a friend. He’s there to help you mend, but he’s gone in the end.” We all have had, will have, or know someone who has been involved in either side of these kinds of relationships, and that’s okay. I guess getting hurt and moving on is part of life, and it’s something we can all relate to in a song.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Kristen: The recent successes that we’ve experienced on TikTok. Topping 228 million views of our videos, and reaching a diverse, international audience with our music and content is a thrill beyond description. I will never forget this pandemic because of the silver lining it bestowed on all of us.

Kelsey: I will never forget hearing and “feeling” 3,500 kids clapping and cheering for us as we went out on stage in Garland, Texas to perform our “Power of 3” show. We had performed it in 19 different public school assemblies over two years. Then the school district funded us performing for dozens of schools all at once in an indoor arena. Watching the movie that was made of it so early in our career, it still gives me exciting chills. I kind of can’t believe it was me and my sisters doing that at such a young age. I guess the old saying, “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” is true!

Kaylen: I will never forget setting up at the Dallas Arboretum’s huge outdoor amphitheater last year for a Memorial Day show. It was overlooking the cool White Rock Lake, but we were sweating like mad in 102 degrees Texas heat with only a patio umbrella for shade on a huge flagstone stage which doubled for a frying pan! We were testing out our “large stage outdoor show set up” with full tilt amplification, and it went flawlessly, except…setting up and running all the sound ourselves, doing the two-hour show, and loading out with no help found me on the bathroom floor in my room at home sick as a dog wondering what hit me. It wasn’t a fond memorable experience, but I’ll surely never forget it. It’s okay to share some of the bad stuff that happened on the way up the ladder.

Who is your greatest influence?

Kelsey: Well in songwriting it would be several of the singer-songwriters from the last century such as Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead. But in our zeal to control our work and our “brand,” it would have to be female entrepreneurs such as Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, and Shakira. And, okay, Ed Sheeran and Charlie Puth too!

Kaylen: I absolutely love bands like Twenty One Pilots, Five Seconds of Summer, and other bands that value performing their original songs live. And, it’s not that I hate recording in the studio, it’s just that I am incredibly energized by performing and releasing our music in live settings with all the “flaws,” and without the high tech “safety nets” like auto-tuned vocals, hidden background tracks, and the editing out “unexpected variations”! Like Jerry [Garcia] once said, “making a record is like building a ship in a bottle. Playing live music is like being in a rowboat in the ocean.” I want to perform on that wild and open ocean. And, some of my songwriting is certainly influenced by Taylor Swift, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Crosby Stills & Nash.

Kristen: My dad. He has worked with me on learning how to play mandolin, guitar, and drums, in addition to teaching me a lot about songwriting. But, I’ve also grown to really appreciate the lifetime of works created by Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, and The Beatles. I listen to or watch videos of these musical soul mates every day. And yes, I hear something new and awesome every time which influences and inspires me. You know, I am aware that I don’t create my music in a vacuum. I revere and study the great artists who came before me. That’s a good thing.

Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it choose you?

Kristen: As the youngest sister I have always looked to my sisters as guiding lights in addition to my parents. My earliest memories are of watching them on stage from the front row, and intensely wondering, “Why am I not up there with them?” In fact, more than once I escaped from my babysitter and ran up on stage or in front of the stage to perform for the audience. As I’ve gotten older, however, I have realized that something mysterious is inside me that provokes me to perform. Call it the muses, call it the universe, call it God, or call it destiny it is a powerful force that I don’t fully understand, but I welcome.

Kelsey: Since I was 4 years old I have been singing, studying, and performing on fiddle, listening to crosstalk about the music business, and on long trips in vans, planes, and cruise ships to perform. So, in a way, a path was laid before me that I have followed in a very organic and natural way. In the process, I have evolved to accept the fact that being passionate about my role in the music business is to fulfill my dreams and goals, not other people’s dreams. Having said that, in order to make it happen with the K3 Sisters Band, it is essential to be surrounded by other passionate artists like my sisters, parents and extended family.

Kaylen: Our grandpa is fond of the saying, “You are what you were when.” The story about my dad and grandpa looking through the glass at the hospital nursery the day I was born in Dallas, and discussing whether my long fingers were those of a fiddle player or keyboard player is true! Before I turned four, my dad had me taking private fiddle lessons from a top Suzuki method violin teacher, and my mom, who holds a music degree from Texas Woman’s University was giving me voice lessons. I have fully embraced the life of a touring musician and entertainer as I have grown up. It’s all I’ve ever known, and I love it.

If you hadn’t chosen your field, what would your alternate field have been?

Kaylen: I have always liked meeting children of all backgrounds, and working with them while I was helping my parents teach and entertain hundreds of home school students and church youth groups. I would have been interested in either being a schoolteacher or a music educator.

Kristen: That’s easy. I would have studied acting, and gone to Hollywood to find work in commercials, movies, or television shows. Or, maybe headed to Broadway to perform in the bright lights. And by the way, I believe that all three of us have Hollywood, movies, and TV in our futures. It’s inevitable.

Kelsey: I could envision being in the culinary arts somehow. Maybe as a bakery owner.

What are your future plans? Inside your career and out of it.

Kristen: Well, as I’ve already mentioned, I believe we will be featured in a movie or television show very soon. But as to the immediate future, I am planning on writing enough original songs and generating enough worldwide fans to embark on yearly world tours once this Covid-19 thing comes to an end. I especially love Japan and am hoping to perform there. Maybe when the Warner Bros. Harry Potter studio opens there in 2023 we could perform in our Harry Potter costumes as part of the grand opening!

Kelsey: A great Rascal Flatts song says, “If life is a highway. I want to ride it all night long.” That sums it up for me. I want to keep writing, learning to sing and play instruments better, and go all the way to the top as an entertainer. By the way, I’m studying stand up bass as my newest instrument. Outside of my career, I have become quite the baker during this pandemic. My specialty is cakes. I can see cake baking will somehow become part of my future.

Kaylen: Wow! The future is kind of cloudy right now with this Covid-19 pandemic literally leveling the playing field for entertainers and the music business. I mean, who would have predicted that all of our many shows that were booked for 2020 would be canceled? So, I’m not as sure if our plans to reach people “on the ground” at shows and huge festivals will ever materialize in 2021 or 2022. But, I know that our online reach has been safely launched on several platforms so… that’s where we are headed…for now. Oh, and someday there might just be time for a love relationship. But for now, my career comes first.

LIGHTNING FAST Round Questions:

Last good movie I’ve seen:

Kelsey: Zootopia
Kristen: The Phantom of the Opera
Kaylen: The newest Jumanji film

What do you consider beautiful and why?

Kelsey: I find beauty in small things such as fan art, a letter, or a small gift that someone sends me which holds heartfelt thoughts and memories.
Kristen: I love to hike in forests, and feel strongly that California’s coastal redwoods are the most beautiful, ancient lifeforms on planet earth.
Kaylen: I look at a gourmet meal laid out on a huge table complete with a fantastic dessert to follow as a thing of beauty to look at and enjoy consuming with friends and family.

What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could?

Kristen: I wish I could drive a car. I don’t have my driver’s license yet. But trying to surf on a California beach is also on my list. You don’t need a license for that!
Kaylen: I would like to fly to London, and take the Harry Potter studio tour before taking the train to visit Edinburgh, Scotland where my grandmother was born.
Kelsey: I’ve always wanted to see what it’s like to be in a major glamour magazine cover photoshoot. I’d be wearing expensive diamonds, and decked out in an expensive designer dress both of which were loaned to me just for the shoot.

Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…”

Kaylen: … try driving a race car over 100 miles an hour.
Kristen: … rent a huge theater in Texas, and do a free “social distancing” show for my friends and fans.
Kelsey: … be on the reality TV show Big Brother.

What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself?

Kaylen: I guess it would be getting really frustrated with my sisters when they don’t see things my way on a creative level. I’m kind of a perfectionist because I have perfect pitch.
Kelsey: I like hanging out in my room on my phone more than most. So what!
Kristen: Unfortunately, I tend to be a bit rough around the edges at times when I don’t get my way because, well…I’ve been called a “diva”. But try as I may, I can’t change who I am.

Get To Know Dancer, Model, Actress, And YouTube Personality Amelie Anstett

Photo credit: Kenny Goldberg

Amelie Anstett is an American dancer, model, actress, and YouTube personality. She is a Florida native who started her career at age 7 as a professional dancer. She has shared the stage with high-profile celebrities like Justin Bieber during his Purpose Tour and has danced at The Playground LA with “Dance Moms” reality star JoJo Siwa. Amelie became a YouTube sensation after booking her role as Sade in Brat TV’s Chicken Girls and Chicken Girls: The Docuseries. She then went on to modeling and quickly landed a role in Ruby Rose Turner’s Handbag Launch, followed by being the face of Totto brands Sebastian Yatra line in their worldwide campaign. When not working she spends time supporting Elev8hope, a non-profit organization that focuses on bettering the community and helping anyone in need, no matter the circumstances.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Amelie to discuss her journey in the entertainment industry and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started as an actress/model?

My big break into the entertainment industry happened when I was 12 years old and danced on stage with Justin Bieber. That moment changed my life forever and allowed me to really see my true passion and calling. Justin taught me and is teaching me so many things, and he has truly made such an impact in my life. I’ll never forget him tell me to ‘always believe in myself, follow my dreams, and remember my roots. From this point on I started getting into modeling and acting as well.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your profile?

My goal with social media is to be able to keep spreading that message to be able to connect with people. And as years keep going on, I hope to have a lot going on with acting and dancing,
which will be really cool. The future just takes us on a path, and we’ll see where it goes.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your personal brand’s awareness?

Instagram for sure! I really love how on Instagram I can bring such an awareness of positivity and self-love through Instagram stories, posts, dm’s, etc… It has really allowed me to have so many different ways to communicate with other individuals and grow my following.

Photo credit: Sydney Lau

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your personal brand?

To be honest my main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of my personal brand is consistency. I am very passionate about my motto and I am so grateful that I get to share that passion with other individuals, and show them that I support them, just as much as they support me.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

This is an amazing question and honesty as I have gotten older in this industry there are a lot of tough decisions that need to be made. I am a junior in High School, and you know it’s not always easy, especially at first trying to find time for school, and sometimes you have to make a choice. It took time for me to find the right balance of school and work…and it’s so amazing because it really keeps us focused and balanced.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

Man, it would be so cool to time travel, however, I honestly don’t think that even if I had the chance I would change anything in my journey so far. This is because I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if it doesn’t always make sense at first.

Photo credit: Kenny Goldberg

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

When Justin and I talked backstage, he told me: “Remember who you are and how you started. And always stick to your roots and grow through that.” Which was really cool. And his advice has always stuck with me. Also, I feel so lucky to get to work with so many amazing individuals. Another piece of advice that has always stuck with me is: “Don’t be another little fish in the big pond. Find a way to stand out, and be and show who you really are.”

What advice would you give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Oh, I love this question. With social media, we can’t help but compare ourselves to others. And I think the biggest piece of advice I would give, even though it sounds cliché, is that you truly are amazing as yourself. We live in these shells and there’s nothing we can really do but accept them. It’s about what’s on the inside what you can bring into the world and share with others. Work for what you want and do it for you. Go make your mark!

Photo credit: Sydney Lau

Introducing R&B/Pop singer And TikTok Star Jaida Aneese

Jaida was born in Canton, Ohio. Her passion for singing and songwriting came at a very early age, writing her first song in third grade.

Jaida wrote “F*** love” in 2017, and soon after, recorded it with her Uncle, Producer Thr3efourteen. In 2019 her great uncle, Jazz Artist, “Jimmy B” Baber introduced her to the Houston, Texas production team consisting of Eddie Ferguson Jr, Telford “Jaytel” Birmingham II. Jaida collaborated with this Houston team to finish her debut single, “Liquid.”

In addition to influences from her own musically talented family members, some of Jaida’s musical influences are; Alicia keys, H.E.R & Chris Brown.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Jaida to discuss her journey in the entertainment industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get started in the music industry? How were you actually ‘discovered’?

Music has always been a part of me, but I got serious about a life in the music industry around 2 years ago. I was discovered by Billboard Jazz recording artist Jimmy B, who then introduced me to producer Eddie Ferguson and Jaytel Bethaford.

What do you like most about singing?

The thing I like most about singing is the songwriting process. Being able to create something off of a single concept and watch it grow and expand into something great. That is what I like the most.

Can you tell us about your upcoming debut single Liquid?

‘Liquid’ is a really fun, relatable, song about being in love. It’s about that feeling when you are so into someone, your body feels like liquid when they’re close. The effect they have on you when you just wanna melt, you know?

What sort of person is going to love this single?

I think anyone who’s ever been in love, of any age group, would love this single. It’s something everyone can relate to. I just feel like it’s a light, happy, love song that stays with you, and you’ll be singing it all day.

What inspires you to be creative?

To be honest, I am most creative when I am in the middle of the feeling. When I’m heartbroken, feeling frustrated, or even in love, I just feel like I need to get it out on paper. It’s like, the only way I can get through what I’m feeling is to write it down, or it will explode inside of me. I’m hoping that when people listen to my music, it can be a way for them to see that someone out there understands what they are going through, and they can use my music to express what they are feeling.

Is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset?

When it comes to getting into a creative mindset, I don’t have a ritual that I follow step by step. I really just take what I’m feeling and multiply it by 100. Sometimes, I take what someone else is feeling and try to put myself in their shoes. Once I do that, the emotion just takes over from there.

What message, if any, do you try to put into your work?

My message will always be ‘I get it, I know what you’re going through.’ I also try to make sure everyone knows they are worth something and they deserve to be treated accordingly. If you are not being treated that way, then it’s time to move on. As well as keeping emotions raw and real when it comes to being hurt. I know oftentimes we feel too tough to say the truth and that’s okay because you can just turn on some music and they can sing your feelings for you.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Seeing as my career has only just begun, I would say the most memorable experience so far is just connecting and growing with my team. Working with my producers, Eddie & Jaytell, has been great. We all just click together perfectly. Being able to experience that and work to make my ideas come to life with guys that I look at like brothers is an experience to remember.

Do you ever find yourself unable to express your creativity to the fullest? What kinds of things inhibit you?

I do sometimes find myself unable to express my creativity to the fullest. It’s mostly when I am too busy with everyday boring life and have too many outside distractions. Sometimes I really have to be in a calm or hurtful state of mind to truly dig deep and create what it is I’m looking to create and you don’t always get those times periods so when they come, I try to take full advantage of them.

Who is your greatest influence?

Rihanna is my greatest influence because she’s a legit queen. Her work ethic and confidence and the way she carries herself and stays humble but savage at the same time. Not to mention her being the world’s wealthiest female musician and second richest woman in entertainment behind Oprah Winfrey. Me being a young black female artist and seeing her grow this way is insane and I just have mad respect for her and admire her to the fullest.

Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it choose you?

Honestly, I feel like my passion chose me. It’s been a voice in the back of my head as far back as I can remember. I never seriously considered pursuing it, and then one day I was kinda like “Hey, maybe you should listen to this voice and see where it leads you”. That’s when I started working and growing on my craft locally, and recording with some of my uncles who have studios. They all told me to keep working and never give up. So about two years ago I decided to take a chance and jump into this music thing.

If you hadn’t chosen your field, what would your alternate field have been?

If I didn’t choose to be a singer, I would definitely just be a songwriter and pitch my songs to other artists. If I hadn’t chosen to do music at all, I would focus heavily on an acting career.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

My future plans inside my career are to continue growing and connecting with my fans & making music that people can relate to. I also plan to get into acting and collaborating with other artists.