You are definitely a triple threat, you sing, dance, and act. What inspired you to pursue all these amazing things?
When I was a competitive dancer in Texas, the competition studio I went to also had a theatre department. I decided that I wanted to try it out and ended up falling in love with acting. At that time I also became obsessed with the tv show ‘Shake It Up’ on Disney Channel, and that’s what led me to on-camera acting.
What artists do you look up to right now?
My musical influences are Jessie J and Britney Spears. Jessie J because of the soul and depth in her voice. Britney Spears because she successfully took a Disney career and became one of the biggest pop artists that we know today.
What kind of music are you listening to at the moment?
I listen to a lot of rap and R&B although I sing pop.
What kind of music are you leaning towards for your music career?
My music is a blend of urban/pop with an inspiring message of empowerment.
Any fun things in the works for your music career?
I just signed with Sony SM1 which is a dream come true. I am releasing my first single under Sony SM1 “Waste My Time” June 2019 along with a music video. I am also honored to be an ambassador for the “S.O.S Foundation” (stand up own up speak up) I will be touring with S.O.S. across the United States to advocate for at-risk youth and raise awareness towards present-day mental adversities.
Can you tell us how you got into dance?
Dance has been a part of my life since I can remember. My mom put me into dance classes when I was two and I haven’t stopped dancing since.
Do you look up to anyone in the dance world?
A lot of major people in my life are the dance teachers that I have had throughout my life, not only did they shape me as a dancer but also into the person I am today. I look up to Sarah Idziak who was my dance teacher growing up, Hamilton Evans who’s class I take regularly as Millennium Dance Complex, and Phlexcellence my creative director/choreographer.
What’s your favorite style of dance?
I have trained in all dance styles. I love contemporary, hip hop, ballet, tap, jazz, modern, really any style you can think of. Although, I would have to say my favorite style of dance is jazz funk.
You’re also making a name for yourself in the acting world!! What’s been your favorite role to play? & Why?
Acting has always been a passion of mine. One of my favorite roles to play was “Tara” in DreamworksTV “Cheerleaders” my role in this series was based on life as a teenager, just taking awkward everyday moments and turning them into the most hilarious events ever! Trying to film this and not die in hysterical laughter was so funny!
Are there any other acting projects in the works you can tell us about?
Yes, there is, I just wrapped ‘Next Level The Film’ where I worked alongside Emily Skinner, Chloe Lukasiak, and Hayden Summerall. ‘Next Level The Film’ is a project I am very honored to be a part of. This film was very exciting for me because it showcases acting, singing, and dancing which are all things I am passionate about. I am excited for everyone to see it!
You have also made a name for yourself in the social media world. Why do you think social media is so important for teen artists today?
Social media is such a cool resource that allows us artists to connect with our fans and also expand our fan base. Social media can be very important in giving artists exposure to people all around the world, along with brands to collaborate with. There is so much opportunity to take advantage of as an artist on social media.
What are your friends and parents thoughts on your career in singing and acting?
From an early age, I was always the star of my own show. I have three older brothers so I was definitely the little princess in the family. I would always be singing and dancing and having my own full out shows in the living room so my friends and family have always known that this is what I wanted to do. My mom is definitely my biggest supported, we moved to from to Dallas, Texas to LA to pursue my dreams a little over a year ago.
Overall, how has this whole acting and singing career experience been for you?
This whole experience has been incredible. Being in the entertainment industry at such a young age has its pros and cons. Although, I am learning at the age of 17 how to run a business and be aware of my public image. I have dealt with a lot of rejection but I have also gotten praise as well. Life can definitely be a roller coaster in this industry but I get to wake up in LA every day and pursue what I love.
Do you have any advice for anyone trying to make it as a singer or actor?
My advice for anyone that is pursuing the entertainment industry is to never ever ever give up on themselves. If you truly believe in your dream and love what you do then don’t let anyone else affect how you feel. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Practice your craft every day!
Do you have any other talents other than singing and acting?
Along with singing and acting, I also dance, song write, play piano and I can do some gymnastics flips!
What 5 words would you use to describe yourself?
Five words that I would use to describe myself would be bubbly, energetic, passionate, determined and hard-working!
Do you have any last things you want to tell your fans?
I want to tell each of my #Torioes that I love them dearly and they mean the world to me! Due to their support, I will be releasing my single, “Waste My Time” June 3rd and the music video soon after. I will be leaving early June to go on a military tour that will take me to Kansas City, Verona Italy, Georgia, Virginia, with its final stop in Hawaii October 15th. I will also be performing on the pre-tour shows for S.O.S. as we gear up for our full tour early 2020. You can stay up to date with shows and new music on all my social media platforms @torikayunedited. Thanks!