Zariya Allen: Actress, Poet, & Singer/Songwriter
Zariya Allen is a young artist from LA, known for her poetry, music, and being an amazing soul. She has been in many competitions and showcases for her slam poetry with Urban Word LA, Get Lit, and even on The Queen Latifa Show. She is now represented by Clear Talent Group for T.V. and film. Her inspiring words as a young artist, woman, person of color, and musician are inspiring and raw. She strives to encourage self-affirmation and confidence, and her words are proof of it. Zariya speaks with wisdom and confidence in a way that shows us a peek at her soul. We are excited to say we had the opportunity to interview Zariya about her art, love, and even her fashion.
So tell us, how old are you?
17… 18 in December (finally)
What are your artistic mediums?
I’m an actress, poet, and singer/songwriter.
What message are you trying to present in your art?
Through my poetry/music, I want to encourage self-affirmation, self-awareness. I struggled for a long time to find my voice. I don’t allow anyone else to define me, my desires, or my opinions.
What is your inspiration?
Failure. Messing up makes me want to try again.
How/When did you start writing?
I’m not exactly sure when I started writing music, but my earliest poem I can remember was in 6th grade. I always had an internal struggle with my emotions, and difficulty trusting people or finding people who I felt really cared about my feelings at all. Writing was a release for me, as well as a way to help myself understand how I felt.
You have an amazing style, what is your fashion inspiration?
I dress how I feel! I’m never afraid of a look. I like wearing things that are unique, but also classic…but also still me. I’m constantly evolving, though. So, one day, I’ll be in a school girl skirt, and the next day its wide-legged red linen pants.
Which one of your slam poems is your favorite?
I wrote a poem two years ago called “Questions” about the college application process as a black teen, and it’s still my favorite so far.
(a link to an instagram post with an excerpt of the poem:)
this is an excerpt of a piece I wrote called "questions", talking about the college application process as a black teen. this month, @instagram is letting me and my friends spotlight some of our favorite work as well as some of our own for national poetry month, so check out the vids in the explore page April 29th. special thx to @palomastark 4 filming and @heyberna 4 hooking me up w/ this gig. luv & light. ❤ #poetsinmotion
How do you exercise self-love? What advice would you give to others who struggle with loving themselves?
To exercise self-love, I remind myself of my strengths, and do my best to remind myself that everyone has faults. There’s no recipe for instant self-love, because the journey to self-love and acceptance is long and complicated. I think the most important thing to recognize is that everyone has insecurities, no matter how public they choose to be about them. There’s no use in comparing yourself to someone else, because you come from different circumstances, different backgrounds. Beauty is so subjective. Loving yourself is a choice.
Share a story about a time you really witnessed or felt love.
I can’t think of some life-changing scenario. I think I feel love everyday- with my sister, my friends, and my boyfriend. My sister defending me when my parents are mad at me, my friends paying the difference on a movie ticket if I’m a few bucks short, my boyfriend holding me and letting me vent about my day. Love is in all the little things around me and it’s exhilarating to take it all in.
How do you define love?
Love is acceptance- embracing one another, the good parts and the bad ones, too. Love allows you to see the world, but also yourself in a whole new light; fear without inhibition.
Here are some video links to Zariya’s slam poems that she has performed or written:
(All pictures courtesy of Zariya Allen)