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Aliyah Turner Brings Charisma to The Power Universe in Power Book III: Raising Kanan

+ just like her character, Krystal she is a woman defined by drive.

Meet Aliyah Turner, she is widely recognized as the new comer to the cult classic show Power Book III: Raising Kanan. Turner has taken a unique journey from competitive dancing to modeling and musical theater. In this exclusive interview, we delve into her inspiring story, highlighting the struggles, perseverance, and advice she shares for aspiring actors.

Photographer: Jana Schuessler

Interview: Angel Neal

Written Edit: Joshua Pandy

Cover Design: Ziara Ravenell

Aliyah's acting journey began at the age of seven when she stumbled upon the neighborhood youth theatre. Her first role as the baby elephant in "The Jungle Book" ignited a passion for singing, dancing, and acting on stage. Reflecting on those early moments, Aliyah emphasizes the importance of trying new things and embracing what brings joy. Growing up in a family that cherished movie nights, Aliyah draws inspiration from the cinema. One film that left a lasting impact on her was "Hairspray." The combination of singing, dancing, and acting on screen fascinated her, setting the stage for her diverse artistic pursuits.

Do you remember your first cinema memory, or a show that sparked your interest into pursuing acting? Something special that resonated with you?

I get inspired a lot. I grew up going to the movies with my family. I've always loved the movie HairSpray, with Queen Latifah. A production that required major singing and dancing as well as acting on cinema, which to me brings a whole sifferent level to the entertainment experience. It's like another level of life. And as far back as I can remember, that's a film that really excited me.

The decision to pursue acting as a career solidified during Aliyah's involvement in "Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G." Working on a professional television set opened her eyes to the collaborative nature of the industry, fueling her passion further. Having explored plays, musicals, and short films, Aliyah acknowledges the distinct challenges each medium presents. Theater, with its live, unpredictable nature, contrasts with the meticulous and retake-friendly world of film. Despite the differences, Aliyah finds fulfillment in both, with a current preference for the rewarding atmosphere of television sets.

Portraying Krystal, the fierce and relentless queen bee from the Bronx in "Raising Kanan," has been a transformative experience for Aliyah. Drawing from her dance background and personal fierceness, she brings authenticity to the role, emphasizing Krystal's tenacity in pursuing her goals.

How did you prepare for the role of Krystal? And what was it like tapping into that character?

She's a bit of a diva. I personally grew up in competitive dance and theater, and sometimes I would come across diva behavior. I would say after years of being in those environments, I was able to pull from those experiences to tap into character. I wanted to be the most fierce version of her; yes she has an attitude. But really, at the end of the day, she just wants to win. And that's something that I could definitely relate to, especially after auditioning for so many years and trying to make it work in this industry. So bringing that kind of tenacity to the role. As well, as musical prep, listening to artist like Beyonce' and Megan the stallion on set days. I made a quick playlist for Krystal, which I really loved to listen to, which helped get me in the zone. Everyone sees her as this mean girl, but no one's mean for no reason. So just kind of diving into what makes her the way that she is has been fun to explore. I wanted to be able to give truth to the way she acts and behaves towards people.

While Aliyah admits she's not a natural fashion expert, embodying Krystal's diva behavior has been a fun challenge. Krystal's fire wardrobe adds another layer to the character, and Aliyah appreciates the opportunity to play a character who combines singing, dancing, and acting on screen.

Diversity in the entertainment industry, it's such a big topic and in your own words, can you share with our readers why you think it's important to have diversity represented in film and television?

Well, I mean, everybody, I think, can relate more when they see someone who looks like them on their screen, and are watching stories that kind of resemble what they've been through on their screens. I just think it's very outlandish and a little bit outdated to not have a cast of diversity these days, I think that there's so many different people in the world, walks of life. That's what makes humanity so beautiful, the differences between everyone. So to bring representation to cinema and TV, I think it's beautiful.

In a industry with so much competition, how do you stay uplifted, motivated, and even inspired, to continue to push through and maintain your happiness while cultivating necessary relationships?

There's been so many 'no's and so many 'maybe's. I had to just come to the point where I understood that a no can be a blessing. Maybe you really aren't ready, no matter what you think, how perfect, you might think you are for a role, that role could belong to someone else. This is the business, and I'm ok with waiting for my turn and what's meant for me. Because there is something there for you. You just have to be patient for it is, is what I've learned. I really do believe regardless of the competition, there's space for everyone who's really ready to put in the work and is passionate about the craft.

Now, let's peek behind the curtain. Aliyah shares how her faith plays a role, emphasizing its importance in her journey. "that’s the reason why I’m here and that’s the reason why I’m even able to do what I’m doing—is because God’s allowed me to." Aliyah stresses the significance of being rooted in her faith in navigating the unpredictable entertainment industry.

You're heavy into philanthropy and giving back. We heard that you set aside a portion of your pay to donate to a cause of your choice each year. What sparked the interest to do that?

I grew up in church, I'm Christian. I'm very involved in my faith. And I feel like that's the reason why I'm here and that's the reason why I'm even able to to do what I'm doing is because God's allowed me to. So it's important, blessings are supposed to start with you, they're supposed to flow through you. So that's just kind of how you know I live. To who, much is given, much be be required (Luke 12:48). So it's, it's just what needs to be done in my opinion.

So for many to get to where they want to be they have to be comfortable and where they are now. For you is self love a practice, a destination or something else in its entirety?

Self Love is alive, always. It's never stopping. It's like, you can't practice it in one season, and then forget it in the next. I feel like it's something that should be a part of you. From the beginning to the end. Just to nourish yourself to make sure you're taking care of yourself, showing up as your best self. You can't do anything for anyone else, if you're not cool. So remember to put yourself first.

Aliyah Turner's journey from a dance studio to the Power universe exemplifies the power of perseverance and staying true to oneself. Her insights into the industry, coupled with her dedication to inspiring others, make her a beacon for aspiring actors, she reiterates “Blessings aren’t supposed to stop with you, they’re supposed to flow through you”. As we anticipate her upcoming projects in 2024, Aliyah's story serves as a reminder to dream big, embrace challenges, and never give up on your passions. And be sure to follow Aliyah on her journey – you never know what incredible things she might achieve next!


On Using Her Influence

"I Want to use my influence to inspire actors who have been in the game for a while and need that motivation to keep going. If I can help someone else's journey and make an impact on someone else's life, then that really is the reason why I'm doing what I'm doing. With my art, I want to be a help to make the world better. And use my influence to inspire the stories that need to be told and represented. Shinning a light on misrepresented communities and people are very important to me."

On Prayer

"Everyday. Prayer is my way of seeking alignment in my life, you know, with God. Prayer is what keeps me, it opens the way of communication. I think prayer is also something that can be done everywhere. You can pray in the shower, you can pray before you eat, you can pray walking down the sidewalk, it's not something that has to be, you know, so structured."

On Learning To Listen To Her Intuition

"So important. I'm not gullible, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt a lot of the time. And I'm learning that sometimes, you know, when people are showing you who they are it's okay to believe them."

On Success

"Success takes time and doesn't happen overnight. You've got to protect it, you know, there's always going to be people who come for it, who want to tear it down and speak negatively over it. So it's something that you definitely have to actively defend and preserve."

On Something We All Know But Bears Repeating

"I'm gonna say practice makes perfect. Don't give up. Keep pounding the pavement. Repetition is your best friend. Dedication is your greatest weapon."

Advice for the next generation of rising actors?

"Go for it, do whatever it takes. Continue to dream big. Because you literally can do anything, you really can."

Where can we follow you?

You can find me on all platforms @_aliyahturner .

Looking ahead, Aliyah expresses a love for comedy and a keen interest in exploring psychological thrillers and mysteries. She emphasizes the importance of diversity in film and television, believing that representation matters and enhances the richness of storytelling.

Listen to the Raising Kanan Season 3 Series Sountrack Here , featuring songs by Butta, featuring Aliyah's character, Krystal.


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