Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing an actress, singer, and blogger who I’ve been a huge fan of and this phenomenal woman is known as Andrea Lewis. According to her official website, Lewis’ “artistic talents emerged at age 5” and before turning 16, she “had already acted alongside Hollywood heavyweights such as Diahann Carroll in The Natalie Cole Story and Wesley Snipes and Dr. Maya Angelou in her directorial debut, the critically acclaimed Down in the Delta.” She also managed to star in the Disney movie Cadet Kelly with Lizzie McGuire star Hilary Duff. Toronto born Lewis is most well known for playing Hazel Aden for six seasons of the Teen Nick(formerly The-N) hit series Degrassi: The Next Generation. “After Degrassi, she went on to other leading roles in Moccasin Flats III on Show Time as Melissa and starred in the Nickelodeon comedy movie Spectacular as Robin. Then hit the stage in Dream Girls as the character Lorrell and Hairspray as Peaches.”
On top of acting, Lewis “released her first album, Float Away with Universal Music/Maple Music” at 18 years old and later on with 5-4-3-2-1. Recently, she started Jungle Wild Productions and even writes & stars in the “daring and witty” web series Black Actress, which is produced by Issa Rae(The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl) & Tatyana Ali(The Fresh Prince of Bel Air). Check out my interview with Lewis where we she talks Black Actress, Jungle Wild Productions, who she would love to musically collaborate with, and more.
-Growing up, did you always know you wanted to do something in the arts(music, acting, etc.)?
A: Yes, I was lucky enough to grow up in the entertainment industry, I started doing commercials as a toddler and I’ve sang my entire life. The arts and entertaining people came very natural to me and I knew from a young age that this was how I wanted to spend my life.
-You spent six seasons on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Did you think that the show was going to be as big as it is now? Why?
A: Yes I did, the show has a big legacy in Canada with the original series from the 80’s so when I was cast in it I knew that it would probably do as well if not better than the original show.
-You’ve been in some great films, such as Down In Delta, Cadet Kelly, and Spectacular! Which film was your favorite to shoot and why?
A: I’m not sure if I have a favorite one, because I’ve had a great time on every film that I’ve worked on. I enjoy being on set and all of my past work I’ve had more fun than I expected while working. If I had to choose one, my favorite set to be on is my own for Black Actress.
-Besides being a great actress, you are also a singer. What’s your favorite song that you’ve recorded/written and why?
A: My favorite song is “Robot” which is on my last album, 54321. The lyrics are very personal to me and when I heard the track I wrote the song in an hour because I was so inspired. It’s one of my favorite songs to sing.
-Any plans to release more music in the future?
A: I’m planning on releasing another album this year! Currently working on it.
-Which artist would you like to collaborate with in the future and why?
A: I’d love to collaborate with the band, HAIM or Janelle Monae. These guys represent female empowerment to me and they’re amazing artists.
-You pretty much took the bull by the horns and created Black Actress, a web series that gained a lot of attention for focusing on the trials and tribulations of an African American actress. What did you hope to accomplish by creating Black Actress?
A: I wanted to create a show that celebrated black women and black actresses and told the story of a young woman pursuing her dreams that everyone could relate to.
-Season 2 just started and for fans of Black Actress, what can they expect from this new season?
A: So far the season is bigger and better! Fans are getting to learn more about Kori and enjoy an equal amount of her personal and professional life while diving more into the ins and outs of the entertainment world.
-You also started JUNGLE WILD PRODUCTIONS with Brian Walker. What do you hope to accomplish with this company?
A: With Jungle Wild I’m creating more shows! This year we’ll be releasing 3 more along side Black Actress and I’m really excited for all of them!
-What advice would you give someone who wants to become an actress and/or singer?
A: Work hard at your craft, learn from every mistake/failure/bump in your journey and keep doing it until your heart is content.
Photo Credit: Andrea Lewis/Black Actress