AN INTERVIEW WITH ARIA BROOKS
“Have a good day but if you can’t, don’t go messin’ up someone else’s” – Tabitha Brown
BTCF: As such a young writer, filmmaker, editor, singer, producer, and much more – how do you feel your creativity helps you deal with connecting to yourself and helps you grow in your daily life?
ARIA: As a creative, I use the arts to express my emotions and feelings. Acting allows me to release my emotions into a fictional character. While writing songs and scripts allow me to write my emotions and feelings down. It’s like therapy for me.
BTCF: It was so amazing to view your “Truly Me” music video – absolutely love it! How and why did you come up with this concept? What did the girls in it think about being a part of this?
ARIA: When I wrote the song, I knew I wanted the concept to symbolize the competition that society brings on based on your looks, just in a more literal way. The girls in the video are my friends and some of my mom’s former students, so it was really cool working and having fun with them.
BTCF: You recently created a video parody “Cabbage” where you not only tribute it to Tabitha Brown, and you rap! Can you tell us about how you came up with the concept and some more about it?
ARIA: I am a huge Tabitha Brown fan, so one day I was trying to master her dialect and commonly used phrases by her. Then later I got the idea to combine my love of parodies and my love of Tabitha Brown. I familiarized myself with the actual song first, then I started writing my version.
BTCF: Your YouTube series – “The Queen Chronicles”!! – What’s the scoop on this?
ARIA: I thought of the idea to make a series that illustrates certain parts of my journey as an actor and as a person. It will allow people to get to know me better!
BTCF: How would you describe your YouTube Channel?
ARIA: My YouTube channel is mainly content creation; parodies, mashups, covers, etc. It also includes moments of my life that I think will be interesting for the viewers.
BTCF: You are so hilarious on Nickelodeon’ show, “All That”. Do you have a favorite character that you portray or a favorite episode?
ARIA: My all-time favorite character of mine is my grandma character, Lorraine. She has appeared in two sketches so far and she is so relatable for me. I’m sure everyone has someone in their family like Lorraine.
BTCF: It seems like you are a super positive person and it’s not uncommon to see you in a shirt or sweatshirt with a positive vibe, but also one that speaks to you in some way. How important do you think it is for young people to own their self-awareness and create positive messages whenever then can? (Especially living is such a social media world)
ARIA: It is extremely important! With social media, there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like what you are doing, and I think we rely too much on validation from others. That is why mean comments hurt so much, I think. If we reassure ourselves and fill our minds with positivity, it makes it easier to block out negativity.
BTCF: What are your top three tips to help young performers pursue their dreams of being on a show like “All That”?
ARIA: My first tip would be to make sure this is a career that you want to pursue. Things will get difficult and if you instantly want to give up when things get hard, this may not be for you. Next I would say take acting classes, specifically improv and comedy classes. Lastly, don’t expect to immediately reach your goal. There is a lot of rejection in this business, so you have to be prepared to work really hard for a long time.
BTCF: We first were introduced to you when you attended one of our music live streams to support our work. It was apparent immediately that you are wise beyond your years. Have people told you that before? If so, how do you feel about it?
ARIA: I have gotten that a lot! I feel like since I grew up around a lot of adults, it is true. My parents are band directors, so their students were always babysitting me. Eventually, I guess I just picked up on a lot of things.
BTCF: Aria, you are truly a role model in everything you do. What does being a role model mean to you? Who are a couple of your role models and why?
ARIA: Being a role model is inspiring others and empowering them. Some of my role models are Marsai Martin, Zendaya, Melanie Martinez, and my mom. All of these ladies are creative, talented and use their platform to inspire or educate others.
BTCF: Is there a process you go through when you are creating a song or a character? Can you share a little bit about that?
ARIA: When I create a song, normally I just vibe to the song first. Then I create my chorus or come up with the concept because normally that’s easier for me. From there, I tackle the verses. When I create characters, I get my inspiration from pictures, stories, dreams, etc. A lot of times I write female leads because it makes it easier to write based on experience. But as of late, I have been trying to challenge myself.
BTCF: What are some positive tips you can give young people regarding self-esteem and self-awareness?
ARIA: There are plenty of times where we pour ourselves and our love into others, but we forget to check on ourselves and treat ourselves. Don’t be afraid to take care of yourself because your mental health trumps everything else.
BTCF: At such a young age, you have been in some major dramatic projects portraying incredible characters like Anger, the niece of Harriet Tubman in the award-winning film “Harriet” and Nola in the series “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings”. How is your preparation process different for you then something like the comedy type show, “All That”?
ARIA: The preparation for comedy roles is very different from preparing for drama roles. I always rehearse and learn my lines for comedy out loud and full out. Reading the lines in my head every time is not helpful for me. This is because the more calmly I practice it the more I get used to reading it that way. With drama more times than not I read it to myself as if I was reading a book. This is what helps me.
BTCF: During COVID, you have created a IG Live Series titled “Ask Aria”. How would you describe it?
ARIA: Ask Aria is an IG Live series I created to feature performers, creatives, activists, etc. I get a chance to ask them questions to get more information for myself but also to educate others. My guests also get to “Ask Aria” so I get to be in the hot seat too.
BTCF: Can you share a little bit about the Kilgore Music Foundation and how you and your family came to be such passionate supporters?
ARIA: Ryan Kilgore went to school with my mom, so i’ve been attending his performances and events since I was really young. The Kilgore Music Foundation offers so many ways for aspiring musicians to live out their dreams. I have had a chance to perform for kids in a children’s hospital and participate in instrument drives. I’m also collaborating with him on a new song and it’s going to be BIG!! I can’t wait for everybody to hear it and see what he has to offer next.
BTCF: Is there anything else you would like to share with BTCF?
ARIA: Be sure to follow all of my social media @itsariabrooks on Tiktok, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook. I have new music in the works right now, so you’ll be hearing more of that very soon so stay tuned.