Sixteen year old upcoming actress and musician Ajiona Alexus may soon become a familiar face. Beginning tomorrow Ajiona can be seen on TV One every Tuesday night at 9/8c on the new sitcom The Rickey Smiley Show; a show that is loosely based on the real life of funnyman and radio host Rickey Smiley. In the show Ajiona plays De’Anna, the only daughter to a single father of three. We had a chance to do a Q&A with Ajiona where we asked her a bit about the series as well as her past and upcoming music projects, education and more. Read the exclusive interview below.
We know that you’re currently involved in a really big upcoming project, The Rickey Smiley Show which is premiering on TV One soon. How was it working with Rickey?
It was always fun and extremely nice to work with Rickey. He brought so much energy to the set. Not only is he an amazing actor and comedian but he is a really a kind and humble person.
On the show you play his teenaged daughter De’Anna, how would you describe your character?
De’Anna is very sassy, fashionable and in her mind, she’s a trending topic. She lives in her own bubble, always on her phone, loves to shop and she’s the princess of the house.
I don’t know? Yes! No! Maybe! I think we have a few things in common. I love fashion, I’m always on my phone and I do think that I’m the princess of my household. So maybe just a little. LOL!
The cast of the show is full of funny people. Besides Rickey, who else would you say is the one that kept everyone laughing?
I think everyone on the set was funny, not just the actors but even the writers, the set crew, everyone was just really fun to work with. It’s an environment full of laughter, where people are always joking around. I remember when I was listening in backstage, on the headsets and someone was cracking on what one of the crew members had on, it was really funny. I just burst out laughing!
How long have you been acting?
Well, I faintly remember reciting monologues when I was in my mother’s womb. Lol! No seriously, I did my first stage performance at the age of 6. I still remember it. “Brothers, sisters, remember from whence we came, the roads were hard, many died so many we cannot….” Ok that’s all I remember. Lol!
Have you always wanted to act in comedy?
Why Yes, Yes I have.
(In my Kat Williams Voice!)
If you could play the role in any film or show of any genre, what would your dream role be?
My first choice, I would want to play in an action packed film like Salt, X-men or Twilight. My second choice, I would want to play an emotional/dramatic role like Sofia Vassilieva in the movie My Sister’s Keeper. Lastly I would like to one day have my own sitcom.
What would that film or show be about?
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter to find out!
Why should people tune into this show [The Rickey Smiley Show]?
It’s just one of those shows that you can never get enough of. If you watch it once, you’ll never want to miss it again. It’s soooo funny!
You make music as well. How would you describe your musical style? [Ajiona has opened up for Diggy Simmons, OMG Girlz and Jawan Harris]
My music is a perfect blend of Pop & R&B. I sing mostly about fashion and beauty, love and relationships and pride and respect. I use melodic vocals and swanky raps to make my music very unique and fun to listen to.
Which song on your Mixtape “Radio Ready” was the most fun to put together?
With this being my first music project, I would have to say it was fun putting all of the songs together, each one is so different and special.
VIDEO LINK: Ajiona talks about her mixtape “Radio Ready”
You’re releasing an EP titled Dream Big soon. What style and message can we expect from it?
Dream Big will be my debut EP! All originals and I’m so excited because it will allow me the freedom to express myself, my style and my love for music. It’s really going to give everyone a chance to see my style of music and vocal ability. It will consists of some edgy pop, club dance and I might throw in a ballad. Dream Big is the message inspired throughout this EP. I want the youth to be inspired to Dream Big, discover your passion, and believe in yourself. It’s ok, to be you, because you are BE-YOU-TIFUL!
If you weren’t entertaining what can you see yourself doing?
I can’t see myself doing anything else. I love to perform. It’s my passion.
You’re also a spoken word artist! Tell us a little bit about that. When did that come about?
I landed a lead role in the Movie “ Unspoken Words” produced by Henderson Maddox. The movie was centered on spoken word poetry. As I was preparing for my role, I really got into the art of spoken word. I did a couple of spoken word pieces at different events.
How many poems have you written?
I really don’t write much poetry. I mostly enjoy reciting some of my favorite pieces.
What is one of your favorite pieces?
My Life as a Stud by Jackie Hill
We know that you’re an honor roll theater student at the Alabama School of Fine Arts too, congratulations on that! What grade are you in?
Gracias! 11th [Grade].
How do you manage to keep up your grades with everything else you do?
[I] take good notes in class, I’m a highly productive student at school. Late nights and studying with friends on FaceTime. My secret to good grades is eating while studying. It brings my energy up and keeps me excited about learning. I keep a pack of Twizzlers in the pantry, also listening to good music keeps me focused.
Do you plan to attend college in the future?
What would you like to study?
Film and Cinematography
What encouraging words can you share with other young people out there who are dreaming big?
To all of my dreamers out there, I want you to believe that you can do whatever it is that you want to do. You can become whatever you want to become regardless of your circumstances or current situations. I want you to discover your passion at an early age, follow your dream, and continue to build your self-worth. Don’t let the little things get in the way of your big dreams!
Favorite Book: Every Day A Friday by Joel Olsteen
Favorite Sport: Basketball
Favorite TV Show: The Rickey Smiley Show (must be a trick question) [LOL]
Favorite Food: Chinese
Favorite Hobbies: Dance
Favorite Quote: “Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon” – Paul Brandt
Favorite Season: Summer
Fashion Accessory: Scarf Swag
It’s back to school time, what grade in elementary school was your favorite and why? Kindergarten because we had nap time and snack time and recess and it was okay to color outside the lines.
Any celebrity crushes? No celebrity crushes
If you could have an exotic pet, what would it be? A mermaid
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I love to travel and hope to one day be able to visit all 7 continents.
How can people reach you?
Thank you for your time Ajiona!
Thanks, enjoyed talking with you!
Be sure to tune into The Rickey Smiley Show tomorrow and every Tuesday night at 9pm on TV One. The series also stars young shiners Lil JJ and Gabriel Burgess.
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