We had the good fortune of connecting with Keelah Tay and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Keelah, how do you think about risk?

It’s important to take risks for growth in life. It can leave me feeling vulnerable when the results don’t go my way. However, it’s important to not remain stuck in the disappointment and acknowledge that I’ve tried my best and to keep moving forward, which is easier said than done. The lessons I’ve learned can elevate my experience by challenging me and encourage me to live an examined life. I really do not want to live a life of regret, so I choose otherwise and take the leaps.

Throughout my life I’ve taken many risks, some have paid off and some remain questionable. I have learned to identify the lessons and lift me up.
I believe my art reflects the times, as well as my personal challenges. Art is one the most effective tools for change in my humble opinion. It isn’t easy to share things like this, but it’s important to challenge myself in order to commit to the exploration of life and all the different ideas that my creative mind comes up with. I find that I am very inspired by other artists that have the ability to reach for their dreams and take risks in order to share the creative parts of them with the world.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?

I don’t think much of anything sets me apart from others except maybe the ability to the see the beauty in flaws.
I’ve been performing since I was a kid, spent all of my youth and formative years doing theater and choir. It wasn’t easy because I faced a lot of rejection from all sorts of auditions (acting, singing, and dance) most of my life.  I never seemed to fit what people were looking for. Most agreed I had a lot of heart but didn’t know what to do with me. It has taken me years to realize that my power is in “living outside the box” but at the same time living from the heart. I find that we are all complex beings and none of us is just one thing and that’s beautiful. My journey so far has been very messey at times & not linear but it’s helped me learn that success can be measured in many ways. The drive to fulfill one’s passion is what really takes people places. I didn’t become a singer because I thought I had a miraculous voice I sing because I have something to say. For me, music is the clearest way to communicate with people.
I look forward to expanding and revisiting other areas of artistic interest in the future.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The best times I’ve had with friends are the unplanned times and things just flowed organically.
I love spontaneity. Having deep conversations is usually a win in any situation because they help the experience stays ingrained in one’s memory.
I find that experiences with people you care about are the real treasures in life and that they don’t always mean you have to be doing something exciting, it’s just about authentically connecting.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

I would like to Shout Out TaRhea Ray who is a fellow musician/writer/actress and who keeps me musically honest. TaRhea is generous, loyal and empathetic. Through her struggles that are no fault of her own she still finds a way to empower others. She is also a meticulous artist who believes in elevating people through her elevated art.

Website: https://linktr.ee/keelahtay

Image Credits
(First image with braids) @florenciapmarano (second thumbnail image) @fotosbyadriana

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.