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Ryan Destiny Is Showing Us She Has The Range

Plus, 5 things you probably didn't know about the starlet on the rise.

Celebrity News

If you don't know her by name, you definitely know her by face. Ryan Destiny is a multi-hyphenate creative reminiscent of a young Lauryn Hill in more ways than one that has been making her mark as a star on the rise, one career move at a time.

While the Detroit native is definitely beautiful, she is also talented and is now set to add another genre to her filmography: Psychological horror. As if 2020 wasn't already psychologically-horrifying enough, Ryan is going to take us on a mind trip as the lead in the upcoming film Oracle, produced by Will Packer Productions. In it, she discovers a property she's working at has a traumatic past, and that trauma mixed with hers unearths hellish energies from within the house.

Her new role is further proof that Ryan is ready to transition to the next stages of her career and show the world she is a force to be reckoned with, and not just a pretty face. As she uncovers her multiple talents and multiple layers, she is gifting us with her vulnerability and transparency so that we can embark on the journey with her. You can't really appreciate where someone is going unless you understand where they have been, and for Ryan, this rise to stardom has been 10 years in the making.

Just in case you've seen Ryan Destiny on the scene, and still want to know about her, here are 5 fast facts about the star and her continuous rise.

1. When it comes to her iconic role as Alexandra Crane on Fox’s ‘Star’, her mood is "Thank you, next!"

Most Ryan Destiny fans know the starlet for her time as Alexandra Crane in the Lee Daniels Fox show Star. The show was abruptly canceled in 2019 after three seasons. In an interview with ESSENCE, the then-25-year-old stated:

"After a show you're starring in gets canceled, you definitely get a little shook. But you've got to trust God's process. The opportunity to have opportunities is a huge blessing."

Despite seeing the good in "goodbye", Ryan is also quite vocal about learning her worth all while navigating through troubled waters during her experience on the hit show. In an interview with Teen Vogue, she also shared:

"I think that that show taught me that I can [do] and I'm worth a lot more than I thought. And it's OK to say that. Just because other people may not see it doesn't mean it's not true. I knew my power way more, and I was past the point where I was letting people, no matter what they've done in the industry control me. I think it's easy to let people control you and step over you, and I was just really over that by the time the show ended."

2. Ryan plays Jillian on ‘Grown-ish’.

Her relatable role as a transfer student from an HBCU who has the looks of a model, the intellect to confidently speak about politics, and Zoey's ex-man (played by Luka Sabbat) as her current bae has been a pleasant addition to the hit show's latest season. Although the show is currently on hiatus due to the pandemic, Ryan's character Jillian has been recurring since the start of season 3, so make sure to catch up!

3. Ryan Destiny doesn’t play about her music.

In addition to acting, Ryan has a love affair with music and was actually how she got her first taste of the industry. Although she wouldn't start acting for real-for real until 2013, she alongside two group-members who formed the collective trio New Limit, auditioned for America's Got Talent. They were so good, they made it all the way to the finals but ultimately decided it wasn't the move. She eventually caught the eye of Universal Republic before the trio split, leading her momager and her to hold auditions to form the group Love Dollhouse. They'd sign with All Def/Capitol Records and go on to release the single "Can I" before splitting in 2015.

Ryan has been about that solo life ever since. Though her sound is distinctly R&B, she is not afraid to experiment with her sound and is pushing past obstacles that come with the consumer's difficulty to separate the artist from their previously affiliated projects. Her single "The Same" is an instant vibe and its accompanying visual definitely show Ryan's Aaliyah influences.

4. She’s a highly sought-after love interest...on-screen, of course.

Sis can emote, sis has range, and sis looks goodt, TF? Of course, she'd lend her visual to music videos from time to time, right? Recently, Ryan starred in Justin Bieber's the Colin Tilley-directed "Holy" as well as in Big Sean's music video for his single "Single Again" alongside real-life beau Keith Powers. Us fans love to see it!

5. Speaking of love, Ryan and her boyfriend Keith Powers are black love goals.

The two high-key low-key lovers are public at times and private when it counts, and it's a formula that seemingly works for the couple of three years. Although, the start of their love story wasn't love at first sight, Ryan expressed in a cover story with We the Urban that she had always been sweet on Keith since they first met, she just knew how to play it cool.

"I had shamefully liked Keith since we met though. We were just friends for a minute. So when we let things naturally happen, if you let it, love falls in naturally too."

In the same interview, Keith echoed similar sentiments, adding that it didn't take him long to know Ryan was the one for him:

"Loving someone is a very natural feeling that just happens. You can't just wake up and SAY I love this person, you FEEL it. You realize like wow, this person is a piece of me and regardless you don't ever want that person out of your life."

Goals people, goals.

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Featured image by Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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