On the surface, black girl magic is a social movement that simply aims to celebrate the essence of black women and all the beauty and strength we exude in the face of our most harrowing setbacks and stunning triumphs. But when you dig much deeper, you come to realize that the magic of black women is not only about who we are together, but how our excellence as a unit is only made possible by the unique power we hold as individuals. And it’s a power that actress and singer, Laurissa “Lala” Romain has harnessed, and is now learning to perfect.
Lala’s talents reach far and wide. Acting in productions such as the Broadway musical “South Pacific”, TV sitcom “Are We There Yet”, and various commercials for popular brands such as BMW and UNICEF, she began making her mark in the entertainment industry from the time she was a child. Despite acting being at the forefront of her career pursuits, Lala has always felt the internal push to expand past being only an actress; And in recent years, has explored her passion for singing as well.
“Music has always been a part of who I am. I started in the business really young and as I got older realized that music was my first love which was mainly the reason I felt there may have been something missing when I would audition for [non-musical] plays, TV shows, or films,” she explains.
“Though as I grew more and even took a break from acting I discovered how much I missed it. As I’ve returned recently, I’ve found an even deeper passion to be a well-rounded performer in all aspects. And it definitely is possible to love all of those things and pursue them, as well.”
” I want [people] to be able to hear it and know anything is possible, and that they can overcome anything—and there is beauty in all of us.“
Much like her favorite color red, raw energy and passion radiate from Lala. She uses the impressive range of her soft, yet stirring, voice to evoke whichever emotion her intentions call you to feel. Songs like “Wasn’t Love” lay you right at the feet of your first heartbreak, while “Black Girl Magic” fills you with the courage you need to embrace all the beautiful elements and quirks of blackness. And all of this is done from a place of familiarity and authenticity; Lala can relate to how you feel because her music comes from a personal place of remembrance:
“[For these two songs, I was inspired by] past experiences with people who made me feel lesser. I wanted to prove that I’ve had evolved and grown, and that they never actually gave me the chance to introduce them to the real me. I wanted a strong comeback story and to spread the message that it does get better to people dealing with similar instances of not being heard or accepted; Especially with Black Girl Magic I hope to inspire young women of color. I know many people can relate or unfortunately might have to deal with things I mention in the song as they get older and I want them to be able to hear it and know anything is possible, they can overcome anything and there is beauty in all of us.”
Through Lala’s attempts to inspire us, it becomes clear how her musical inspirations shape her as both an artist and a young woman. She has the courageous, can-do attitude like fellow singer Jessie J, and exhibits dedication to refining her skills into a thing of beauty like Emile Sandè. On the other hand, she is incredibly versatile because she also pulls inspiration from some of her favorite artists like contemporary R&B singers SZA and Ella Mai; And Soul and Jazz veterans, Gladys Knight and Julie London.
Like her diverse influences, her personal taste and style is also very eclectic. She explains, “I love mixing 60’s fashion with African traditional styles; [For my hair], I love Shea Moisture and Deva Curl! They’ve helped me so much on my natural hair journey. But I also LOVE wigs and head wraps and would rock any of those, any day.”
Laurissa Romain has an identity that’s both inspirational and well-rounded enough to set the standard for current and future generations. She has an undoubtedly influential spirit that is only elevated by her ability to take personal experience, cultural diversity, and a continually-nurtured set of skills and talents, and create her own bewitching version of black girl magic.
“Never stop fighting; The more you go for what you want wholeheartedly, honestly, and relentlessly, the more likely it is to happen for you. Anything is possible if you never give up.“
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