This article was originally published in The Source issue #271, Interview by Nyla Billups
LaLa has been carving out her own path way before she became the wife of NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony. And, with a growing list of projects ranging from acting to producing, she continues to call her own shots.
What made you want to step into the producing world? I think being in front of the camera for so long naturally you start wanting to expand and get behind the camera and coming from the reality TV world I felt like I had a good idea about what people want to see on TV and what would make good television, which is how I came up with the concept for Goal Diggers. It’s based around young female entrepreneurs who are trying to start their own business whether it’s pajamas lines, make up or DJing and just try to take their platform to another level. We started the whole show around that concept. I think it’s going to be inspiring and it’s going to show the ups and downs of trying to get your brand off of the ground. In the end, I think it’s going to be very encouraging to any young woman chasing her dream.
What’s it like working with Timbaland? It’s been great! Timbaland signed on to work as an executive producer as well and he handles all the music, so I think it’s pretty cool to have him on board for a reality show. I think it’s going to be helpful to have somebody of his caliber to be running point for the music because we want this to feel very high-end and very entertaining. So I think having Timbaland on board with the music has been such a blessing and such and added bonus to the show.
I’m excited to see how everything comes together and how people receive it, but to me it’s really important that young women get to see this and look at different ways to accomplish their goals. You know, all the women may not get along with each other, which is what we deal with in the real world when it comes to women sometimes. You know, not supporting each other, the cattiness and different things so I want people to see the ups and downs of building a brand in this business and I want people to feel motivated.
You know there are a lot of stereotypes about women in the industry, do you think this show will help the representation of women? I think you have to find your lane. Find something that’s unique and different about you and bring that to the table because there is so much of the same thing. Ask yourself what is it that’s different about you compared to the next person and just focus on that.
I think this show will break down some stereotypes, because if you are known for being an Instagram model or a bartender or a “startender” you know there are certain things that come with that. Some people might not take what you’re doing seriously. But, these women are so career driven, so smart, so beautiful and have so much to offer. I think it will help breakdown the stereotypes that say they can only do one thing.
What advice can you give young girls who are trying to break into the Hip-Hop industry? I’m a huge fan of the internship program because that’s how I came up in my career so I’m always advocating for someone who wants to be in the business from the other side. That’s what really helped me out. If it’s something else I think you just have to find what makes you different and just be relentless, you have to be ready for the challenges and just don’t give up.
Can you tell us a little bit about your trip to the White House? One of the best experiences ever! To be there for President Obama’s final farewell party and his final speech is definitely something I will never forget in my life. It was just so crazy to me, like I said in my Instagram post, I never imagined that I would have a relationship with our President and First Lady and feel like the White House is a place where we were welcome, a place we could come to. I’ve been there so often doing charity events. Prior to President Obama, I never considered the White House as a place for us in a sense. So, he changed that for all of us, and it is something that I am so appreciative of. It’s something I will never forget. Even for my son to have experienced going to the White House, I mean there really are no words for it. It just shows you that dreams do come true, and I’m just glad that I was alive to witness this because I don’t think I’ll be alive to witness anything like it for a very, very long time.
So can we expect to see Lakeisha in the next season of Power? [Laughs] It would literally kill me to answer that question. My hope is to come back. Power is an amazing show with an amazing group of people.
What can we expect from you next? Right now I have the New Edition movie, so I am excited for that. I played Ronnie DeVoe’s mom and then I have another movie called Devil’s Play coming out with Ernest Dickerson. Ernest Dickerson directed Juice with Tupac. I’ve been a fan of him since I was a little kid. So to be able to work with him was an amazing experience. I’m still focusing on my acting career, auditioning, taking meetings, and still trying to push forward in that aspect.