We had the good fortune of connecting with Lay’la Zhané and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lay’la, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Art has always been a part of me. Growing up, I had a very say colorful family. It always felt as though I didn’t have a voice or control over my own decisions or life. So once I learned that there were so many forms of art, it was exciting to be able to express myself with them. It was like using a secret language that no one understood but me. I always chose art over science classes in school because I just loved having the freedom with my hands to create beautiful things. So when the time came to choose my “lifetime” career, the artistic/creative route just felt right to my soul. So far it has allowed me to meet and learn from other beautiful creatives. I’ve helped change the lives of others, and how they see the world. As well as create a safe space for the beings who feel like they can’t speak up. Just having that impact alone, I wouldn’t change my career for the world.
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?
Over the years I’ve found my love for the Freeplay Arcade. I’m a semi gamer so anything of such interests me. Freeplay has an amazing selection of arcade games old and new as well as a bar that serves food. I believe there’s about 4 locations in dfw. I do take all of my friends willing to go for a visit. 2nd, There’s an amazing sub shop in Deep Ellum called Cheba Hut that I’ve visited a couple times. It’s a very cool laid back restaurant/ bar that has the most amazing sandwiches. They also offer veggie options if you prefer no meat. We would most likely visit The Factory in Deep Ellum as well to see an artist live in show. Not sure what it is but I really love this venue & I’ve probably been to 4 or 5 concerts here. In Carrollton there’s this Korean Mall on Old Denton that has some of the most delicious spots. My favorites are Oh K Dog & Ddong Ggo Tx. If you’re looking for a fun environment and love K-pop music these are definitely the places to visit. I’m definitely a lover of movies so my favorite theaters to visit are Studio Movie Grills. I love their selection of hot food and being able to kick your feet up and watch a movie. I also love to spend time in nature, so a picnic at the park or maybe just a walk on the River Legacy trail can be the most relaxing time for me. I’m not the most experienced person finding the hottest go to spots but I am more than open to receiving recommendations.
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 can’t give credit to just one person. I have family, friends & teachers who all have played a small or big role in my story this far. But I will give honorable mention to my late dad, Lannie Deshawn Burgess. My dad was very protective, and he didn’t agree with most of my choices. But he supported me on so many crazy decisions, like when I traveled out of state to New York City by myself. He didn’t fully agree with me going into the creative/artistic careers because he wanted me to go a Big University, I remember him saying. But nonetheless he was proud of everything that I did and wanted me to be happy. So every step I take in life & in my career, I step in my dad’s honor & endless support.