Photographer: Birdie Thompson @birds_eye_photo
Makeup artist: Anton Khachaturian @antonmakeup with Mac Cosmetics
Hairstylist: Jae Angela @jaeangela_hair
Exclusively interviewed for ouchmagazine.com
How much did you study "Salt" from Salt -N-Pepa to portray her in this biopic?
Did you shadow her and train on how to rap and develop the New York swagger?
Technically my studying started before I even got the job during the audition process. When I first got word that I was going in to audition, I immediately started watching interviews and music videos to try to get the essence of her down. Once I got the job, Cheryl and I started communicating a lot. She would tell me stories about her life. We had talks about what was actually going on in the movie and some things that were not. We just really built a great foundation.
What makes this role special to you? Are you a fan of the iconic group?
What’s your favorite song they have released?
What makes this role special to me is that Cheryl was there with me through the entire process. I never felt like I was alone or had to figure something out on my own. Any question that I had I was able to call her if she wasn’t actually on set, and ask her what she actually felt at the time going through these real events of her life. Yes, I am a fan, and I became more of a fan in this process because there were a few songs that we had to learn that I’d never even heard before. My favorite song of theirs is “None of your Business”.
Did you have to take voice lessons?
I know you already come from a musical family, did you inherit the gift? We did go through music coaching to get the rap cadences down, but we didn’t go through any vocal training per se.
What is your favorite genre of music? What’s your least favorite?
It’s actually kind of hard to choose my favorite genre of music because there’s so many genres that I listen to. The music in my phone literally ranges from Donny Hathaway and Billie Holiday to City Girls and DaBaby to Billie Eilish and Sia and everywhere in between. It just depends on my mood.
How did you gain so many followers on Instagram, tell us the secrets of your success?
The majority of my Instagram followers came from a combination of doing things with All Def Digital as well as shooting sketches with Tim Chantarangsu, formerly Tim DeLaGhetto. I really wouldn’t consider it a secret, but on social media I’m just myself. I don’t try to be anyone else, I don’t try to keep up with anyone or any trends, and I’ve been told multiple times that people appreciate that about me.
What inspires you in life?
The pursuit of everlasting joy. Not circumstantial happiness, but joy that radiates no matter what you’re going through.
How do you hope to grow personally and professionally in 2021?
I hope to personally continue my growth with God, read more, expand my bookshelf a little further and really hone in on that joy that I talked about in the previous question. Professionally, the goal is to book a series lead…thankfully I have an amazing team and we will make it happen!
What are your beauty routine hacks? How do you stay so positive and beautiful inside and out?
The only thing that I use on my face is a company called Urban Skin RX. That’s it, that’s all you need to know! But in all seriousness, I do swear by the stuff. It works really well. My village(friends and family) keeps me grounded! I have some really great people in my life and I am so grateful for them all!
What can fans look forward to from you in 2021? How can they follow you on social media?
I am currently filming a recurring role on CW’s All American that will premiere after Salt-N-Pepa, so be sure to check that out. My social media handle is @ggtownson across all platforms.