“Because of how the last 10 years of my life has panned out, I now definitely see that God has a divine plan for me. Things that I thought I was gonna do didn’t happen and it turned to a whole different route, which I’m super thankful for now, looking back. So I definitely think that there’s a higher purpose for me and it’s kind of already the cards.”
Growing up going to studio sessions with her father and surrounded by the legacy of Motown in Detroit, performing has been a part of Ryan Destiny’s world for as long as she can remember. The actor and singer started out in girl groups throughout her teens, before her breakout role in musical drama series STAR propelled her into a new spotlight surrounded by co-stars and mentors including Naomi Campbell and Queen Latifah.
Since then she’s appeared in Freeform’s Grown-ish alongside Yara Shahidi, Luka Sabbat and Chloe x Halle, released her first singles as a solo artist and landed her first starring film role in Flint Strong, a Barry Jenkins-written biopic about boxing champion Claressa Shields. While filming has been postponed, Destiny has been focusing on her upcoming EP “On One’s Own” — a fitting debut for an artist who’s carving out a multi-faceted career entirely on her own terms.
With clear 90s and early 00s influences, Destiny cites Brandy, who she got to know on the set of STAR, amongst her long-time inspirations — not just for her iconic music and films, but because she has created her own inimitable legacy in both worlds. In our Autumn issue, they catch up over the phone to reflect on their experiences balancing acting and singing, refusing to compromise artistically and empowering their audiences to do the same.
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