A Day In the Life Of…Tatyana Ali
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air graduate Tatyana Ali has a new lease on life – world domination. Ali came to visit New York to host Access Hollywood and line up some meetings with financers for her company HazraH. She brought me along for the ride, complete with high fashion, Beyoncé, and fancy tuna salad.
8:25 am: After landing the day before in New York City on an impromptu flight from LA, Tatyana Ali heads down to the gym in her hotel, The London NYC, in the early morn to run a few laps before getting ready for her interview with Beyoncé for TV One / Access Hollywood. “I had seen [Beyoncé] at a party last night so it kind of took the edge off, and I met her years ago,” she says regarding any pre-interview jitters. “Plus, this is my third interview for Access Hollywood.”
11:15 am: Make-up and hair arrive at the hotel room, along with a TV One/Access Hollywood producer with a bundle of clothes for Tatyana to choose from. After careful selection of a few outfits, she finally decides on a plum-colored sweater dress with a satin belt. She puts on plum lacy tights and heels to match. Ali has still retained her youthful glow since Ashley Banks, but is an obviously grown woman now. She still kept her signature smile, though, and uses it often.
12:57 pm The car arrives at Milk Studios, where Ali will be interviewing Beyoncé. Mrs. Carter is doing a shoot for GQ and is sitting back in a black Fendi jacket with her hair in a ponytail, waiting for Tatyana to do her Access Hollywood interview before the GQ business.
3:38 pm “She was so sweet and kind, we actually had a lot of fun,” says Ali in the car ride to a late lunch at Pastis with her sister and business partner, Anastasia. “We talked about the album I Am…Sasha Fierce and how it’s a 2-CD album about the two sides of Beyoncé. It was a real nice, real personal interview.” Ali has an album of her own in the works, titled The Light, having worked with late producer Johnny J up until his passing in early October. “I was – I am working with Johnny J,” explains Ali, correcting herself that J’s spirit remains throughout the project. “They want to finish the album,” she states about the wishes from Johnny J’s family. She pauses then continues, “And I want to finish the album. I know he really wanted it to come out too.”
3:56 pm Lunch at New York’s Pastis is everything but relaxed as both Tatyana and her sister exchange business calls throughout the entire lunch. Her sister, Anastasia, picks at a Tuna Nicoise salad and sets up meetings with financers in between bites. Tatyana and her sister are working to find investors to fund a web series called “Buppies” with Tatyana as the series’ star. The project is part of the sisters’ production company HazraH, which in Arabic means “Presence.” Tatyana eats her Croque-Madame while setting up meetings with labels in the hopes of finding distribution for The Light. “When you’re in New York, you’ve gotta get what ya gotta get done before you go home,” she says with a smile.
7:33 pm Tatyana heads over to Espace for the Comme des Garcons for H&M party, changing into a bright yellow half-sleeved knit dress, keeping the tights and shoes the same as before. “We’re only going for a little bit,” says Ali, as she has not one but two dinners to attend after – one with folks from Access Hollywood and the other with potential investors for “Buppies.” The next day Ali will board a plane and head back to LA to film her recurring role on The Young and the Restless as Roxanne, the love interest of character Devon, played by fellow primetime TV veteran Bryton McClure [aka Little Richie from Family Matters]. As Ali steps out of the car and into the world, she explains her grown hustle and where it’s going. “It’s a different phase for me and it’s really exciting,” she says. “It’s work, but I’m enjoying it and creating it as I go.”