Check out our interview with Brazilian musician and actress Rita Angel Taylor who is currently the youngest goodwill ambassador for CARE.org, a global leader within a worldwide movement dedicated to ending poverty. With CARE, she released her first single “For My Girls” to raise awareness and help girls in need across the globe. She particularly focuses on working with Brazilian girls in need. Rita will continue to share her music with the world, releasing her sophomore single “Run or Hide” with CARE.org in summer 2020 to help youth struggling with mental health.

On the television front, she recently booked a series regular role as ‘Lilly Castillo’ in the buzzworthy NBC pilot “La Brea.”

Follow Rita at @ritaangeltaylor

Hi Rita, please tell us a little about you?

Heyyyy! My name is Rita Angel Taylor and I’m 12. I’m an only child, born in Brazil. I came to America when I was one-year-old. My nationality is Brazilian/American/Japanese in that order. I love my family sooooo much. They have always been there for me and encouraged me to do what I love most, which is acting and music. Besides those things, I’m also very interested in astronomy, computer science, and yoga/health. I do exercise, stretching, and yoga routines everyday. I love the beach, summertime, and animals. I don’t have a pet yet, but hopefully I’ll get a dog soon. For now, I just enjoy dog-sitting from time to time. If I wasn’t an actress and a musician, I’d be an astrophysicist. Also, my favorite subjects in school are math and computer science:)

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Determined. Goofy. Compassionate.

Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?

My dad has made the biggest impact on my life. He inspires me to work hard because he works hard all the time. He is a mechanical engineer/inventor so, yeah… he’s really smart. He was the first one to teach me the basics of guitar before I got a teacher. He helps me with my vocal training when I need guidance. He was a songwriter when he was younger, and was the first one to teach me proper song structure. Even though I write my own songs now, I still ask for his opinion occasionally because, pretty much, everything he says comes true😄. He even helps my manager, producers, and mix engineers from time to time. Other than that, he still finds time to play checkers with me and wrestle with me😏. I accidentally broke his rib one time so we have to be careful when we play fight. But best of all, he shares his knowledge about life with me and gives me constructive criticism and love when I need it the most. He’s like a vocal coach, guitar teacher, adviser, and playmate all in one! I’m very proud of my dad and all that he has done.

How did you get started in the business?

I was discovered at age three by a talent scout in a Starbucks in Dallas, TX. She said I should be a model. So we asked a friend and he put us in touch with a modeling agent. I modeled a lot for JCPenney, sometimes three days a week. After I turned five, one of their directors recommended that I should start acting and he put us in touch with a well-known theatrical attorney in Los Angeles (LA). When I was six, we moved to Las Vegas because we could not afford to live in LA. Lucky for me, I was chosen for a co-star role on Nickelodeon’s teen sitcom “Sam & Cat” on my very first audition. On set I got a chance to work with Ariana Grande. I saw her constantly singing during her breaks and she inspired me to pursue music. When Ariana quit the show to pursue her music career, I gave up acting (after one job🤣) to pursue music even though I had no experience in music at all, lol. I started taking piano and guitar lessons and by the time I was seven, I told my parents that I wanted to start performing live. My dad called everywhere he could think of to try to get me a gig, but no one wanted to hire a seven year old!! After seeing a young street performer on YouTube, I asked my dad if I could do that too. I performed on Fremont Street in Las Vegas every Saturday for 2 hours which is where I met my manager, Lori Knight. She advised me to get back into acting because music and acting go hand in hand. By the time I was nine years old, we moved to LA to try the acting thing once more. After a few months, I started to really love it again. And, here I am today still doing both.

Did you go to music school?

No, I never went to music school, but I took private guitar, piano, and vocal lessons.

Describe your sound in 3 words?

Deep. Meaningful. Imaginative.

Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?

Ariana Grande was the first one to really influence me to pursue music. I don’t know that I would have ever given up acting to pursue music had it not been for her. And, also, my Uncle Joe, who was the first one to teach me piano, and, of course, my dad.

Do you ever get nervous?

Yep. I mostly get nervous when I have to give a long speech. I sometimes get nervous singing in front of a crowd, but not really. And I almost never get nervous for auditions because I rarely mess up, and even if I do, it’s very small and the people in the audition will let me do it again. So it’s not like something where YoU oNlY hAvE oNe ChAnCe!!

What is your next goal as a musician?

I want to get more of my original songs finished and produced, get a major label record deal, and go on tour ;D

Now tell us about your single “For My Girls?”

“For My Girls” has a special place in my heart because it was the first song I put out and it sends a good message to all girls. Even though my style of music has changed since it was written, I still love that song. ♪and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do… for my girls… my giiiiiirls! ♪

 

Rita Angel Taylor - For My Girls

 

Now about your work as a goodwill ambassador for CARE.org? That’s amazing!!

Thank you!! I’m so honored to be an ambassador for such an amazing humanitarian organization. CARE helps so many people around the world who are fighting poverty, famine, hunger, etc… One of the first projects I did with CARE was the “Her in Hero” campaign on International Women’s Day 2019. They used my song “For My Girls” in the campaign to empower women and girls. All the proceeds for that song are donated to CARE forever. I also went on another life changing adventure with CARE, my trip to Peru. On that trip, I got to meet many inspiring women and girls. I learned how CARE helps the women by teaching them how to run businesses, and giving them more self-confidence to achieve their goals. The girls are often mistreated, abused, and don’t have access to education. I want to change that, and so does CARE! So, we are a perfect match!

Do you have a tour coming up or where we can see you performing?

No 🙁 I’m not going on tour yet. I’m still working on songs and getting them produced. But hopefully, I’ll go on tour in a year or two probably after my first album release!

Now on the acting side, tell us about your work as Lilly Castillo in the buzzworthy NBC pilot “La Brea?”

It is such a cool pilot and my favorite kind of show (sci-fi/drama). I love my character! Unfortunately, because of the Coronavirus situation, productions on all shows had to be postponed. But I can’t wait for things to get back to normal, so we can film the pilot and people can watch this amazing show!

What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?

I like drama, sci-fi, action, and horror, the most, which is why I’m so happy I booked “La Brea” because it’s a sci-fi/drama. I love those kinds of roles because, for me, they are the most challenging and fun. For instance, sometimes I’m required to cry on cue or get angry. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

How do you prepare for a role?

I always start by memorizing my sides as soon as they come in, because leaving things to the last minute is not a good idea. Then, I read the character description and try to learn as much about the character as I can. If there are any references of movies/shows were the characters have similarities, I will watch them to study their behavior. A very big part of how I understand the story and my character is my acting coach. She helps bring my character to life. I definitely don’t think I could’ve gotten the parts I did without her. Finally, on the day of the audition, I try to not get stressed out or nervous. And, most importantly, I try to become the actual character and then I don’t have to act. Does that make sense? In other words, if you wanna land a big part, you have to be good enough to convince the writers, directors, and producers that you are the character they envisioned. If you’re just acting like the character, you can’t be the character.

What other projects you have been part of?

Sunnyside Up (2019) “Opal” (Series Regular) BratTV
GMA Strahan & Sara (2019, before Keke) Interview and Live Performance
ABC TV Teachers (2019) “Nancy” (Recurring Guest Star) TV Land
Teachers (2018) “Nancy” (Recurring Guest Star) TV Land
Kid’s Choice Awards (2017) “Kid Wonder Woman” Nickelodeon
Hora Do Faro (2016) Interview and Live Performance TV Talk Show in Brazil
Sam & Cat (2014) “Liddy” (Co-star) Nickelodeon

And some national commercials like Target, McDonald’s, and MetroPCS.

What we can expect of Rita Angel Taylor in 2020?

Rita Angel Taylor will be studying, practicing, writing more songs, recording in the studio, and, hopefully, putting a new record out on my new label. And, of course, my first priority, filming La Brea. Oh, and, stretching to try to get my needle😁

What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?

“Paper Rings” by Taylor Swift. I love that song! And, “Shallow” by Lady Gaga is a close second. But, literally, any song by Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Pentatonix, and Whitney Houston. They are my favorite artists and I love all their music.

And, if I had to choose only two artists, it would probably be, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga. I love how nice Taylor seems and the image she projects. And, Gaga, she’s just AWESOME! Not afraid to be who she is and I respect that. I would want her in my corner if I ever needed help! Also, Gaga and me both want to help people with mental health issues. She’s got a big heart and love her for that. And, another reason why those two are my favs is, they can do it all! Play piano and guitar, write songs and sing, produce music, and they don’t sing with auto-tune on live performances. I personally don’t like when artists do that. I was asked to do it once and I’ll never do it again. It just seems so fake and my audience deserves more.

Name one of your strengths?

My faith in God.

What is your own definition of happiness?

A relationship with God, being healthy and in the moment. Being thankful for what I have, and not having to worry about life because I know everything will work out for the best in the end. And, giving back to society. I think it’s important not to forget where you came from and help others anyway you can after you achieve success. Someday, I want to start two foundations. One to help youth with mental health issues and the other to help underprivileged kids achieve their dreams. That would make me happy!

Any loves other than music/acting?

Yassss! I love the beach, summer, astronomy, swimming, Netflix, hanging out with my friends/family, and lil puppies 💕

Any exciting news you want to share with us?

I’m getting some of my new original songs produced. And, the major record labels are starting to take notice 🙂

How’s a typical day in your life?

I wake up at 7:00 am and give myself about 10 minutes to get ready (change clothes, drink water, brush my teeth and hair, etc…) and then I start my stretches and exercises. After I’m done with that, at around 8:30 am, I do some school before breakfast which is at 9:30 am. After breakfast, I try to finish all my school before noon (which most of
the time I do) then, after 12:00 pm, I practice my guitar, piano, and write songs. And if I have an audition, I’ll prepare for it and go to it. I usually eat lunch around 3:00 pm and if I haven’t finished practicing, I’ll do it after lunch. So overall, I should get done with everything around 5:00 pm, some days its later and some days its earlier. If I haven’t gotten done with school, I will just do it after 5:00 pm. If I still have time after that, I will read a book, do extra stretches, or work on my songs a little more. Finally, before I go to bed I like to drink some milk and do yoga.

Idea of a perfect Sunday?

I like Sundays where I go to church and have absolutely nothing else to do for the rest of the day. This way, I have the rest of the day to do anything I want, like, call a friend, read a book, write a song, go for a walk, watch Netflix, or all of those combined. My favorite days are the simplest ones, I don’t know why.

What is your favorite healthy food?

I love Cob, Greek, and Caesar salads.

And your favorite cheat food?

Krispy Kreme GLAZED DONUTS.

What would be a deal breaker on a first date?

Uhhhh I’m not even thinking about that yet sorry lol :/

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

My Grandma Rita and Grandpa George. They both died the same day about a year before a was born so I never got to meet them. My dad tells me about them often. I really love my grandparents and miss them even though I never knew them. I was named after my Grandma Rita, and my middle name, “Angel,” is because we choose to believe they’re now my Guardian Angels💞. And, someone that’s alive… Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish for sure! It would be so cool to meet all of them!

How do you see yourself in 5 years?

Wow… I’ll be 17… Hopefully, La Brea would be a hit show and still be on TV. And, my character, “Lilly Castillo” would be a household name. And, I would have done several feature films, and have lots of songs out and doing major concerts by then. And, I might even know how to drive and have my own car. Who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

How would you describe your fashion style?

My style depends on how I feel that day. Sometimes I’ll dress really cute by wearing a simple dress, and other days I’ll wear a crop-top with ripped jeans, boots, and a messy bun. When I stay at home, though, I usually just wear a T-shirt and some sweatpants.

What do you think of Social Media?

It can be really fun… My favorite social media apps are Tik Tok and Snapchat but I try not to stay on them for too long because it will distract me from what I should be doing. They are also a great way of talking to friends and getting to know people more, but it can be very addicting.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram: @ritaangeltaylor
Tik Tok: @ritaangeltaylor
Twitter: @ritaangeltaylor
Facebook: @ritaangeltaylor
Snapchat: @ritaangeltaylor
YouTube: @ritaangeltaylor

Quote: “Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every solution.” -Albert Einstein

Song: “Paper Rings” by Taylor Swift

Movie: Avengers: Endgame

Travel Destination: The beach.

Food: Brazilian food. More specifically, rice and beans with a fried egg, sliced banana, bone marrow (the one that is still in the bone), and farofa… Brazilian things 👀

Sports Team: I don’t watch sports😐

 


 

Photo Credit: Sheryda Photography