The music industry is something that I'm still trying to understand. With acting, I've been doing it for so long that I understand every aspect of it for the most part - there are obviously still more aspects that I need to learn - but I have a grasp on it. With music, I'm still learning. I'm still getting used to it.

We're all weirdos, and people want to work so hard to fit into society, but it's like, no matter what you do, you're never going to be what society depicts as what's perfect, because that's not real. The only point that you have to make is that 'I'm being me.'

I grew up loving horror films. But I had to step away since I didn't want all that negative stuff in my psyche. I didn't want to conceptualize those thoughts into my life.

Staying stagnant is not okay.

I love music and I love acting. I always keep that in the forefront, not all the other distractions around me.

I'm an actor. I have to play weird characters, quirky characters, strange characters, sometimes characters I don't understand.

I don't wish for anything. Wishing for a million dollars feels greedy. I just wish for the best for me.

I named my album 'So Uncool' because it defies the ordinary: you're different from everyone else. It's like, being uncool makes you cool because you're different!

Some of my favorite style icons are Kate Moss and Rihanna, except I'm a little bit younger. I put a little bit more teenage into it.

I can't work all day and then go home and hang out with the same people. I don't want everything to revolve around the entertainment business. Yes, that's my career, but it's not my life.

I love clothes! I shop everywhere, but I like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus. It's a wide range. I'm from California, and I love the Pasadena Flea Market.

It's hard being a Broadway actor going into film where you have to tone everything down. In theater, everything you're taught is to be big and broad and make everyone feel like they are right next to you, even in the last row of seats.

I sometimes want to do totally different roles. I don't always want to play 'wholesome.'

People that want to be in the tabloids will get into the tabloids. I just stay home and don't go out much. My personality is not an introvert, but that's how I am as far as going out to parties. I just stay in my house and hang out with friends.

When people think of me initially, they remember me as 'Akeelah.' Sometimes it can be frustrating to be remembered at an age that you've outgrown.

Team playing, that's what I see when I'm out there watching the WNBA games. All the girls play as a team, and they have each other's backs, and that's great.

I'm usually the one who creates most of my work. I have a lot of different ideas that I want to do, so I'm always like, 'Get on it, girl.'

I grew up in Chicago, but when I was 12, I came to New York because I was doing an episode of 'Law & Order.'

I have a particular pair of boyfriend jeans that I wear with Converse sneakers and, really, any kind of top, from a crop top to a hoodie. I usually go for a loose top or jacket to keep things casual with sort of a streetwear vibe.

I didn't come from a lot. I had a lot of love and support from my family, but as far as money and that type of thing, I didn't really have any of that. All I did was follow my dreams. If my fans take anything from me, I hope it would be that.

I've been able to stay good because of my family and keeping God first. If you don't have God in your life, how are you going to navigate through this world?

I believe your reality is what you make it, what you choose to see, and what you choose to allow yourself to do. There are possibilities all around you - magic all around you - no matter what situation you're in.

Anything that controls my state of mind I never really want to do because I always want to be under control. That might be part of me being a Virgo. I never want to do something that stops me from being in control of who I am and my actions.

I've never really had a first date! Well, I had kind of a first date. I went out with this kid. We went ice skating, but it was not fun. It was so terrible that I told him my curfew was a lot earlier than it really was.

Broadway was life-changing because it pushes you mentally, physically, emotionally - every way that you can be pushed. It makes you feel like there's nothing you can't do. It's like doing your own stunts.

Working with Ice Cube was so tight. He's cool, and I really like how he does family stuff. My guy friends couldn't believe I was chillin' with him. Dudes love Ice Cube.

Singing was my first passion. Whenever I sing, I'm always so happy.

Whether it be in acting, music, or even in dancing, I only want to do things that I truly connect to, and with my music, it's everything that I am.

I went to, you know, a church in Chicago, and my mom, of course, was in the choir because my mom was a singer; she used to sing. I wanted to be in the choir as well, and I was like, 'Mom, please, you know, I want to sing in the choir with you guys.' I kept on asking her, and finally I was, you know, in the choir.

Growing up in the industry, sometimes you can feel as if you're not having a normal childhood, but I feel like my parents involved me with a lot of people who made things as 'okay' as they possibly could.

You have to understand that when things go wrong in your life, it doesn't mean you need to quit. It means you need to get stronger and change your plan.

I'm definitely a perfectionist. I started entertaining so young. I think, naturally, my personality is that of a perfectionist, and then on top of that, growing up in the industry, I became very objective and analytical of myself early on, and I find myself doing that in everything.

There's not always going to be something out there for you, especially not a positive role, so once you get up there and start being well known, you can't just think projects will come to you. You have to start doing your own projects because if you don't, you'll miss out, and eventually your fame will be over.

I never try to be too sexy. People know when you're not comfortable and trying to be sexy.

As you age, you start to realize that your emotions are in your hands and not someone else's. Once you put them in someone else's hands, that's when you give them the power, and you can't change it. Only they can change it.

Someday I would really love to do a talk show. That's something I've always been interested in. I like to talk, and I love to help people.

Corbin Bleu was my first kiss in life. I was 12, and he was, like, my first kiss for TV... It was on the lips!

I have a few celebrity friends, but I'm really not into the whole Hollywood scene. I like to separate myself from my work. It stresses me out if I do too much of the same.

My father's a deacon, my mother's a choir director, so I grew up in the church and singing in the choir, begging my mom if I could have a solo.

I don't belong to anyone else but myself. I have to make my own decisions. Happiness is defined by me.

As a child actor, you experience a lot of depression and anxiety... Yes, I went through depression, and it was not comfortable. Yes, I struggle with anxiety and being paranoid, trying to figure out who I am.

I've been keeping journals since I was 13.

I think people should have fun. And don't get so down on yourself. Enjoy life and be the best person you can be.

You can often tell the difference between a singer that grows up in the church and one that just can sing. There's a connection to love and support and care. You feel good when you hear it. You feel the people have so much conviction in what they're singing. They believe it, so you believe it.

Anytime you see Beyonce, Jay Z, Kanye West. Anytime a young black person's doing good, that's motivation for everybody else. Anytime, anytime, it's motivation. Use that fuel to push you forward. That's what I did.

I can dance. I like hip hop and stuff and jazz movements, but I'm horrible in ballet. I tried.

I'm totally normal. I love watching movies and hanging out with my friends at my house. I still go to the mall; I love to text and go on my computer. I'm totally normal - sounds kind of boring, right?

My work is my life. I've worked so much that I don't know the difference between my personal life and my work, or my personal friends and my work friends.

I'm very happy to be part of a generation where you don't have to say that you're gay. It's just like, 'I'm dating a dude,' or, 'I'm dating a girl,' and I love it. I think it's a great time.