It’s not accidental that South African actor Suraya-Rose Santos became the first-rising star she is. Her Arabic name Suraya means “bright starlight”. Currently based in Canada and spending time in LA, growing her performing talent, the super gorgeous thespian is the ultimate definition of cool.
I discovered her when she did a kick ass street style photography project with her collaborator KG Dynamic. The latter’s visual style and passion for fashion is eclectic. Their combination wielded something otherwordly. I was basically mind blown!
Suraya studied at Michelle Ayden dramatix (M.A.D), a private institute specializing in the performing arts. Later on, she graduated with a Performance Diploma (specializing in drama) by Trinity Guild Hall London.
She has been featured by high end magazines, worked with clothing brands, nutritional supplement and energy drink brands, appeared in international music videos as well as full lenght feature films.
In 2015, landed a supporting lead role in the award winning South African film Free State and became the leading lady in Last Broken Darkness, hot South African Sci-Fi flick.
I had a candid conversation with her about what she’s been up to lately and her immediate career prospects. It’s one of the most amazing interviews I have ever had!
BMRA: Who is Suraya Rose and what have you been up to lately?
Suraya: Suraya Rose is actually my stage name, “model” but as is everyone these days on social media and I’m an actor (the reason for calling myself an actor and not an actress is cause I believe an actress is only for female roles, and as an actor you can play anything). Lately I’ve found myself in yet another beautiful country, exploring the entertainment industry, parties, culture , food, meeting new people, spending time with my brother and sister in-law, making priceless memories and making terrible decisions that make for a good story to tell one day.
BMRA: When I approached you, I told you that you’re super cool. I particularly love your street style vibe and tomboy dress code. It’s really dope. Why did you choose it?
S: Thank you. In all honesty I would love to just rock a dress and heels but I can’t , its just really uncomfortable for me especially cause I have a very active life style. I admire the ladies that can rock it on a daily basis, as for me, I’ll stick to a T-shirt, shorts and a good pair of sneakers do the trick for me.
BMRA: For how long have you been modeling?
S: I started out when I was 17, took a break for three years to focus on my studies at university , and I only started modeling again last year . So if my mathematics is correct , I’d say 5 years.
BMRA: What are you currently doing in between Canada and Los Angeles?
S: Shooting with some talented photographers, some fresh brands, networking with some wonderful people in the acting and music industry and my favorite part eating A LOT haha, right now I’m just making memories.
BMRA: You’ve worked with South African street photographer KG Dynamic. His work is epic. What’s the best project you did together and which is the best lesson that came out of it?
S: Ah man, love that kid. We actually have a whole team that we work with together. Petrol or Milk, Bamby @Bambatasa is where it’s at. Lesson wise what I’ve learnt is, friends can turn into family especially with these guys.
BMRA: Who are some of the international models that you look up to?
S: Jazzelle (Ugly worldwide) she is a walking master piece. The usual suspects like: Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Adriana Lima. But I also have to give praise to our South African beauties making waves locally and internationally such as: Nadiya Khan, Mieke Visser, Alyssa Kirby Cole…the list goes on and on…
BMRA: Your body is amazing. What’s your beauty regimen and diet choice?
S: Thank you, like I said, I have a very active lifestyle so I’m always on the go and as a result i don’t really follow a diet, which is unhealthy I guess. I’m a huge fan of pizza, burgers and eating whatever I like but as soon as I notice I’m gaining some weight , I’ll just spend extra time in the gym.
BMRA: What’s the song that’s popping on your playlist currently?
S: So I can’t just pick one, most played on playlist in no order would be:
Vini Vici feat. Hilight Tribe vs Armin van Buuren – Great Spirit.
Chainsmokers – Paris
DubVision & Justin Oh – Under the stars
Cara Frew- Only High with you
BMRA: Finally, if there was anything that you could go back and tell your 15-year-old self, what would it be?
S: Wow, that’s a hard one. Hmm… nothing, I feel like if anything were to change I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
Be sure to follow Suraya on Instagram to get her latest updates!
Interview conducted by @harunmomanyi. Harun is an accredited lifestyle and entertainment journalist, known for working with the likes of Yemi Alade, Vanessa Mdee, Sauti Sol, Eddy Kenzo, K.O and other big celebrities. You can check out more of his work at www.momanyiharun.com.