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Meet Ria Prince

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ria Prince.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ria. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My family and I moved to California from Philly many years ago because my dad was in the music industry. He’s scored movies, Co-produced albums, and played guitar in sessions for various artists. My dad’s passion for music gave me a strong love for the arts in general, which later manifested in the form of songwriting. I started writing music at just ten years old, (Though technically I wrote my first song at age five).

But at age ten is when my family started facing financial hardships. My dad switched industries to an even more unsteady market. This lead to my family and me being evicted serval times. We moved at least 30 times before I finished high school. Which sometimes meant staying in rat-infested motels, random friends of my parent’s, or separate from one another. There are six of us in total and some places weren’t able to house us all. My eldest sister and I would live one place and the rest of my family lived elsewhere. I’ve slept on the concrete floors of strangers, sharing thin blankets with my sister, or a cot smaller then a twin bed. Sometimes having a full belly only occurred when we were at school. These hardships sent me into a depression, and only thing that really helped me get through it was music and writing. I wrote songs and would hide my painful stories under metaphors. My father still had connections in the music industry through his past dealings and his new job of constructing music recording studios. And that is how I’d often brush shoulders with some of the greatest talents of our generation. Which is also how I met my fiancé. He was an assisting property manager at the time and a music producer.

My dad was building a studio at one of the properties he was managing. The people who flowed through that property were riddled with talent, including him. Someone caught wind that I also was talented and this lead to a sort of showcase, which landed me in the studio with Grammy award-winning producers and writers. With the help of my fiancé and my gift of storytelling through music, my career as a songwriter began there. I have written songs for many great artists, but unfortunately a tale as old a time began to manifest. The music business can be a tricky industry to navigate, especially so as a woman. It’s a heavily male-dominated field and some men take advantage of that fact. I was put in many awkward positions that made me question whether it was an industry I wanted to be involved in at all. That, and I never truly had a passion for it, I was just gifted at it. Music helped me heal from the pain of my past but it was a glove that never seemed to fit quite right. I decided to take a break from it and quit for a while and that’s when something so peculiar happened. I was working at a restaurant, and on five separate occasions, I was scouted by modeling scouts.

Modeling was something I had always had an interest in but wasn’t quite sure how to break into. I was told that I should try it from a young age, being that I was 5’9 since I was 14, but I only respected its art form from an admiring distance. But on the fifth occasion of being scouted I decided to give it a chance. The “Fifth scout” owned a Mother Agency company and she told me with such assurance: “Honey, I can get you signed in a week.” And true to her word she did. She took digitals of me and in only a matter of days world-renowned modeling agencies such as Ford, IMG, and Wilhelmina wanted to sign me. I was a completely inexperienced “model”. I had no book and no test shoots, so this was very unheard of. Not only that, I ended up signing Wilhelmina’s worldwide network contract, which again is very rare for someone with no experience who has never even been to an open call. And I’ve been so happy ever since. Modeling was a glove that fit me perfectly. I love every moment on set. And am so grateful for every job I do.

Now I just hope to inspire anyone who may be going through similar circumstances that I went through to keep their head up. At times, life can seem so overwhelming and feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. But the truth is light lives inside of you. You have to shine your own way through the darkness. Through all of my hardships, one thing I never let go of was hope and a belief that nothing is forever, you possess the light within you to illuminate your own path!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I hope to use whatever platform I gain to inspire those with a similar past to mine. It’s easy to feel hopeless when you’re struggling and when things seem to keep going wrong. But there is ALWAYS hope. I want to be an ally and reminded that anything is possible.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
LA is undoubtedly beautiful, you can find something artistic on every corner. This keeps me inspired. All of LA can be used as a muse. It buzzes with life and music and has its own rhythm. The only thing I can’t stand about La is it’s traffic.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Photographers: Kenisha Gill: @kgillphoto, Chaz: @chazdontplay, Steve Gripp: @stevegripp, Hannah Shields: @chunghannie, Kevin Alexander: @Kevinalexanderphoto, Elizabeth Bensinger: @elizabeth_bensinger, Cibelle Levi: @cibellelevi

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