After more than ten years in entertainment, Lalla Hirayama is just hitting her stride. A jet setter by nature, and a brand in her own right, to know Lalla is to experience what it is to be a South African icon with global ambitions.
Words: Tshiamo Seape
How have you enjoyed your time on Mzanzi Magic’s Massive Music, especially working alongside Smash Afrka?
Massive Music is a dynamic show that gives viewers a 30 minute breakdown of whats hot and happening on the local charts in Mzansi. Holding down host duties with Smash is an experience every week! He’s an incredibly colourful character with an infectiously positive personality, plus our crew are just as cool! I love every second on that show for the vibe, the people and the music!
The quality of South African music is being recognised globally more and more and I’m interested to know if there is anything interesting you have come across overseas or even in SA about SA pop culture – especially having been on shows such as V-Entertainment, Lallaland and now Massive Music?
Most times I get homesick when I travel, even if it’s for a few days. So, I usually have local music playing all the time. Whether I’m getting ready in hair and make-up, travelling around in the car, eating or waiting. 9 times out of 10, someone will ask who the artist is I’m listening to and buy the track on the spot. The love for SA abroad, whether music, fashion or personalities, is astounding. Walking in NYC or London in a piece by David Tlale means I get stopped and asked who I’m wearing. I’ve found many times in different cities in Europe a South African band, MC, or vocalist gracing festival stages that are attended in the thousands! Mzansi is the home of insane talent and the recognition overseas is starting to grow faster and faster.
Who are the entertainers – actors or musicians – you’ve interviewed that were completely unlike what you imagined?
Jarred Leto for Suicide Squad. I am a huge fan. From his days in supporting roles in Fight Club and American Psycho, to Panic Room and Alexander. I also love a little 30 Seconds to Mars and had a slightly preconceived idea of the kind of guy I was going to sit down with. I was ushered in to the interview room and after being introduced to Leto by the producer, I shook his hand and made eye contact. His eyes had a dark, cold expression and they pierced right through me. A chill ran down my spine. The interview was interesting to say the least. Strangest experience. Afterwards I tried to figure out if I had met the Joker and not Jared. Yeah, it was definitely the Joker.
You’ve recently branched out of entertainment and started a line of supplements – Life Source. Can you tell us why you decided to start a wellness brand?
After living with undiagnosed Polycytic Ovarian Syndrome since I was a teenager to being diagnosed and experiencing exacerbated symptoms due to my body responding negatively on the gold standard meds, I knew I had to go herbal. After doing all the research and spending so much money on different supplements, nothing worked and I felt hopeless.
An uncle in Oz works with extreme hormonal disorders and in my desperation I contacted him. After analyzing my blood work, he sent through a prescription for a few herbs, minerals, and vitamins which some weren’t available locally and so I had to stock up when I went overseas. After experiencing phenomenal results in just 6 months, I wanted to share this! I realised how many women suffer from this syndrome and react just as badly as I did to the medication that is available and that birthed the idea of LIFE SOURCE. With my uncle and an incredible pharmaceutical manufacturing company we were able to source the best raw materials from around the world and put it into one supplement. It has changed my life and the quality of it and so many women are starting to experience the postive results on the product too! It’s a wonderful feeling to get the incredible feedback. PCOS can take away your power, but LIFE SOURCE has allowed me and many other women to flip the situation 180 degrees and fight back
Is health and wellness something you will continue to expand on or do you have other ventures in the pipeline
Absolutely. I am surrounded by family that are all in the medical and health field and I always knew I would end up in the health industry. I watched my parents, uncles, cousins and grandfather help countless people and I hope through LIFE SOURCE I am able to contribute to the wellness of others too.
There are some very interesting ventures in other industries for 2019 too. Never one to let the cat out the bag before its time but I’m super excited for the next few months.
We have seen you in a number of television dramas. What does the future look like for Lalla the actor?
I’m hoping to get back into acting in the future. I love all aspects of performing and onscreen acting is a ton of fun! As soon as the right character comes around I’ll be ready and waiting!