Aalayah Bennett: Girl Extraordinaire

By Tandy James

Rising junior Aalayah Bennett strives to make it out of her “ratchet” life, as she calls it, as she tries to do well in school while maintaining an interesting social life. She loves to have fun and stay active so there is never a dull moment in her life. This teen sees herself as becoming greater than others. Aalayah says she wants “bigger and better things”.

Aalayah is an American child born to native Jamaican parents. Add two older sisters to the mix and things can get quite confusing. However, Bennett welcomes the confusion with her sisters. They laugh and joke together all of the time.

“ She can be silly, but we have a loving relationship,” says Alexia Bennett, one of Aalayah’s two older sisters.

Aalayah and Alexia have a close-knit relationship and they turn to each other to brighten their days. While interviewing the older Bennett, she recalled that, just the other day, the two were making up songs and having a genuinely good time while doing so.

When things get quiet and Bennett wants to relax, she may take up a hobby or listen to music. But she says that she gets bored quickly and changes her interests from time to time. One constant thing, however, is her love for house music.

“I used to listen to hip-hop and rap, but it’s stupid, I’m over it,” she says.

If a hobby is not the right solution she may spend some time with friends. Her summer days mostly start at 11am when she makes breakfast and listens to music. Further into the day she may make plans with a friend.

When asked about her daughter, Bennett’s mother, Alice Bennett, explains that her daughter is smart and independent.

“Aalayah is very driven, she knows what to do,” her mother said.

“Aalayah is very sociable,” she also adds. After hanging with friends, she listens to more music before going off to bed to do it all over again.

Hanging out, however, is not the only thing on  . Bennett’s mind. Aside from having fun and relaxing Bennett is an honor roll student at The High School for Contemporary Arts and aspires to be a talent manager.

She jokes, “I don’t have any talent of my own  so I might as well go manage people who have some.”  In addition, Bennett sees this career path as a great opportunity to meet new people.

Bennett also dreams of travelling to Saudi Arabia, Morocco, most of Europe, and Africa.

“I would love to go to Saudi Arabia y’know if they’ll let me in and I would love to go the motherland,” she says about her travel aspirations.

The Saudi Arabia dream has partially to do with Bennet’s great interest in Islam. She says she came across the religion on her own and was immediately fascinated. She loves Muslim people and cultures, which strengthened her desire to travel into the Middle East. Although she has not converted to Islam, Bennett still maintains to keep an interest in the religion.

A young woman who is finding her way through life, and finding out more about herself through the journey, Bennett  is sure of who she is and where she wants to go. She also knows how to balance work and play, which she says is essential to becoming a fuller individual. When asked if she will try to model her journey from anyone else’s, Bennett replied,“I don’t want to be a copy, I want to be Aalayah.”


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