‘Bel-Air’ Panelists Discuss What It Really Means to ‘Make It’ When You’re Black

In promotion of the Peacock series premiere of 'Bel-Air' Complex held a panel with distinguished guests about what it takes to make it and how to help others.

It can take about 10 years to be considered an “overnight success,” and, for many, it may take even longer. But due to social media and the internet, creatives today no longer have to settle with just chasing their dreams. Now, they can actually catch them; but at what cost? This question was discussed during Peacock’s second panel discussion in support of the premiere season of the Bel-Air series. The scripted reimagining of the beloved Fresh Prince of Bel-Air takes a deeper look at today’s most pressing issues, including success.

Filmed in Los Angeles at the famed Bel-Air mansion, the panel was hosted by Complex’s Pierce Simpson, who spoke with New York Times bestselling author Jayson Reynolds, television writer and producer Amy Aniobi, and singer/songwriter and actress Tayla Parx about their respective career ascents.

Parx explained how her road to success began with research. “For me, it was gaining the knowledge,” she says. “So if the songwriter in me is like, ‘I want to write for these artists,’ well, then I’ll say, ‘Who’s writing for them? Who’s producing for them? Who are their A&R’s?’ Literally diving in and gaining the knowledge, and then developing those relationships.”

Reynolds, whose fiction works tackles topics of race and young adulthood, noted that making it also means creating space for others to forge a path for themselves as well. “For me, the first thing that has to happen is constantly reminding yourself that putting everybody else on [doesn’t] do nothing for you but make you better,” Reynold says. “It furthers your legacy… so if you’re solid like you say you’re solid, then be solid.”

Former Insecure writer Amy Aniobi also shares her advice for anyone looking to break into the industry. Watch the video above to see the full panel, and be sure to stream new episodes of Bel-Air every Thursday on Peacock.

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