Azurra Bukhari - Ontario Interview by Zoe D’Angelo Nomination by Natasha Bukhari Photography by Aleksandra Salamon Issue 30 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Azurra is a young model, actress & aspiring singer from Toronto, Canada currently living in Dubai! She has starred in season 1 of the series “Go Iguanas” and has done commercials for Warner Bros, Glad, Yas Waterworld, IMG, Nutella, Jelly Belly, Goody Pasta, STV, including fashion shoots for makeup artists and photographers in London, Toronto and Dubai! She is also known for singing covers on @tiktok!
Photography by Aleksandra Salamon
What is it like living in Dubai? It’s such an enriching experience living in Dubai. There are approximately 10 million people of which approximately 8 million are expats. What this means, is that daily we are exposed to so many different nationalities and cultures, including that of local Emiratis who are native to the country. The weather is also fantastic, except for summer where it can get extremely hot, but that’s a great time of year to travel back to North America! Having said that, there are also tons of indoor activities, such as skiing, ice skating, trampoline parks, skate parks, indoor amusement parks, to keep us busy!
Tell us about your experiences with acting. I have always enjoyed acting, and some might say I am very dramatic at times, lol. I acted in season 1 of Go Iguanas, an online tv show, and in a variety of commercials and social media shoots. Some of these include Glad, Nutella, Warner Brothers, Jelly Belly, Goody Pasta, Fly Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, IMG Amusement Park and Yas Waterpark. Shoot days are intense, with early morning starts for hair, makeup, lines, and redoing scenes until just right, but when you see the finished products its always worth it!
What has been your favorite commercial to be in and why? I absolutely loved shooting the Goody pasta commercial. It was so creative and magical. It was centered around a family eating pasta at the dinner table whose love for the pasta sent them into a dreamland. In my scene, I was transported to a luxurious magical fairy land, wearing a gown of tulle and shimmer. The set was out of this world, with over 200 mini trees and plants to make it look like I was genuinely in a lush green forest. I felt like a princess, and it helped that I loved the pasta!
What was it like starring in a tv show? It was an amazing experience and I made friendships that will last a lifetime. It helped me develop my confidence and get a sense of how much is entailed in shooting a series. When we watch tv, it looks so simple but the amount of people involved in each scene is phenomenal. I would say the experience made me realize that when you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter how exhausting it is, because it doesn’t feel like work!
What are some singing techniques you use? I try to practice warmups at least 3 times a week, practice my breathing, core muscles and drink lots of water. I also do my Trinity exams annually to give me a goal of what to work towards. This year I am doing grade 5.
What kind of songs do you cover when you post them on tik tok? To be honest, I post songs that I’m currently listening to, really like, or just in the mood for on that day! Lately, people have been requesting songs so I’m also trying to work on that.
Photography by Lilly K Photography
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever accomplished, and how did you do it? I am currently participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze programme. This requires me to complete four sections comprised of a volunteering section, physical section, skills section and an expedition section, which for me is the most challenging. Within our group of 6, we need to plan, train and complete an unaccompanied expedition. There are 20 conditions that we need to meet that include, planning an appropriate menu of cooked food, having no access to a mobile phone, being properly equipped with our utensils, tents and sleeping supplies for a minimum of 2 days and 1 night with minimal adult intervention. We have just completed the practice expedition with the final one in a few weeks and while I survived, there were a lot of things we will do differently next time. I’ll let you know how I get on!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Believe in yourself, and even when people tell you it’s cringey or try to dissuade you from pursuing your dreams, if it brings you happiness don’t give up. People spend a lifetime searching for contentment so if you’ve found it, you’re ahead of the game. But also, be kind to people, whether on set, at school, in every aspect of your life, because this quality people will remember.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future? I will continue to act and sing and try to grow my following whilst focusing on school. I hope to complete my IB diploma and then explore universities where I can pursue my dream!
What is your favorite activity or pastime that wasn’t in your nomination? I love to play netball, spend time with my sister, and travel. Last year, I went to Nepal with my school, where we did a bit of community service. It was an inspiring and humbling experience that I’ll never forget.
Photography by Lilly K Photography
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I took ballet for 9 years and gymnastics for 8 so I can walk enpointe and do the splits!
How do you keep yourself organized with everything you have on your plate? I have an app to help me get organized, as well as help from my parents, my grandmother, and teachers at my school who are very supportive. It comes with a lot of backing from loved ones, who I am always grateful to.
3 Things on your bucket list To speak another language fluently To travel to an exotic location with my best friends when we turn 18 To sing in front of a big audience at an arena or festival
Who do you find inspiring? I find my parents inspiring because despite differences in career, they are both hardworking and successful individuals who spend a lot of time with my sister and me. They instill solid values and keep communication open, while doing things for us with a smile. They are also supportive towards me pursuing my dreams!
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? It’s hard to think of myself as someone who inspires others, but my hope would be that I inspire them to believe in themselves, to follow their dreams and to be grateful for every opportunity that comes their way.
Anything else you’d like to tell us? This is truly an honour to be recognized by your magazine. Thank you. If people wish, they can follow me on @azurraofficial on Instagram, tiktok, and at www.youtube.com/azurrabukhari
Azurra will be featured in Issue 30 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!