The next Oprah?: Brooklyn girl, 11, who interviewed Jay-Z in viral video aspires for own talk show
EXCLUSIVE: Jazlyn Guerra says kids have voices and should have platforms where they get to share their opinions
Eleven-year-old reporter Jazlyn Guerra landed the interview of a lifetime about three weeks ago when she spoke with hip-hop legend Sean “Jay-Z” Carter outside his office in the New York area.
Now the adorable YouTuber and star of Jazzy’s World TV, whose conversation with Hov has been viewed nearly half a million times on Instagram alone, has a new goal of giving young people like herself a place to discuss issues important to them.
“In two years or one year, I really want to be a host of my own show,” Guerra told theGrio during a recent phone interview. “I want to talk about kid topics and let people know that kids also have voices and they should have platforms where they get to share their opinions.”
Guerra has been doing street interviews with celebrities for about two years now with the help of her dutiful dad, Luis Dehoyos, 36, who works as a mental health therapist when he’s not booking guests for his daughter’s show. Dehoyos said his daughter used to travel with him and her brothers to meet sports stars when they were in town before the two of them came up with the idea for Jazzy’s World TV.
“We had a mic at the house, so I said, ‘We have access to different athletes. Why don’t we make a YouTube channel where you interview with them?'” the father of five told theGrio earlier this week. “She started by throwing stuff on YouTube and Instagram. Later I made a TikTok [account] for her and it took off.”
Dehoyos’ daughter admitted being nervous in late October when she approached Jay-Z for an interview for the second time in less than a week. Her first attempt only ended with a fist bump from Hov, who reportedly was in hurry that day.
“While I was approaching him, I kept on thinking to myself he wasn’t going to answer any of my questions because he didn’t stop last time,” Guerra said. But her perseverance paid off when the 51-year-old billionaire stopped on the sidewalk and gave her a few keys to his success.
“When he was answering my questions, I was like, ‘I did it! I did it! I got an interview with Jay-Z! I can’t believe this!’” she said.
Guerra’s future as a reporter already appears to be bright. She’s not even a teenager, but she’s already interviewed some of the biggest names in music, sports, entertainment and politics. In addition to Hov and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Guerra’s newsreel includes conversations with rap artists Nas and 50 Cent, TV and radio host Steve Harvey, Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY).
Guerra said her back-and-forth with AOC is her second favorite interview behind Jay-Z.
“She was also really respectful and really nice and she knelt down at eye-level to talk to me,” the budding star said. “That made me feel like she was so respectful. She treated me like I was an adult.”
What makes Guerra’s story even more amazing is the fact that English isn’t even her first language. Her dad said his daughter was born in Brooklyn, like her “idol” Jay-Z, but lived in Panama with family between the ages of 1 and 3.
“When she came here at [age] 3, it was all Spanish,” Dehoyos told theGrio of her daughter’s first language. “Her Spanish has declined though because she doesn’t speak it as much and that’s something I’ve told her mom, like, ‘Yo, you have to maintain that in the house,’ because [otherwise] she loses that and that’s an advantage for her.”
Neither Guerra nor her father would spill the beans on how they’re able to be in the right place at the right time when famous people are passing through.
“That’s my secret recipe,” Guerra said with a laugh.
“You sell the game. You don’t tell it,” her dad added. “You have to do your homework. You have to get on social media and inquire where certain people are going to be, certain events. We have a lot of connections with good people too.”
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