Vibe chopped it up with Maliah Michel, Drake’s leading lady in the “Find Your Love” video. They’ve also been rumored to be a “couple.” Her background and how they met is interesting.
Short & Dirty: She was in the AmeriCorps program, struggled financially and started to strip, bought a house in Vegas w/ her fiance, who became addicted to drugs, “found” Jesus and became a bible-thumper, then went back to stripping.
How & why she started stripping: “My sister and I stayed in a one bedroom apartment with her two kids. We were basically just sharing everything we had and holding each other down the best we could. But when I turned eighteen — I went to the strip club and that’s when I started making my own money. I got my first gig at a club in Beverly Hills. Yea, I started working at a black club, and I was making five-hundred dollars a night, easy. And when you’re nineteen —that’s great money, but it was a pretty rough environment, girls had pimps, there was constant fighting and drugs were always around.”
How she transitioned into music videos: “A director who I met, Derrick White, was trying to get met to do videos for a while and I finally just said yes one day. He casted me in the Ying Yang Twins feat. Mike Jones “Bad” video. After that Sean Cummings who was working for Smooth said he wanted to shoot me. Then everything started rolling along. King hit me up after that and gave me my first feature. But it took me a while to get my name out there.”
How she met Drake: “Drake had actually come to the club where I work at in Houston called Dreams. I think that’s where he first saw me. I didn’t even get to speak to him that night and like a week later everybody started telling me Drake shouted me out in a song. I thought that it was so cool because I hadn’t even talked to him before. I mean, obviously he saw something he liked (laughs).”
How she landed “Find Your Love”: “A friend of his Jazz Prince, J.Prince’s son, called me and told me that his artist wanted me to come to Jamaica to shoot this video. At the time I didn’t know it was Drake, so I was like “Oh by the way, can you tell Drake thanks for the shout out”. And right after that he told me he called me back. So later on that night Drake called me directly and told me that he was the one shooting the video and how he wanted me for the lead part. I got to admit I was really geeked and could barely talk.”
Their video chemistry: “It was so funny because when we were shooting the beach scene. The director, Anthony Mandler, was like “Come on, Come on! You got to make me feel this!”. And we had never kissed or anything before, so I just went for it and kissed him! And we started kissing for real and everybody just started cheering.”
On Drake’s mama: “Yea, she’s amazing… a really beautiful person. His mother really gave me a whole other opinion of him, even though my opinion was very high. He’s just amazing as far the respect level and his mother helped me to see that it wasn’t an act. That’s all I’ll say.”
Read the whole story here.