Aneesa Badshaw (aneesabadshaw) is a Canadian fashion model, actress, recording artist, and creative director. Aneesa started her career as a model with photographers Ananya Burman and Michael Katwaroo. Badshaw works with Amol Gupta and partner Samuel Enrique of Standout Entertainment. They have helped her land music video appearances for Drake, Baka Not Nice (OVO Sound), Karl Wolf, Sean Paul, Deep Jandhu, Keffa Leng and Sean Kingston.
She has been credited in the movie “Below Her Mouth” directed by April Mullen. She’s also worked with a famous painter, Nicola Verlato for a Nuit Blanche project. Badshaw is currently working with multi-platinum celebrity publicist Jonathan Hay on several major projects coming out in 2017 including her own debut single and she’s currently working on two reality shows that will air this year.
Is Aneesa Badshaw your real name?
Who inspires you the most as an entertainer?
I would say, Aaliyah, because she’s a singer, dancer, actress, and model. All the things I inspire to be.
Where does your creativity as a model come from?
Growing up I was a computer freak. So, when I was like 14, I’d sit there in my bathroom with a white backdrop with my tripod stick on time lapse and take a bunch of photos and pick out which would be the best and edit them. I would always want a unique sense of style to them. I always wanted to be different than everyone else. Modeling is a self-expressive form of art. I love the fact that I could put all my emotions and ideas into an image.
Being that you hail from Toronto, home of hip-hop’s top artist. Do you have any desire to work with OVO?
I’ve actually worked with OVO. I worked with Baka Not Nice on his music video “Whip”. I also worked with Drake for the original “Energy” video. The “Energy” video ended up having a total change in concept. I absolutely love how the video turned out. Hopefully, I’ll work with Drake on his new videos even if it’s just a private sex tape (laughs).
Drake or J Cole?
I personally love both of them. I have to say that I’m very proud of Drake for starting his career in our hometown. Justin Bieber and Drake really put our town on the map in a major way. I love Drake as an artist because he’s very versatile in the type of music he creates. He’s relatable because he’s transparent and very honest when it comes to his emotions and feelings. It’s sexy as f*** that he doesn’t give a damn what his critics think or say.
I love J Cole. When I listen to his music I can visualize the story in my mind vividly. I personally think that he’s also one of the realist artists out there because he talks about things you don’t usually hear about, such as values, politics, and inequality in his music. The one thing I absolutely love about him is he sympathizes with those currently struggling to get by and even to those who are successful. He teaches you to be content with life and that there will always be better things than the things you currently have. So your answer is both of them the same. Drake and J Cole is the dream threesome (laughs).
Do you ever see anyone from OVO out and about around town?
Yes but mainly at the OVO private parties that they host.
You are both a model and an actress. Do you have any upcoming projects that you will be featured on this year?
I have several music videos coming out that I’m really excited about. I also have a lot of magazine features and print ads that are coming out. Right now I’m working on my debut single that Jonathan Hay and Mani Ajami are producing. It’s a remake of a classic and super sexy song from 1990. We are going to shoot the video for the song in Tampa Bay, Florida and it’s going to be extremely provocative and seductive. It will be something very unexpected.
Can you describe your experience with the Daddy Issues project?
The Daddy Issues project really inspired me because I could relate a lot to it since I’ve had Daddy Issues myself. I grew up without having my biological dad being there but since the day I was born, I grew up with my stepdad which filled all the voids in my life. I’d say losing my stepdad in a car accident was my biggest downfall in my life. It still kills me to this day and even though it was something negative that had happened in my life, I’ve always tried to turn it into something positive. That single moment has pushed me to go harder with my career because I know all he ever wanted was for me to be happy and to be successful.
What’s it like working with Jonathan Hay?
That marshmallow is quite the character (laughs). Even though he’s older and ridiculously demanding, something is also very sexy about him. He’s been super passionate and supportive of my career.
Where do you see your modeling career headed in the next couple years?
I see my career going down the drain (laughs). How the am I supposed to know? Am I God? I’m only 21 so I’ve got time to figure it all out.
Any ambitions or desires to pursue other goals outside of the entertainment business?
One of my desires outside of the entertainment business would be opening a women’s refuge and battered women’s shelter. It would be a place of temporary protection and support for women escaping domestic violence and intimate partner violence of all forms. Also, another goal I have, which I’m currently working on, is a clothing line that was created by me and sound engineer Dominic Dot Okune. This clothing line is meant to inspire those to have a freedom of conscious. I’m also working on my all girl group of models called Katch.
What exactly is Katch?
Katch is derived from all of our initials from our first names that are in my dream team. K stands for Kadesha. She’s a singer and model. An obviously stands for Aneesa. T stands for Tia. She’s a triple threat being a model, actress, and singer.
C stands for Crystal who is both a dancer and model. H stands for Honey and she’s a singer and model too. The reason why we created this team was because we all went through hell and back in the past and we always tried to stay positive and focus on our dreams. We also hustle our asses off and have the passion for the entertainment industry. Watch out for Katch.
In your opinion what’s the best restaurant to dine at in Toronto?
Best restaurants to dine at I would say is Ray’s Restaurant, and Henry’s Fish and Chips. I really love Chinese and junk food (laughs). But for hometown drinks, I would definitely say Elements Nightclub hands down. Shoutout to Mark Sarson! Now hopefully I haven’t bored you all to death with this interview (laughs).
What is the message you want to get across to your fans?
Honestly, the message I want to get across to my fans, and to everyone in this world; is to never give up on your dreams. Even if someone doesn’t believe in you or is trying to hold you back from living your life. You’re your own person. You got believe in you; and whatever your goal is, Keep your head up. Stay Focused and run away from negativity.
What is the nickname people know you as?
My nickname is Twiggy, I originally got it when I was in grade 7 (Middle school), me and a group of friends use to hang out at this one spot near my house in Mississauga, and We all came up with nicknames for each other, and they decided to go with Twiggy since I was skinny like a “TWIG” branch LOL.
Who can you see yourself working with?
I could see myself working with Nicki Minaj, Kehlani, Drake, Keyshia cole, ABRA, and especially The Weekend. I personally love their music and style, and I think It would be perfect to work with them since their very expressive.
Writer: Landon Buford