December 03, 2020

Her Back Pages - Meet Zariya

Her Back Pages - Meet Zariya

We were introduced to Zariya Allen by multi-generational Hollywood native and photographer Kevin Hayeland who was gracious enough to shoot Zariya for us. Her IG showed she had a lot going on - serious mixed media, collage and poetry skills. We looked forward to our shoot at the Cobb Estate in Pasadena AKA the Haunted Forest (spooky!).

Zariya was born and raised in Los Angeles. She attended LA County High School of the Arts, majoring in Theatre and as a teen competed in poetry slams performing her “angry, political” poetry around the city. She began performing to larger audiences, appearing at The Library of Congress, the Hollywood Bowl with John Legend and in 2017, Tom Morello's Anti-Inaugural Ball among other venues.

After living in the SF Bay Area for a year she returned to LA and got into community scenes, playing at rave parties and artist fundraisers. The focus of her poetry began to shift away from performance and onto more personal themes. After having poems featured in publications like Here We Are: Feminism For the Real World, WeTheTenderHearted, Nasi Mag, and NiiJournal, in February of 2019 she self-published her own zine, Mourning Glory. In March of 2019, she was invited to Loyola Marymount University as a keynote speaker to discuss the project, its themes and her past works.

“I'm attempting to capture that idea of endlessness and multiplicity through merging of mediums.”


Her new project is more conceptual, focusing on the politics of expression–– the line between showing ourselves to the world as art versus exhibitionism, how different mediums of art affect us - image versus word versus music. "The idea that in most parts of our life, two truths exist at once, even if they contradict – especially with feelings. That idea's been guiding my next book, Eternity is Now."

"Words are ultimately only an attempt at capturing a feeling. But sometimes words defeat the purpose."


Kevin Hayeland is a born and bred Los Angelino and comes from a long line of Hollywood royalty. His father managed Gene Simmons in the 80's and Kevin went on tour with KISS as a teen in the 80's, his step-mom, "some famous actress from the 80's".

His work has appeared in Autre and Nylon magazines and other pubs. He's shot music videos including one for The Dead Poets Society. In recent work he says "I'm trying to capture impromptu stills from a movie I would want to watch." His IG @herban_cowboy is chock full of Hollywood post-post-post-punk rockers and true underground characters with a story to tell.