Zendaya in Dubai interview

TV star and music artist Zendaya Coleman chats to us ahead of her Dubai Summer Surprises appearance

Disney star, music artist and 'Dancing With the Stars' runner-up Zendaya Coleman will be appearing at Dubai Summer Surprises on August 31 at The Dubai Mall. The 18-year-old speaks to Time Out Dubai about her return to the city, Taylor Swift texting her and why she responded how she did to Giuliana Rancic’s controversial 'Fashion Police' comments.

On greeting her Dubai fans again…

The last time I came here was a warm welcome, everybody was so nice to me, hopefully that will be the case again. I love my fans and try to connect through social media, they’re all so good to me. It’s going to be a beautiful experience and I’m lucky to come back.
While I’m out there I’m going to be able to meet my fans, do a performance and bond with them. Being able to connect and chill with them. Even though they’re far away from me, clearly they’re still there. They want to see me and I want to see them. I’ll be out there for my birthday while I’m out there so that’s double cool.

On getting to hang out in Dubai…
There are so much beautiful architectural, places and sites to visit and I only got to visit a few of them. I went to the Burj Khalifa and stuff like that. I want to make sure I see them all this time.
How about skydiving?
Skydiving my mom is into that stuff. I’m going to wait until I have a little more life under my belt to do that.



On working with a music great…

I’ve looked up to Timberland for a long time so I’m lucky to have him and somebody that understands my vision and what I want to do and see for myself in the future as far as music. He understands my sound and all of that kind of stuff.
I basically said I want to work with him. He worked with me because he has a daughter. We definitely made a connection. He’s been very inspiring and taught me a lot.

On having a celebrity friend in Taylor Swift…

It was awesome, she just texted me and asked me to be a part of it. It was a fun set, no pressure everybody was chilling, it was really relaxing. That makes a good set, you don’t want anyone to feel weird or awkward. She made everybody feel included and a part of the project.

On working with her Disney childhood inspiration, Raven Simone…
Comedy is her thing. She’s so good at it and always has been. When I was able to bring on a guest star, she was the first person I had in mind. I’ve always wanted to work with her. A lot of the comedic things I do are from her so I was like ‘oh my gosh this is awkward I’m doing her stuff’. It’s one of the things I’ve wanted to do as a kid.

On advice for her fans…
My number one piece of advice is not to grow up so fast. It’s always going to go forward and never backwards. That goes for someone who’s 11, 18, or even 40. One thing we can’t control is time. You’ve really got to enjoy being in that age of your life. It only happens once in your life. Not everybody is able to grow older so be happy absorb it and don’t rush it.



On life after 'Dancing With The Stars' and 'Shake It Up'…

I haven’t been dancing as much as I should but dance is very important. I think at some point when the music starts I’ll do it again. There are a lot of fun things I’m working on.

On her fellow Dubai Summer Surprises guest pals…
Laura Marano is the sweetest person in the world it doesn’t make sense. I’ve never met someone so happy and positive about life. I really appreciate that. She’s like that to everyone. That’s very hard to come by. That’s her all the time. Willow and Jaden (Smith) have grown up in the spotlight. Not everybody knows who they are straight away. Like I said about growing up too fast, they’ve definitely not grown up too fast. They’re also a voice for young people, it’s okay to try things and experiment with fashion.

On why she hit back at Giuliana Rancic’s infamous Oscars hair comments…
I feel like I have a responsibility when it comes to young people that follow me. It’s important they know how to handles bullies or situations on Twitter. There are people who say you don’t have to respond to haters but you don’t have to be silent either and let people walk all over you. It’s the way you handle it and turn it into a teaching moment, rather than dragging someone down.

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