Ariel Kayla Blackwood is a Jamaican-American Actress, Singer, Songwriter, Writer, Dancer, Actress and published Model born and raised in Tampa, Florida. As an actor Ariel performs under the name Ariel Kayla and as a musician under the name A Kay A. A Kay A was coined with the name by peers since she was “also known as” for her many talents. Growing up in Valrico as a child, A Kay A performed in various singing and dancing talent shows around her community.

Ariel Kayla found her voice as a singer in her black baptist church and oppositional predominantly white school choirs and her love for song and dance eventually led her to pursue theater. She played her first role as the Wicked Witch in a makeshift seventh grade production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Known for her powerhouse personality and stage presence, later in high school she played the characters Brooke Wyndam in Legally Blonde and The Witch in Into the Woods. From Tampa, Ariel flew to New York City to pursue a BFA at NYU Tisch School of the Arts where she graduated as a Drama Honors Student in the musical theater studio,The New Studio on Broadway. Ariel also studied in the Physical Acting Program and the Experimental Theater Wing. While studying at NYU she was cast in In the Heights, LaLa in the Colored Museum, Lil Inez/Dynamite in Hairspray and several new works where she participated in the writing and development of new characters.

Also while at NYU,  Ariel was cast in the NYU Reality Show, the high profile university show performed at Madison Square Garden and The Barclay Center with songs and dialogue written by its cast. From this show Ariel fell in love with combining sexy sounds with comedy and deep introspective messages leading to community conversations. 

Ariel Kayla later went on to join NYC renowned dance company The Dance Cartel and continued work similar to the NYU Reality Show through dance. A Kay A has since worked on several projects as an actor and dancer throughout the city with Ars Nova, The Public Theater, The National Black Theater, Virgin Voyages, NYU and Disney. Now, Ariel mostly works on projects that are heavily driven by music. She has recently been the leading lady in the new R&B Off-Broadway musical Love In a Different Key with the cast album available on all streaming platforms and Headlined with MajorStage at the Sound of Brazil. A Kay A is now working on " "Liberation" through storytelling and her solo music career and released her debut EP: “Introducing Me” coupled with a music video for it’s most popular pop dancehall record “Beg 4 Me”.

A Kay A has recently choreographed the New York and Shanghai Reality Show’s at NYU, and performed a 45 minute set at the -only femmes allowed- Michigan Fern Fest August 2023. She also recently debuted in the role of Sister Anna Bertha in the full all black femme nicHi Douglas production of (pray) with Ars Nova and The National Black Theater of Fall 2023 with a New York Times Critics' Pick before its closing, 6 Lucille Lortel Nominations, and three wins including Best Director, Best Ensemble, and Most Outstanding Musical. In 2024, A Kay A has already released two singles "Pretty Girl" and "Move Ya Body" from her next EP release coming this year and recently opened for 50 Cent for his performance at Club Nebula in NYC. Subscribe and follow A Kay A on Spotify to best support the journey and see what's up next for the Jamaican American artist. Follow her on Instagram and Spotify to stay tuned and see her road to stardom!!