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Living No Lye was created during the summer of 2010 when filmmaker Muta’Ali partnered with pharmacist/transitioner Leah S. Smith. Leah had decided to stop relaxing her hair and was consumed with finding natural hair products and styling techniques on the internet. She spent hours on end looking at YouTube videos and Fotki pages for this information. Noticing Muta’Ali’s ability to build and enhance brands using his filmmaking expertise, Leah suggested that they combine his knowledge and creativity with her passion and vision to create “Living No Lye: A Natural Hair Journey” – the video solution to all your natural hair care needs.
Leah is on her natural hair journey and loving every step of the process! She got her first relaxer around age eight and was officially addicted to long, straight hair for the next two decades. But 2010 proved to be a year of personal change. The most defining moment being the decision to return to her “natural roots.” [Appointment for BC (big chop) set for December 4th!!]
Leah spent her childhood years in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and West Palm Beach, Florida. Upon graduation from high school, she attended Howard University in Washington, DC where she pursued a doctorate degree in pharmacy. After graduating, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia to work as a clinical pharmacist at an urban Level-1 trauma center. Currently, Leah works as a clinical pharmacist for a major managed care company.
Throughout her journey, Leah has always found time to hone her skills as a dancer. She had several years of formal training and has been doing her best to add as many styles to her repertoire as she can. Nigel Lythgoe, if you’re looking for your next contestant…lol.
Originally from Westchester, NY, Muta’Ali has grown from a young director of short titles to a budding filmmaker with a range of experience. He has directed an indie feature, several music videos and over 125 entertainment news interviews featuring artists like T.I., Ludacris and 50 Cent. He has also directed over seven feature-length documentaries for artists under record labels including Def Jam Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records and Bad Boy Records.
Over the past decade, Muta’Ali has dedicated a large portion of his time towards the building and operation of an independent artist-focused recording, production, marketing and distribution company called The Raw Report. During its time, The Raw Report has reached millions of viewers and its content has appeared on BET, VH1 and MTV as well as in VIBE Magazine, O-Zone Magazine and The Source Magazine.
Since becoming a partner at Studioplex Studios and securing his first studio deal with the company, Muta’Ali has grown tremendously. He has directed projects for several high-profile clients including Ebony Magazine, Jet Magazine and the former President of Columbia Records, Michael Mauldin. He has also made strides as a leader in internet television show productions that have helped to further branding
initiatives. Currently, Muta’Ali is focused on writing and directing narrative films and directing in-house productions for StudioPlex Studios and other clients.