Playing Laura on FOX’s hit series Empire, Jamila Velazquez may seem like she could get pushed around easy after dealing with Hakeem’s constant flip-flopping. Speaking on growing up in the Bronx you really don’t want to mess with her as she reveals she punched a classmate in the face in the 6th grade!
Joking about the experience Velazquez opens up about being a little shy at times but always sticking up for herself even when her character Laura does not. Growing up singing and performing Velazquez’s mother signed her up for acting classes at a young age to help with her reading skills and simply for something fun to do on the side. Being urged by her teachers to keep her enrolled Velazquez’s hard work and determination landed her a spot on “Empire” along with other various acting jobs over the years.
Revealing that she sang Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” in her audition, Velazquez steps to mic and sings a few lines live on air. Telling Sway and the crew that she is a big fan of alternative rock, Velazquez reveals how her own music differs from what she performs on “Empire.” Opening up about various topics from her friends on the cast to her nationality Velazquez pauses to speak on her recent break up before answering questions from Sway’s Mystery Sack and again singing live, this time over a Mary J. Blige track.
Check out the full interview above and make sure to tune into FOX next Wednesday for the season finale of “Empire.”