[Kontrol Exclusive] Serayah: Building Her Own Empire

Lights, camera, action! For the past two seasons, Serayah has been gracing our living rooms every Wednesday night as the spectacular Tiana Brown on “Empire”. Recently the fiery diva took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with Kontrol. Serayah dished about the future of her upcoming album and the future of her “Empire” character.

If you are a fan of the show “Empire”, you already know that Serayah has some awesome vocals. So it’s no surprise that the talented actress is working on her own debut album.

“The album’s coming along great.  I’m actually still working on it, it’s a work in progress.  I’m really excited about it and everyone that I get to work with and in the future that I’m going to work with. We were hoping by the top of the year, but I think we’re going to push that a little bit and just give it some more time to really be great.”

When it comes to her new album, Serayah is not worrying about having a huge star-studded team involved; instead she is focusing on just having a great project for her fans.

“I’ve been working with this producer named Donut.  I’ve been working with Ester [Dean] and a few others and hopefully more.  But I’d definitely love to keep the team of just a couple people and have a sound that’s consistent, so I’m not too much focused on having everyone on the project, I just want it to be great.”

Actress Serayah

Serayah’s Empire

Although “Empire” is a great platform for Serayah to debut some of her songs from her upcoming album, she is looking forward to her album being a separate entity from the show. That doesn’t rule out some possible collaborations from her “Empire” co-stars though.

“I’m looking forward to doing all originals, but we’ll see.  I feel like if “Aces High” does good enough and things like that, as like “Look But Don’t Touch” did, of course, but as of now it’s all originals. I hope to collaborate with Jeremih or someone that’s really good right now that’s out.  I love Nick Jonas, Jeremih, they’re really great.  But as far as right now I don’t have anyone from the show being on it.”  

Serayah doesn’t rule out a possible collaboration with her bestie Taylor Swift either.

“Maybe, but I don’t see as far as us planning to do something, but if something organically happened, that would be amazing.”

Serayah explains that her fans can expect a slightly different vibe from that of Tiana when it comes to her anticipated album.

“I feel like the overall sound is going to be the same—not sound but as far as the regular listener listening to the song, my voice is going to sound familiar because obviously I’m singing and adding some of me on the tracks for Empire.  But the vibe will be different, a little bit more sultry as well as the pop and the fun stuff but more sultry, soul, R&B stuff as well.”

Serayah’s Influences

When it comes to her music career, Serayah credits her mom, Janet Jackson, and Beyonce as her biggest influencers.

“Music career, I would say definitely probably a mix between my mom, Sade and Beyonce or Janet Jackson and Beyonce.  I say that because obviously my mom supports everything I do and makes sure that I’m doing the best that I can all the time, even when I don’t want to or when I don’t feel like going anymore.  I’d say Janet because she’s an amazing performer, and she just goes in on stage.  I’d say Beyonce because she has an amazing career, and she’s such a big businesswoman in the midst of being a celebrity.  So those three are my top.”

Sometimes art imitates life and Serayah explains how she identifies with her character on “Empire”

“I would say me and Tiana have a lot of similarities as far as being a go-getter and a dreamer and singing and dancing.  All this stuff is what I’ve always wanted to do.  And yes, of course, this is what I’ve wanted to do my whole life, so definitely I’ve been in the shoes of fighting all the no’s and waiting to get the yes and once you get the yes, pressing forward and doing what you can with your opportunity that you got. “

Serayah also gave us a little insight on what direction she would like to see her character go in and also what it’s like having the opportunity to be on such a popular show.

“I think for Tiana, the evolution of the character has been amazing, but I would like to just see her I guess do more of the music and everything that we’ve seen her do but I think just hear more from who she is maybe and things like that that we haven’t really seen from her.”  

“What I really admire about the show that I’m on is not only that it is a black or relatively African-American cast but just that we’re seen in the light of not only black people can come from in the gutter or have nothing, but they can rise and become moguls and millionaires and things like that.  So that’s what I really admire about the show.  Also, I think it’s really amazing that now at this time we get to have black television back and see it back in action.  For the young kids watching, it’s great.”

The fall finale of “Empire” airs tonight but during the hiatus you can keep up with Serayah via her social media here and here.

By Ronda Brooks