Jasmine Davis is here to be a trailblazer and a trendsetter. When she steps into a space, she breaking down barriers and becoming a beloved representative for the trans community. The proud Chicago native made history as the first trans-character on The Chi when she debuted as Imani on season five as she is now ready to solidify herself in the music industry as well. MadameNoire caught up with Davis to talk about Imani’s character, what she hopes to see in season five of The Chi and her upcoming album.
MADAMENOIRE: With Imani’s character, what made you feel so connected to her outside of her being a trans-woman?
Jasmine Davis: How she maneuvers through life. The fact that she’s an entrepreneur and a businesswoman. The fact that she has this tough core but she’s a softy on the inside. She has a really big heart and she’s really street smart too.
MN: You made history on The Chi with Imani’s character. Will there be more trans-representation to come?
JD: I don’t know but for me I represented for us. If there’s an important story that calls for that then totally. But that’s one thing I love about The Chi. We’re not just focusing on LGBTQ or heterosexual. It’s what’s in the story’s realm that is going to make sense for our character. I connect with Imani because she’s just not one dimensional.
MN: Imani has an activist spirit. Do you relate to that as well?
JD: Totally! I love that! That’s another way I relate to her. I love that she has this subtle activism [spirit]. A lot of people are very loud and talking the talk. Imani is very quiet with her stuff and she gets stuff done. it reminds me of me when people tell me I can’t do something I quietly just go around them and do it.
MN: Who is your favorite character?
JD: I would have to say my little son Jake. I love his art and the growth we get to see in him.
MN: Yes he is great! I got mad at him and Jemma though!
JD: See, from day one I knew that was going to happen! When you think about it, Jemma needs someone that is going to be “rah rah rah!” Kevin was just not that guy and remember Myesha was stolen from him as well.
MN: I really enjoyed the scene where Shad (Jason Weaver) came to her defense. I think that scene was great modeling regarding family values. What are the underlying of the show?
JD: The underlying values of the show are community, coming together, overcoming your obstacles. It’s teaching people to have those important conversations and be open-minded. It’s teaching people to see that this humanity and things happen. We are all human. Lessons come in the mistakes and you can grow from them if you choose to. I learned a lot myself by watching the show.
I learned that having your heart open in the most vulnerable way and learning to listen and digest things. Take it in and knowing that you all may not agree on things but learn to respect one another. Having empathy for each other. I feel like I already had that but now I have it even more. It’s driven and instilled in me more from playing my character. I learned a lot from Imani.
MN: Do you have any insight about what season five will be like?
JD: I don’t know but I want to see some gun slinging with Imani. I want to see a wedding with Imani. That’s what I want to see!
MN: I love Imani and Trig together! I love how their love is humanized and there is no tolerance of hate towards them on the show.
JD: Yeah we’re not going for any of that over here! The only reason we talked about her gender this season was to make a point about how people’s minds can open up. We mainly want to focus on humanity and the only way you can do that is to normalize it and stop making it such a big shock and wow factor.
MN: Tell me about the other shows you’re on.
JD: I am on Never Have I Ever on Netflix. Gorgeous writing, I came from writing with Sex & The City and it’s my first love. I was originally on season one but things happened on The Chi and I couldn’t finish my episodes so you see me on season two. Hopefully we get a season three. I have a movie coming out called The Downside of Bliss. I have my music coming out in September and i have some other stuff in the works.
MN: Tell me about your music career.
JD: My music career started when I was in Chicago writing. The name of the album is Never Give Up. Very inspirational. You’ll hear my story on the album. I’m rapping, singing. I write all my own lyrics and I helped produce and arrange it. My first single that is coming out is called “Give It A Taste.” It’s a very EDM track. I feel like people have been through a lot and I want to get the crowd jumping. It’s going to be a hot album! Right now I am starting to work on my Christmas EP.
MN: Nice! Are you going to collaborate with Luke James?
JD: Not right now because I want to establish myself as my own artist. I talked to him about it. Eventually we will probably end up doing something because I love him dearly! He motivates me to do [my music] too and I love that about him. He’s always like “you need to stop being scared and just do it.” He’s such a great motivator and such a good partner to work with.
MN: Will your music be on season five?
JD: No comment (laughs)! All I can say is don’t be surprised!