Every season of Empire we’re introduced to a character that shakes things up. This season that Character is “Nessa,” played by actress Sierra McClain. Nessa is street-smart singer with an edge and something to prove. She hits the scene performing “Free Freda Need Freedom,” a song that talks about racial injustice and police brutality.
What does this song mean to you?
SM: It was emotional when I first heard the song, and I was just honored that I was a part of bringing that issue to the light and to Empire’s audience. I was just honored to…I think, using music to bring all of these issues to the forefront is so important. Music is a universal language. Everybody understands that. You hear a song and you feel it, like everyone gets that. I was just honored to be a part of spreading the message.
What example does this statement make for this generation?
SM:* This generation really needs to come together and step and say, “We’re not going to stand for this right here and we’re not going to stand for that and we’re not going anywhere.”
What are the similarities and differences between Nessa and Sierra?
SM:* Nessa is in love with music, so in that way we’re similar. We are different in a lot of ways. I had a strong male figure in my life, which was my father, but her male figure was Shyne, and you can tell it had a different effect on her and the decisions that she makes. As you can tell from the beginning of the season she is a little more introverted and when she got onstage her energy was big.
Can you hint to some things that are going to develop during the season?
SM:* They’re touching a little bit on Cookie’s past and a little bit of her backstory, which I think is going to be so interesting for everybody to see and learn about. That’s one thing I’m looking forward to everyone seeing. Also, Nessa and Andre’s storyline is going to continue to develop.
Has your role on the show brought more attention to your music off the show?
SM: I was scared to death when I booked this because I had never been in the studio and sang a whole song by myself. I was like, I don’t even know if I can do this. I did not know if my voice is going to be able to hold up or if I was going to be able to hold me own onstage. So It was a learning experience and a growing experience, and I’ve become a little big more confident. But working with those two girls (her sisters) and my father has prepared me for this moment.
There is no question Sierra’s stepping into her own spotlight on Empire and making a statement. Stay tuned to find out what happens with her character Wednesdays on Fox.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.
The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.
After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.
Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University
On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'
Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.
REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.
The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.
On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!
Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'
On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!
Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'
On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.
For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!
In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!