Bossip Video

Jasmine Burke Interview

Jasmine Burke recently made waves with alongside Alexandra Shipp in “Drumline: A New Beat” and now she’s preparing to share with the world an exciting lead role.

In between writing and cultivating her musical talent as seen on MTV’s “Making Tha Band”, Burke has been busy working alongside LisaRaye on a film that explores African-American’s deep seeded issues with colorism in America.

Below this beauty dishes on her latest music and television ventures including a stint on BOSSIP’s forthcoming TV show.

Tell us about your background.

I got started very, very young as a little tater tot in elementary school. I was always outspoken, a ball of energy, even as little as kindergartner. If the teacher said ‘Ok I need someone to do the example’, I was like the first one with my hand up. I couldn’t wait to get in front of everybody and say something. So it’s just been in me from a young age. I did every talent show, in theater my whole school life. [I was the] cheerleader captain; dance team captain; just always out there performing and loved it. The acting bug officially materialized with me being in a play in middle school and ever since then I’ve been doing theater,

And with theater is that how you got into music as well?

Yes, musical theater. In school we did a lot of musical theater. We didn’t do a lot of traditional theater. So I had a chance to sing and dance with that at a very, very young age. I always knew I could do it but it just wasn’t until college where I said I want to see what film and television is about since I’d been doing theater all my life.

You’ve got a single and music video out called “Skin I’m In.” What inspired you to come out with that song?

I was on “Making Da Band” ten years ago and I was a finalist on there and this year will make the 10 year anniversary of me being a finalist on [the show]. People always ask me, yeah they see me on TV shows and movies, but they always remember me from making the band. And I always tell people, which is the truth, that I never left music, it’s just you haven’t seen me doing it behind the scenes. So if I’m in a movie a lot of times I’ll write a song for the movie or the TV show and it’ll be put in that project.

So I did a song for the movie “Skinned” with LisaRaye and I was so inspired by the story because the message is amazing. And the story is about a woman, my character Jolie, who bleaches her skin in order to become beautiful and desirable, get the life she always wanted, the man she always wanted. She thinks it’s the outer that’s going to give her all those things. And you can see her journey as she finds out it has nothing to do with the outside, but the inside. So the song comes from telling people to love the skin that you are in because it was given to you by The Creator and The Creator doesn’t make any mistakes. So it’s a really positive song that’s going to uplift people and that I believe will be a mantra for self love.




This is LisaRaye’s directorial debut. What is it like working with her?

She is definitely a boss, her presence demands respect—she doesn’t play. I didn’t see anything wrong with that because it really inspired me as a younger woman that’s coming up in the ranks that when you work hard people respect your work and beyond that it’s how you carry yourself. So she carries herself like a woman who knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want and she’s not afraid to tell you if that’s not what she wants and will give it to you with a straight face and dare you to say something about it. (laughs) I got a chance to spend a lot of time with her one on one and just talk to her woman to woman and her mentor me in that time we spent together. She’s a lady who knows what she wants and she demands respect and that’s just the way it’s going to be and I loved it.

Talk to me more about why you think a film about colorism is so important these days.

Well you have people now where the scale is not balanced on the representation of beauty, it’s not an even spectrum. You don’t see rainbow, you just see one representation and when you do see others it’s only one in a few. Lupita came along and it’s all ‘Oh my god, look at this exotic beauty’ but I’m like I see beautiful people like Lupita every day, and on top of that I run into them in the business. So a movie like Skinned which explores not from a documentary standpoint but from a moving picture with entertainment purposes, it explores what happens when society, and a lot of times it can be the closest people to you, impose these unhealthy ideals of the standards of beauty on you for years and years.

And that’s what happened to my character Jolie. It starts when she’s a child and it starts in the family. She’ s the only dark one in her family, everybody else is light bright. So she felt like an outcast from the beginning. So it didn’t help with her sisters picking on her. It didn’t help when her auntie is saying ‘who is this little chocolate drop? Children hear these things— these things hurt and children remember them and it shakes them.


So “Skinned” is important because it shows how this can affect a person after years and years of this type of conditioning and the detriment that this could cause. And for a person going through the struggle, changing yourself is not the solution; it’s changing your mind about how you see yourself. That’s why this is so pertinent in this day and time because although it comes from one person’s perspective, people can [relate]. So, I’m happy to use my gift to shed some light on a topic that is so important and I really hope it does change some lives.

I know Bill Duke started a conversation with his “Dark Girls” & “Light Girls” documentary but Skinned is different because it’s not talking about a person is dark skinned and having problems or light skinned having issues; its about a person who from society’s pressure, makes her feel like she needs to change herself to be beautiful. Skin bleaching is huge, it’s a worldwide epidemic.

What is the premiere date?

We are an official selection at the Pan African Film Festival. So the world premiere will be February 7th at the festival and it will be in theaters in the spring of this year.

What’s next for 2015?

Well in 2015 I’m finally going to release music publicly with “Skin I’m In”I shoot a music vid for that on Sunday and I’m going to do a short documentary to kind of catch people up on why people haven’t heard music from me publically since Making Da Band. So it’s going to be a short little 5-minute documentary to kind of tell you why it’s been taking so long. [Making @TheJasmineBurke], which is a play on Making Da Band. Then Bossip TV; I started that and it’s an awesome comedy about Fictional characters who work at Bossip and that’s really exciting as all get out. And then Skinned. So music, movies, and TV shows. I’m doing it all.

How can people keep up with you on social media?

My handle is @TheJasmineBurke. I love to talk back when I have downtime.



Bossip Comment Policy
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.