Jamila Velazquez

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Jamila Velazquez
Born Jamila Velazquez
(1995-11-27) November 27, 1995 (age 22)
South Bronx, New York City, U.S.
Nationality American, U.S.
Occupation Actress, Singer, Songwriter
Years active 2011-present

Jamila Velazquez (born November 27, 1995), is an American singer and actress, best known for her recurring roles as Sarita in the ABC Family series Twisted (2013-2014) and as Laura Calleros on FOX's primetime musical-drama series Empire Season 2 (2015–2016). She began singing and performing where she won a talent show in 2010.

Life and career[edit]

1996–2003: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Velazquez was born in the Bronx, New York to Dominican, Ecuadorian, and Puerto Rican parents. She also has a younger sister named Jada Velazquez. Her younger sister and her parents reside in Rockland County, New York.[1][2] Velazquez was raised in the Longwood-Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. Growing up, she attended Catholic School, and by the age of six was enrolled in acting class.[1]

She began singing and performing in kindergarten. When she was just eight years old her acting teacher saw a glimmer of talent in her, which led to booking her first role on an off-Broadway play called "The End of You".[1]

That sense of determination followed throughout high school. She would trek everyday from Rockland County, where she moved when she was eleven, to Midtown Manhattan to attend the Professional Performing Arts High School. At first, she was a vocal major, but then switched to drama her sophomore year.

2011: Come Home Raquel[edit]

Jamila Velazquez first appeared in a movie drama Come Home Raquel, as playing the lead role Raquel in 2011. Raquel is a 13-year-old girl living in Queens, New York, struggles to make sense of her life after the deportation of her parents. Things quickly change upon the arrival of a new teacher and the return of her long lost uncle.

2012, 2015: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit[edit]

Later in 2012 she guest-starring in a TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in season 14, episode 4 "Acceptable Loss" as a sex worker named Pilar Morenas. In 2015, she played again as Pilar Morenas in season 16, episode 15 "Undercover Mother" and season 16, episode 23 "Surrendering Noah".

2013: Twisted[edit]

Velazquez joined the cast of the ABC Family's new series Twisted in 2013, as the role of Sarita. She is a minor character in Twisted, former best friend of main character Lacey Porter and murdered student Regina Crane. Sarita is an elitist and manipulative girl who enjoys humiliating people she deems beneath her.

2015-2016: Empire[edit]

On August 3. in 2015 it was announced that Jamila Velazquez was joining the cast as Latina girl Laura Calleros from Bronx, New York, on Fox's Empire Season 2. She is the lead singer in Lyon Dynasty's Latin-American girl group of Mirage a Trois. Laura is a girl who really demands Hakeem's respect and works hard, she is a major recurring character and the ex-fiancée of Hakeem Lyon. Laura Calleros first appeared in Empire Season 2 "Poor Yorick".

2016: Orange Is the New Black[edit]

Velazquez has a cameo role in the comedy-drama series Orange is the New Black in June 2016.[3][4]

Artistry[edit]

Velazquez is described as a pop/rock ballad singer. As growing up she really loved Cher, but Fiona Apple is one of her favorites. She goes from Led Zappelin and Alice in Chains to Future, Drake, Laura Pausini and Shakira, but when it comes to Latin music, she always loved Amanda Miguel that her parents showed her when she started singing Spanish ballads.

Velazquez wrote her first song "Nothing Like You" and it was realised on January 23, 2015, it's also a Spanish Version called "Nada Como Tu". The song is classic, alternative, pop/rock break-up song.

Discography[edit]

Solo songs

Music
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Nothing Like You" (English Version) (Jamila Velazquez) Jamila Velazquez Jamila Velazquez 3:33
2. "Nada Como Tu" (Spanish Version) (Jamila Velazquez) Jamila Velazquez Jamila Velazquez 3:33

Empire Music

Empire Music
No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Lago Azul" (feat. Jamila Velazquez) Empire cast 3:59
2. "Runnin'" (feat. Yazz, Jamila Velazquez, Raquel Castro and Yani Marin) Empire Cast 2:56
3. "Mimosa" (feat. Jamila Velazquez, Raquel Castro and Yani Marin) Empire Cast 3:26
4. "Yo Vivire" (feat. Jamila Velazquez) Empire Cast 3:32
5. "Miracles" (feat. Yazz and Jamila Velazquez) Empire Cast 2:47
6. "Crown" (feat. Jamila Velazquez, Raquel Castro and Yani Marin) Empire Cast 3:14
7. "All Nite" (feat. Yazz, Jamila Velazquez and Serayah) Empire Cast 3:50

Filmography[edit]

Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2011 Come Home Raquel Raquel Lead role
TV roles and appearances
Year Title Role Notes
2012, 2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' Pilar Morenas Prostitute (3 episodes)
2013-2014 Twisted Sarita Minor character (9 episodes)
2015–2016 Empire Laura Calleros recurring (18 episodes)
2016 Orange Is The New Black Teenage Sirena (1 episode)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "'Empire' Breakout Star Jamila Velazquez Aims To Leave Her Mark On And Off The Screen". vibe.com. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  2. ^ "'Empire' Breakout Star Jamila Velazquez Dishes on Romancing Hakeem & Her Solo Music: Exclusive". billboard.com. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "Meet 'Empire' Star Jamila Velazquez". wwd.com. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "Empire's Jamila Velazquez to have a cameo in Orange Is The New Black Season 4". melty.com. Retrieved 2016. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]