'The Chi' Season 5 on Showtime: Luke James began his career as background singer before acting breakthrough

'The Chi' Season 5 on Showtime: Luke James began his career as background singer before acting breakthrough
Actor Luke James talks about his earliest days as a background singer for Tyrese Gibson (Photo by Aaron J Thornton/Getty Images for BET)

Showtime’s fan favorite series ‘The Chi’ Season 5 has made its smashing comeback on screens on June 26, 2022. Ever since its inception in 2018, the series has been gaining critical acclaim and exceptional reviews from audiences and critics for the excellent representation of Black people who are seen going through various ups and downs. It revolves around the emotional chaos and the inner demons that all main characters fight each day while living in the Southern part of California.

‘The Chi’ Season 5 has been helmed by the Emmy award-winning director Lena Waithe. Fans have been raving and loving the brilliant portrayal of Black culture within California amongst a group of totally different characters that come together through a unique connection. This season is mainly about featuring all sorts of ‘Black love’. In ‘The Chi’ Season 5, Luke James essays the role of Trig who is the estranged older brother of Jake. The current season focuses more on Trig and Douda’s possible attempts at reconciliation which is a difficult feat to achieve as both of them are constantly seen at loggerheads.

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Luke James earliest days as a background singer for Tyrese Gibson

In an old interview with Vestal Magazine dated January 2020, James opened up on his initial career days as a background singer for Tyrese Gibson. He also went on tours with Gibson back then. The Grammy-nominated singer and actor Luke James said, “I certainly did not get butterflies from background singing. Background singing was depressing. Although coming straight out of high school and going on tour with Tyrese and singing background for someone like that at the time was fun. Touring the world, making money, and all that kind of stuff was exciting at that time, but I later wanted something more, and the facade quickly went away. I had to find my way to the foreground where I needed to be.”

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Luke James started out as a musician way before acting

Talking about his childhood days when he did go to music school for a short period of time, James said, “Yes and no. I started out playing saxophone. I didn’t go too serious with it, though. In New Orleans, we have a school called NOCCA, which is a performing arts school. I went there a couple of times, which got me motivated. It was like being at a Jazz camp. Christian Scott, Trumbo Shorty John Baptiste, all of them went to the same camp. New Orleans is a very unique Town. It is very musical, so you can’t help but be in some ways influenced by all the different sounds you experience there.”

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Luke James favorite music collection from his mother’s vinyl records

The 'Dancing in the Dark' singer loved the music collection from his mother's vinyl records. “Three albums, hm... Sinead O’Connor, I think “Nothing Compares” was on that album. Donny Hathaway, But of course you had on “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” songs like that. Then the third record got to be honest, Alabama.”

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Luke James breakthrough as an actor

The 'I Want You' singer took a career hiatus of six years, post which began his journey as an actor. In an old interview with Refinery 29 dated March 2021, James said, “Doing film and television really helped me get to a new space. Where I can just listen and feel and make music from the new guy, from the new me.”

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Not many are aware that the Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter who is also an actor, fell in love with acting when he started giving stellar performances in hit shows like BET’s ‘The New Edition Story’, Fox channel’s musical drama ‘Star’, limited series ‘Unsolved’ and a comedy film ‘Little’. Currently, he is seen essaying the multi-layered and nuanced character of Trig in ‘The Chi’ Season 5.

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‘The Chi’ Season 5 airs every Sunday at 9 pm ET on Fubo TV (trial), Sling TV. Viewers can also watch it on Amazon Prime Video with a premium subscription. Alternatively, Showtime subscribers can catch the episodes at any time according to their convenience. The drama series is also available for purchase on YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Apple TV, and Vudu as well.

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