Rotimi Makes ‘Power’ Moves
Olurotimi Akinsoho, known professionally as Rotimi, is on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s most versatile and brightest stars. During the past few years, the 26-year-old actor has acquired several roles in movies like Divergent, Black Nativity and Imperial Dreams. Now he’s back with his most transparent character in Starz’s compelling series, Power. This season, Rotimi is eager for viewers to see his character, Dre, evolve.
“People will start seeing Dre more as a human being,” Rotimi tells JET. “He’ll be forced to make better decisions on behalf of his family and himself. Now that he’s in the world of power, he chooses his alliances more wisely and knows what makes sense for him. He’s a survivor so he’s going to do what’s best for his daughter.”
Last season, Dre played the wildcard, but now his storyline is progressing in the arc of Kanan and Ghost’s relationship, played by 50 Cent and Omari Hardwick, respectively. He reveals, “Dre ends up figuring who he’s going to side with. He’s a hybrid of both of them. That’s one of the few elements of Dre that will arise this season- without telling too much.”
The 2010 Northwestern University graduate is extremely grateful for this role as he realizes it continually opens up massive doors for his career. He undoubtedly believes that Power allowed him the platform to flourish as a man of many hats.
“It’s gotten me into rooms I wasn’t able to get into before,” the ambitious power player admits. “Moving forward, my goal is not to be seen as an actor/singer, it’s to be known as a well-rounded entertainer. There are no boundaries in this business, there’s just different forms of expression and creativity. Power has definitely given me a great platform.”
Rotimi is a natural in front of the camera, but singing and writing music will remain his first love. The multi-talented star has released several EP’s: “Netflix and Chill”, “Royal Wednesdays” and “While You Wait.”
“Music is all of who I am that comes from a pure place. I don’t write records that I don’t connect with or haven’t lived or seen myself. The process is more organic in terms of revealing my own story. With acting, I’m getting the chance to bring small elements of myself to the character. It’s basically a partnership between me and the writer. The mannerisms of Dre and others roles that I play are narratives I created, but I still have a certain guideline I have to follow which is the script,” he says.
His newest EP, Summer Bangerz arrived just in the nick of time for the cool summer cookouts and beach kickbacks. It was Rotimi’s desire to highlight three defining artists in his favorite era of music.
“Summer Bangerz is me paying homage to my favorite 90’s records,” he says. “The records that we chose to sample were LL Cool J’s ‘Doin it,’ Mya’s ‘Movin On,’ and Black Rob’s ‘Woah.’ I wanted to incorporate a summer time feel on these records. It’s taking off really well and it’s the exact way I wanted more people to get familiar with my sound.”
The entertainer isn’t stopping there. Later this year, Rotimi is set to take the action on the big screen in Deuces. He stars alongside an insanely talented ensemble cast that includes Larenz Tate, Megan Good, Lala Anthony and Lance Gross.
Deuces, executive produced by Queen Latifah and her production company, Flava Unit, is about a detective who’s on a mission to take down a crime ring. Rotimi was thrilled to take his role as ‘Face’ with a group of thespians that he thoroughly respects.
“When you’re on any movie set, your co-stars become your family. I was the youngest one on set, so I absorbed everything like a sponge. I was asking both Larenz and Lance questions and taking it all in,” he says. “In Deuces, you’ll see a different side of me and I think the plot’s twists and turns will surprise many.”
Rotimi credits his success to having the support of his family and staying committed to his craft, but he doesn’t hesitate in giving props to his mentor, Power’s executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. The two forged a close relationship even before 50 signed him to his label and earned an urban radio hit last year with their song “Lotto.”
“He taught me that work ethic is what separates you from the bunch” says the G-Unit artist. “I’ve gotten to the point where the hardest thing for me to do is stop working and take a break. He’s a workaholic and moves very strategically and is very passionate about what he believes in. It was an honor for him to take me under his wing.”
Check out the Season 3 Premier of Power on the Starz network on July 17. Also check out Rotimi’s latest EP, Summer Bangerz on SoundCloud