Can Andre From 'Empire' Sing? Trai Byers Proves That All 3 Lyon Sons Have Musical Talent On & Off Screen
Turns out that even though he plays the musically illiterate Andre, the lone Lyon son who chose business school over musical instruments, Empire star Trai Byers can sing. While at Yale Drama School, Byers described his many acting skills, one of which was singing, which should have given us the hint that the Empire star knew what he was doing behind the microphone. And just a few weeks ago, Byers posted a picture on Instagram with him onstage with the caption "Bet y'all thought I couldn't sing!" You got me there, buddy. But that's on me for underestimating Lee Daniels.
He knows that at some point he'll want everyone in the cast to bust out in a song, no matter what their previously determined character traits are. Every Daniels project defies logic, and therefore expectations. So I'm sure by the end of the first season, we'll find out that Andre actually took piano lessons until he was 15, or had an angelic singing voice until he hit puberty, and he'll dramatically return to the creative well at the behest of Lucious' policy that the head of Empire Entertainment has to be an artist. I mean, if I were Lucious, I wouldn't want a bratty 21-year-old or a 25-year-old about to become the biggest name in R&B to run my company, no matter how musically talented they are. I'd go for the Wharton Business grad to manage the numbers and hire a really good talent scout to look for new clients.
But as far as Byers' performance in Empire so far is concerned, his character is a totally unlikeable, musically illiterate, business encyclopedia whose scheming will never help him get ahead in the Lyon family. In the past, he's played a more musically gifted character on screen in the indie movie Jawhawkers. As Nathan Davis, good friend of Wilt Chamberlain, the famous basketball star who got his start at Kansas University, Byers acted as the audience surrogate as he watched Wilt go from incredibly gifted but discriminated against student athlete to nationally famous basketball superstar.
Byers even played the saxophone for a few scenes in the role, which he also presented as a surprise photo on his Instagram.
Sadly, he didn't follow up either the sax shot or the singing pic with a little Instagram video... but baby steps. Maybe if we start the groundswell for Andre to get a singing role, Byers will get more bold with his posts. In an interview with Hitfix, Byers claims he's happy to play the "straight man" among all the singers in the cast, but I bet he'd change his tune (get it?) if the fans clamored for it. While Byers may not play the most musically gifted Lyon son on Empire, he's more than capable of busting out a few notes if the show decides that he needs a musical epiphany.
Image: Chuck Hodes/FOX