As a successful actor, singer and songwriter, Jermaine Crawford is a man of many talents. Crawford recently released an EP of sultry R&B music entitled 4playT3ois, and he’s spending the summer performing (he just did a show at the Howard Theater) and putting the finishing touches on his full length album.
Crawford displayed his acting chops playing a troubled (but sensitive) street kid in the HBO television show The Wire. Crawford’s sympathetic portrayal of his character “Dukie” was a highlight of the series, considered by many critics to be one of the best shows in TV history.
Crawford and many of The Wire cast members reunited in Baltimore at the Artscape festival for “Wired Up”, a collection of monologues based on actual stories from the Freddie Gray/Baltimore riots. “Wired Up” was sponsored by ReWired For Change, a nonprofit organization created by actress Sonja Sohn – who played police officer Shakima Greggs on The Wire.
I got an opportunity to talk with Crawford just before he went on stage for his “Wired Up” performance.
Sidney Thomas: You’re originally from Bowie, Maryland. Where did you attend high school?
Jermaine Crawford: That’s right, I’m Prince George’s County born and raised. I was planning to attend Flowers, but then The Wire happened and I took my classes on set
ST: Tell us about your new music.
JC: I just released an EP called 4PlayT3ois on iTune, Spotify, Soundcloud, Tidal, etc., I’m also planning to release an album in the near future and I’m doing it all independently. I write my own lyrics and I put my soul into everything I create.
ST: How would you define your music?
JC: I’m an R&B singer. People have called it urban R&B or urban popular. I try to fuse a lot of different elements into my music so that everyone can appreciate it.
ST: Are you working on any acting projects?
JC: I’m reading every script that comes my way and I’m still auditioning. It’s about finding the right role and the right opportunity.
ST: Talk about what “Wired Up” means to you.
JC: This event is really awesome. After the Baltimore Uprising riots I wanted to get involved and help the community – this opportunity is personal to me and it feels good to be able to give back. It’s an honor to continue to shed light on this issue.