Imagine writing an amazing song and then your best friend takes the credit for it! That is the story of the new Disney movie Let It Shine. Cyrus DeBarge (played by Tyler James Williams) and his best friend Kris McDuffy (played by Trevor Jackson) reunite with their childhood friend, the beautiful singing sensation Roxie Andrews (played by Coco Jones). Cyrus crafts a heartfelt and contest-winning rhyme about Roxie, but his work is mistakenly attributed to Kris. Cyrus stands by while Kris not only takes credit for the lyrics, but begins to win Roxie’s heart too. Now, it’s up to the true poet to overcome self-doubt, reveal his authentic self, and pursue his dreams.
We interviewed the 3 actors to find out more about the movie. Read on to find out what they said!
Who are your musical influences?
Coco: From the time that I started singing, my mom always had me sing songs by singers with big voices, so I sang Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Celine Dion, and Jennifer Hudson. I would have to say that these ladies are my top musical influences.
Trevor: Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Brian McKnight, Donny Hathaway, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and more.
Tyler: Andre 3000 as an artist and producer, Lupe Fiasco as a lyricist, and John Mayer and Matt Greiner as musicians.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Coco: My biggest influence is definitely my mom. She has sung with me as long as I can remember. She helps me with everything: learning my scripts, teaching me to cook, plus she homeschools me. I know she believes in me, and no matter what, she and my dad are always proud of me.
Tyler: My mom. She has always been the person I go to when dealing with any difficult decision. She always knows exactly what to say to help guide me in the right direction.
Describe your fashion style.
Coco: I have two styles. When I am performing or working, I enjoy a lot of bling. You’ll find me in crazy accessories, bright colored skinny jeans, and cool shoes. During the week while I am at home or in the studio, I keep it very casual and comfortable with sweats, jeans, and t-shirts.
Tyler: Nothing flashy. Relaxed. I wear boots regardless of the time of year. Laid back but I also have the potential to get dressy at any moment.
What is one thing that you would like to see happen to help make the world a better place?
Coco: My parents adopted my oldest brother when he was 14 years old. I wish I could help more people to see the importance of older aged adoption in our country. My passion is to work to change things for orphans in the United States. My parents made each of the kids promise that we would all adopt at least one child when we got old enough to have our own families, and we all will.
Trevor: The world would be a better place if there was no more racism and discrimination. I want to use what God has given me to inspire others to do the same and let them know that anything is possible through hard work, humility, and love.
Tyler: I would like to see people love each other more. Our society is so quick to judge and condemn someone who has done something wrong, it’s sad. I believe in second, third, fourth, and fifth chances, which is why I support and work with the Los Angeles Dream Center so much. They will never give up on someone. Ultimately I believe that is what will create positive change in the community, country, and world.
Who was the jokester on set? Who was the serious one?
Coco: I am laughing just thinking about Trevor on set. He was always singing and dancing and making us laugh. Tyler was the serious one. He had done so much work, and he really helped us become better actors.
Do you have a favorite scene in the movie?
Coco: I love the finale scene with the song “Let It Shine.” It has so much energy; the wardrobe is great; the song is wonderful, and the entire cast was there. It was awesome!
Trevor: I love this entire movie, so I don’t think I can pick one.
Tyler: I love the first club scene. The audience gets a good feel of the mood, friendship, and talents of Kris and Cyrus, and we also introduce Roxie.
What do you hope people will learn from Let It Shine?
Coco: Being yourself is the most important thing, but I also know they will see how important it is to discover their talents.
Trevor: You can do anything you put your mind to!
Tyler: Be you. Nobody can be you like you.