Empire star Jussie Smollett uses real-life matters of the heart as his muse for “Hemmingway,” an original song that will be featured on tonight’s episode of Fox’s hit musical drama (May 11).
“The saying is don’t date a writer, you’ll become a storyline. Don’t date a lyricist, you’ll become a lyric. Don’t date Jussie Smollett because you’ll become an entire song,” he says in the clip.
Here, Smollett, who plays R&B singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon on Empire, sings of picture-perfect love. “I know I loved you from the first day/ Don’t know just how you turn the gray skies to blue,” he croons. “But it’s true that I’m gonna keep on loving you.”
He also explains that the track was a ballad born before the show. “‘Hemmingway’ was written before Empire existed. It’s a fairy tale put to a beat. It is one of those classic love songs,” he says. “Anybody who has ever felt just an inkling of love can understand what I’m saying and how I feel in the song.”
Get a behind-the-scenes look into the making of “Hemmingway” below before Empire airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.