NEW YORK – While most young celebs are consumed with taking selfies “True Blood” star Janina Gavankar is all about bringing attention to arts education in America. She’s using her voice and percussion skills to advocate for music in schools with her latest music video, “Don’t Look Down.”
FOX411: Tell us about your music video featuring the drum corps Jersey Surf.
Janina Gavankar: About a month ago, I had this idea. I heard this song by Mark featuring Usher and I loved its message so I had this idea that it could be epic if I could find a drum corps that wanted to make it with me, so I set myself into action. I called everyone I knew at Drum Corp International and I found Bob Jacobs who is the head of Jersey Surf, which is an incredible drum corps here on the east coast. It kicked my butt to make it but man it was worth it.
FOX411: How long have you been playing drums?
Gavankar: Since fourth grade. I started playing mallet percussion and glockenspiel and marimba and xylophone.
FOX411: You’re a multifaceted musician. You sing, you write, you play.
Gavankar: A lot of that was because I trained. I had an arts education very early. You might be comparing me to the pop mainstream market and that’s just not what I’m interested in doing obviously. I’m used to doing much larger one-off art pieces that maybe do or don’t have a message. Maybe what other people are in the pursuit of is just a little bit different and that’s totally fine.
FOX411: You could easily have gone the route of most pop singers and used sex appeal. Why haven’t you?
Gavankar: I have never felt sexier than doing this project…in the studio with these musicians with this much power. We had an eight hour session with just brass and I’m like “this is sexier than any TV show that I have ever been on” and I have been on some sexy TV shows. Everyone was so passionate that is the thing that feels juicy to me. That is what I’m trying to chase all the time.
FOX411: You’ve been on a ton of hit TV shows. Currently, you’re starring in “Mysteries of Laura” but in “True Blood” you were a shape shifter. If you could have one super power what would it be?
Gavankar: Telepathy or time travel. Well, time travel because I really want to know what technology looks like in the future. We’re only going to get this lifetime to know and things are going to get pretty crazy when we’re old people. It’s already scary but I would love to know what it looks like in a 100 years. I want to know what people are thinking. Well, I want to have selective telepathy