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11 June, 2010 9:41 PM
Published by MDS
Syesha Mercado had one of the best voices of Season 7, and even tough she came out third, her carrer was just starting. Now playing Deena on the Dreamgirls musical, she is still pursing a carrer in music and is starting to record her highly anticipated album. I'm more than anxious to hear what she has for us. This is a must read for any fan of Syesha, and I'm not saying it because it's my blog, I say it because her answers are very interesting and I personally learned a lot of thing I didn't know about her, so, enjoy!
Interview and one of her best performances on Idol after the JUMP ...
*How would you describe yourself as an artist?
Always evolving and ready to try new sounds and styles. I always do what makes me feel comfortable and happy. I would classify my style as Universal Pop.
*Who would you name as your biggest influence/your idol?
My parents. I am who I am, because of them, especially my mother who is a singer herself. I grew up watching her perform and following her around the house singing. Growing up having bi-cultural parents (my father is Puerto Rican and my mother is Bahamian) at a young age I was exposed to all genres. That gave me a strong appreciation for all types of music and it's definitely aided in my versatility as an Artist.
*What is the best advice someone ever given to you?
Mariah Carey once told me “Do you!”. In this industry you constantly have people pulling you in every direction, so without a sense of self you will be lost. I remember Mariah's words whenever I'm making career decisions. It reminds me to be true to myself and to do what makes me happy.
*Something interesting we don't know about you?
This is really random but I’m addicted to Chocolate and Bread. The sad thing is I recently found out that I’m allergic to Chocolate and yeast. My heart broke a little when I got the results back from my allergy test….lol
*How would you describe your time on Idol?
It was Stressful, lot’s of hard work sweat and tears, similar to a Boot Camp, a major learning experience, and a journey of growth as a person and artist. I had no social life during the show, but I was there to reach top three and I had to remind myself everyday that I was on location not vacation. All the focus and hard work paid off and looking back I wouldn’t have traded that experience for anything. I had a goal to be Top 3 and I accomplished it.
*Prior to Idol you participated in ABC's The One. Do you believe that if the show hadn't been cancelled you would have won?
I was hoping that would have been the turn out. I really wanted to win and the way the show was going things were in my favor.
*Did that experience prepare you for American Idol?
Most definitely, but that show completely spoiled the contestants. As top 11 we had a personal trainer, personal cook, our own vocal coach and private lessons for guitar and piano, a gym, studio, kitchen etc. The audience was also able to see the contestants under one roof, so it was totally different from Idol. But the rigorous schedule really helped discipline me and I learned early on what it takes outside of being on the stage to be ready and healthy to perform.
*When you were chosen to play Deena on Dreamgirls, what did you think?
I was ecstatic. I was in front of Radio City when I got the call from my agent and I couldn’t stop jumping for joy. After 6 months of auditioning I was relieved and proud of myself for making it through that grueling process. My last audition day I was ill from all the stress of waiting and not knowing what they wanted, but I had to stand tall and stick it out. On the first reading, Deena’s character lacked substance to me, but after returning to the script I discovered things about Deena I never knew. I realized she had a lot to say and her story became one that I felt was important to tell. Every night when I’m on stage I look forward to telling her story.
*You have already starred in many other plays before Dreamgirls. How much has your style changed since your first play?
I’ve done musical theater in secondary school and I studied theater in College. I’ve competed in the Florida Theatre Conference and the South Eastern Theatre Conference in middle school and high school. I’ve won Best Actress, Supporting Actress, and Best Cameo Role, but even with awards your craft is something that needs to be constantly exercised. After doing Idol I felt so distant from acting and extremely nervous to do something as big as Dreamgirls because I had been away from acting for so long, this would make my first professional production and after Idol I felt like all eyes were on me. But when something comes natural to you somehow no matter how long you are away from it you get back into the rhythm and that’s what happened. I really see no style to acting. I just try my best to be present and in the moment, so that is real. If I can relate to the situation and draw upon personal experiences then I do that. I guess that's always been my style.
*I know you are currently on tour, how is that experience?
It's been great! I’ve been enjoying the experience and being on the road with such a talented and friendly cast. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with my fans and see the world. My favorite stop so far has been Tokyo. I shopped like crazy. Their fashion sense is ridiculously awesome and inspiring.
*We haven't heard any original music from you, are you expecting to release or record some in the near future?
I know my fans are waiting and I thank them for their patience. I am working on an album right now I believe in taking the time needed to do things right and that’s what I have to do to be happy and in order to put out music that is true to me.
*How do you expect your album to be?
Universal Pop. It will be a reflection of who Syesha is as an artist and what she has to say. I expect my album to be honest and true to me. I’m really excited to share a piece of me with the world-the side people didn’t get to see on Idol or The One. There will definitely be songs people can dance to and of course beautiful ballads.
*Are you also a songwriter?
Yes. I’ve been writing since middle school maybe even earlier, but I remember taking keyboard lessons in 6th grade and when my teacher left he gave me the keyboard. I would spend many days in my room with the door shut, my pen and pad, and playing chords... creating melodies.
*Which is your favorite and what does it mean to you?
I wrote a song when I was younger called "Time is Winding Up". It was about a growing up and coming into my own. I always thought it could be an interlude on one of my albums. All of my songs are my babies and very special to me, so it's hard to pick favorites, but "Time is Winding Up" is one of the first. :)
*What would you say if you were compared to Tina Turner?
I’ve never gotten that before, but I don't see it as a bad thing. She is a dynamic performer. She knows just how to command a stage and she has moves for days, not to mention gorgeous legs…lol
*What is your dream collaboration?
Lady Gaga. She is super fierce and bold. I admire the risks she takes with her image and music. I’ve always been a fan of Maxwell and how true he is to his art. He is a true artist. I had the opportunity to perform with Seal in 2008 and that was an unforgettable experience for me. I would love to work with him again. There is also will.i.am, Wyclef, One Republic… the list goes on but they are at the top. Collaborating with artists overseas is a must as well. :)
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