Jordin Sparks Learns, Loves and Grows Through Music
photo by Mark Liddel
Jordin Sparks may just be one of the happiest girls in the world. Seriously.
Calling from her national tour of a dozen-plus cities, she still managed to muster enough energy to speak with us. The 6th season American Idol winner has spent her entire summer performing in her first ever headline tour. Although she’s had tons of experience on stage, touring with Alicia Keys and Jesse McCartney in the past, this would be the first time she’d have her own spotlight.
From the back of the stage, to the limelight this 20-year-old songstress has learned so much in a short period of time and wasn’t afraid to tell us. A true sweetheart, Sparks talked to us about her journey of patience and why she’s excited about the future.
Madame Noire: How are you? How has the tour been going?
Jordin Sparks: Everything has been really crazy and busy, but I’m really good. The tour has been a lot of fun. Being able to be on my own, headlining… I’m still getting used to everything. Having openers, having more than five songs to sing, but it’s been so much fun and I love being able to see all the fans. You know, we’ve been in smaller venues—so we’re doing like clubs, theaters, House of Blues.
MN: What cities have you gone to?
JS: I don’t remember all the dates, but we just did Cincinnati, Boston… we’ve done New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Washington, Connecticut….we have coming up Virginia Beach, Norfolk and then North Carolina, Ft. Lauderdale, then Atlanta. We have three days in Texas, then Arizona… I get to go back to my hometown! A lot of California dates, then Seattle… I’m just really excited.
MN: You toured with Alicia Keys a few years ago. How has it been going from the opener to the headliner?
JS: My first tour… oh man, I got to go way back [laughs]… before American Idol I sang backup for a Christian artist. I always wanted to be… you know I love singing background, but I wanted to be the lead singer [laughs]! It was really cool to have that experience touring and all of that. So once American Idol happened I was the last person to come out on the tour and it was crazy for me to have it actually happening, me being in the front.
That was the point where I actually realized I have to work really hard at this. I’ve learned about myself and I’ve learned about the industry and I’ve grown up a bit.
And I’ve been having the most fun ever, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
MN: Are you working on a new album?
JS: Not currently, I would love to right now. I’m kind of just focusing on the tour and then Broadway, because I literally went straight from the tour to rehearsal for “In the Heights.” Maybe once I get adjusted with the schedule on Broadway I can. I’m always writing so maybe I can start working on more music after Broadway is finished.
MN: How did the Broadway gig come about?
JS: I was in New York for something and we decided to take a meeting with some of the people with the show. We talked about how they wanted to adapt the play into a movie. The meeting was fun and they said come to the show and listen to the soundtrack. And I literally have not stopped listening to the music since I got it in February. I fell in love with the show when I saw it. I loved it, I loved it so much. We took another meeting and wanted something to come of it. I reached out and said if nothing happens, thank you so much for the music and tickets to the show.
A week later the offer was in my mailbox. I couldn’t believe it! I was just so excited, now I’m excited it’s going to be a new arena for me.
MN: Have you ever acted before?
JS: Just a little bit. I did a show for “Sweet Life on Deck” for Disney, I actually did a lot of community theater and I was in drama club before “American Idol.” I love being on stage and performing, it’s going to be different than community theater and just performing in my hometown, so I’m excited for the experience. But it’s also going to be something different for me on a life level. I’ll be living on my own for the first time, in New York of all places. It’s definitely gonna be crazy.
MN: Besides Broadway and the tour, what else do you have going on?
JS: I have a campaign with All State about not texting and driving. I was lucky enough for them to want to come on tour with me to promote not texting and driving. It not only affects kids my age, but adults as well. My fans can take the pledge. And if they can’t drive, they should hold their parents accountable. I love seeing my fans get involved in good causes.