The 17-year-old Filipino-American singer Jessica Sanchez, the runner-up in last season’s American Idol, released this week her debut album Me, You & the Music. She discusses visiting the Philippines and landing a guest role on Glee.
Talk about mixing the sound that helped you excel on Idol with a more playful one on your album.
Music, it just runs in my blood and I love music. So I’m trying to bring the tone of my voice and trying to mix it with the genre – the generation of music now – so that you get the feel of the real voice, the real grittiness that you got back in the day, and bring it to the pop-club mix.
What were your thoughts when you were offered a role in Glee?
Oh, I freaked out. Ryan Murphy called me in for a meeting ... and he asked me: “Have you ever acted before?” And I said: “No. I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve never acted.” I walked out and then a couple of days later I get a call from my manager and she said that “he wants you to be in the show”, and I’m like: “What? I’ve never acted before. That’s crazy.” But ever since then, I’ve been taking acting classes and I’ve been really, really working on it. So hopefully it all pays off.
You’re of Mexican and Filipino descent. What’s your fan following like in those countries?
Being on the show I had so much support from the Filipino crowd and the Latin crowd. Going to the Philippines was insane. I am like J Lo over there! Like, I got off the plane and [security] were like: “No, you have to come over here.” And I had to stay in a room because people were trying to take pictures, there was paparazzi. I was like, “What the heck? This is weird.”
As a young person in the entertainment industry, do you worry about falling into the wrong crowd?
I’ve had bad influences. I’ve had friends that backstabbed me. I’ve had no friends at all at certain times. I mean, I’ve been offered substances of drugs and I just told myself it’s not worth it because in the future I have so many bright things ahead of me. I’ve always said no and I’ve always stuck my mind to family, school, music and just what I love and what’s positive. – AP
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