The Intimate Side of Jordin Sparks11.12.10
She transformed into a pop sensation in front of the world at the tender age of 17 as the winner of American Idol. But now singing beauty Jordin Sparks is all grown up, with a starring role on Broadway under her belt and her brilliant brown eyes set on the next major music project. Cotton Candy caught up with the lovely lady. And the soon-to-be 21-year-old star was full of charm as she dished about family life, personal mantras and future dreams.
Cotton Candy: So, Jordin you have so much going on, obviously. You’ve got your music career with an American Music Award. You’re Grammy nominated. You’re acting on Broadway with your performance in In the Heights. Why make your perfume scent ‘Because of You’, now?
Jordin Sparks: You know what? This whole business is all about opportunity and when opportunity comes around you have to take it. It was just one of those things I’ve just wanted to do. And early this year the opportunity came up. And I was like, “Let’s do this.” And it was really cool because we did this a lot faster than what you usually see. I mean if you see another celebrity that’s doing [a scent], it can take up to two years. And this one took seven months. So I was very excited to be able to get it out fast. And it was very crazy because when I get excited about something, I want to tell everybody. But they were like, “You can’t say a word.” I was like “Oh no.” But I agreed, “Ok, I won’t.” But it was really hard. (Laughs) But once I did, I was so excited to tell my fans.
CC: And we’ve heard that you were actually inspired by a friend who passed away when choosing exactly what went into this fragrance.
JS: Yes, I was. My mother’s best friend was like a second mother to me. Her name is Wendy. And she passed away from melanoma, an aggressive type of skin cancer. The little bit of orange that’s in the box, it goes from orange and fades into pink, that’s for her. And it also raises awareness about melanoma. So hopefully, in another fragrance, I can do an orange bottle, and all the proceeds could go to a foundation that researches melanoma and help those with the disease.
CC: So with everything going on, how do you prioritize, especially your personal life?
JS: My family always comes first. Fans come after that. Of course, I have to find time for myself. But family is first. I am doing Broadway (In the Heights) right now, which is almost over. Sunday (November 14, 2010) is my last show. So it’s gone by so fast. But, when they had asked me to be a part of it, Broadway is something I’ve always wanted to do. But my brother had his last high school football season. And truthfully, I almost said no because I have to be at his games. He’s always been there for me. I need to be there for him. And I talked to my brother telling him, “I don’t want to go because I don’t want to miss your games.” But he said to me, “You know what? It’s ok. You can go.” So, I asked about personal days and said “I’m flying home for my brother’s game.” So, I got to fly home for some of his games. (Nods) Family has always come first for me. They’re my backbone.
CC: So with all of those aspects in your life, how do you unwind?
JS: Well, between Broadway and touring, I get pretty reclusive. (Smiles) With this schedule, it’s about eight shows a week. So, I’m at home with my dogs just chilling in front of the television, which I usually don’t get to watch TV! And I have my guitar as well, so I’ll sit and play that. Plus, I absolutely love to read. So that’s something that I love to do. I actually just started the Sookie Stackhouse series that HBO’s True Blood is based off of. I finished two books in two days. (Laughs) I haven’t watched the show, but I really like to read because I let my imagination go wherever it’ll take me. Oh and sleeping, which I barely get to do.
CC: In the midst of it all, what motivates you?
JS: My family. Again. They’ve always been so supportive, and they’ve always been really hard working. So, I got my work ethic based off of them. My dad was always working to support us. So was my mom. Once my dad was retired they were both doing real estate. And then my brother he is so focused on school, right now. He has definitely been one of my huge inspirations. He has always been there for me, even when some things have been a little bit crazy. Even if it was all about me at an event, he’s always been right there supporting me. So he definitely motivates me.
Also [what motivates me] is that I definitely want to have a long career. Longevity is what I’m striving for. So even if people don’t see me for a long time, I’m definitely doing work behind the scenes. I try to be better. I try to evolve. It’s not going to be too insane. (Smiles) But you always want to grow with your music. And as I’m getting older, and my fans are growing older with me, it’s definitely fun to write about an experience that I went through. And [my fans] will say, “Oh my gosh. This is the story of my life.” After Broadway, I’m going home. I finally just got my studio that I’ve always wanted. We finally finished building it. And I’m going to go home, rest, and just be able to record at home. So I’m very excited to be able to do that.
CC: So what’s your advice for fans who want to be where you are?
JS: I feel that if it’s something that you want to do, you have to practice. It’s not going to come easy. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifices. It means doing whatever it takes to get there. But that doesn’t mean stepping on people, by any means. That is not it at all. But looking at your work and knowing [you may have to ask yourself], “Ok. Do I want to do this, or do I want to do this [other thing] more?” And just knowing that it’s what you want to do. Making sure that it is what you want to do. You don’t want to strive for something, and then say, ‘I change my mind’ because then you’ve wasted time on something that you really don’t want to do.
Also have at least that one person that one person that’s going to support you 100 percent. That’s also very important. You don’t want to go for something and feel as if no one is supporting you. You definitely need that support and you need that person to fall back on. That would be my best advice. (Smiles)
Written by: Natasha D. Smith