Jordin Sparks Talks “African Cats”, NKOTBSB and More
Mon, 25 Apr 2011 07:04:48
Broadway singer. American Idol Season Six alum and youngest winner in the show's history at age 17. Singer of hits. Fragrancier. Spokeswoman for "I'm M.A.D., Are You?" campaign which aims to motivate people to channel their energy into things they are passionate about. That's just a sampling of the many things that the uber-talented songbird Jordin Sparks, 21, has been involved in.
But perhaps ARTISTdirect.com's favorite thing that Sparks has done is sing "The World I Knew," the unforgettable song that accompanies the end credits of Disney's "must see" African Cats, the family-friendly film that takes an intimate, in-depth and incredible look at the big, beautiful cats that populate the Savanna. The cats are endangered and this moving film should inspire you to care about the plight of these gorgeous and captivating creatures.
The film is in theaters now and ARTISTdirect.com News Editor Amy Sciarretto chatted with Sparks about "The World I Knew," which will embed itself into your memory like a mama cat's teeth in her baby cub's neck as she carries it to safety, thanks to the song's monster hook! It's one of Sparks' best performances and she talks candidly about why she chose to sing the song, what she loved about African Cats and her upcoming summer tour with New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys!
What attracted you to the film and plight of the big cats, who, by the way, are soooo easy to fall in love with!
It was a little bit of everything. I didn't know much about the project but I got an email that was marked "urgent" from Disney, who wanted me to put a voice on the song. Ryan Tedder produced it and that was all I knew. I didn't get past first chorus and I already knew that I was in love with it. I stopped listening, emailed them and said, 'I'd love to be part of it.' Two days later, I was out in LA, recording the song. After we recorded the main part, before we did any fixes, I received a copy of the unedited, rough version of the movie and watched it. It was so great that it got me more excited about the song, since it fit perfectly. But you can take the song out of the movie and still relate to the song; it's relatable both ways. That is the message anyone can relate to: no matter what your age, if you have that one person or support system, you can make it through anything.
What was your favorite part of movie?
I love animals and baby animals are cutest things ever! They are so cute and so fluffy, you want to squeeze them. You don't want to think, 'They could really hurt me' since these are not domesticated cats. I was drawn in by the way Disney captured everything intimately. It so close that you feel like you are there and are able to get attached to the cats in the movie. You get to know their stories, their names, what's happening around them. I laughed. I cried. I yelled at the TV screen. I was mad. It invokes a lot of emotion.
That one clip of the babies shivering in the rain, that is also spliced in your video, was just soul crushing.
Aww, I know. One thing that passed through my head at one point, and it was crazy to think about it, is that you see them shivering and think to yourself, 'Why didn't someone go with an umbrella and shade them?' It's like you want to apply human thought processes to it.
I totally agree. In the video for "The World I Knew," it looks like you were part of the movie, in the way it was filmed.
I love what they did to it and I have to give them a lot of credit since it looks so amazing and the post-team that helped finish the video did such a great job. It was my first time working on a blue screen, not a green screen, but a blue screen. What they did to create the look of the video sure makes it look like I was there, walking in Savanna at night and not expecting cats to pop out or to be faced with danger. It turned out so beautifully. I did end up going to Africa recently, but for a trip that was already planned for over a year. I finished the song and went over there, but I didn't get to go on safari. Next time, though.
Overall, is there anything else you'd like to share about African Cats?
It's a great movie for everyone. I think that younger kids will like it, teens will like it. Young adults my age and older adults will like it. It is a great to see a movie that can reach all ages, and it'll be a fun family experience, or even for a first date. It's a great movie for different people. One of the greatest things about it is that during the opening week, a portion of ticket sales go towards saving the Savanna, so we can keep those cats happy.
Besides "The World I Knew" what else is new with Jordin Sparks, post American Idol?
I just got the master to my new single and am so stoked about it. In the next couple weeks, it will go to radio and I can release it to fans. I am also opening for NKOTB and BSB for part of the summer. I am going to get my fan girl on and am excited to be on that stage and to be able to play some of my songs. I will play all the songs people know and some new material, too.
Any duets planned with any of the boys?
A few people have suggested and it might be a popular thing to do. They are in rehearsals and I start rehearsals this week! I guess we'll have to say, maybe? They'll ask me? I'll ask them?
What’s your favorite Jordin Sparks song?