Interview by Jessica-LaShawn
The Road Past American Idol
LaToya London was brought to the forefront of success after her liberating stint with the world famous show American Idol. She became one of America’s sweethearts by showing off her spunk, class and immeasurable talent week after week while belting out songs performed with such passion and soul that one felt inspired to reenact her routine right in the comfort of their very own home. Aside from being a superstar, LaToya is just your average girl from around the way with big dreams, high hopes and inspiration to make things possible. I was able to chat with her in-between a meeting with her girlfriends and found out what really makes her so inviting and appealing to audiences around the world.
JL: Do you feel that being on American Idol allowed you to grow and develop more as an artist?
LL: Yes I do. I think it allowed me to grow because it opened doors for me to grow. When we performed, we did it on a more professional level and that prepared us to do that after we left the show. It aided us on our journey to go wherever we were to go from there after the show.
JL: What particular things about you as an artist were personally analyzed as you progressed within that competition?
LL: It was really hard not to be nervous because being nervous can really affect your performance. That was the biggest task for me to work on in regards to trying to remain calm. I had to find a way that would allow me to be comfortable so that I could make sure that I tried to execute the song correctly. That is what I really had to figure out within myself in order to try and make things right before I went on stage each night. It paid off because I know how to prepare myself better now from that experience.
JL: What do you do to prepare yourself for a performance?
LL: I would drill the song to make sure that I knew all of the words. I’d practice how I planned to move with the song. I'd just work on different techniques if I was doing a song that was a little bit different. I would rehearse in order to make sure I was comfortable with everything. Once I got to that stage and they called my name everything became surreal and I had to just go out there and do it because there was no more practicing after that point. I just had to go out there, work that stage and just do it, you know.
JL: What do you think about while you’re on stage?
LL: While I was onstage I mainly thought about the words. I would try so hard to make sure that I didn’t forget the words and mess up on the song. I concentrate on how I’m moving, facial expressions, eye contact, gosh, just my whole presentation. Once you start thinking about that it is a little too hard to make room to concentrate on anything else. Then again, there are moments when you aren’t able to think of anything else. All that you know is that you are onstage and you naturally perform without the pain of worrying. It’s almost like spacing out, but those are the moments when it is all about what you are singing about and not how you are singing.
JL: What motivates you to stay driven in such a negative industry?
LL: This industry is a little difficult, but I rely on my relationship with God. I know that I can’t do anything without Him. He comforts me. That allows me to have a spiritual understanding of what is going on with me and my job. Yet, it is important to know that you have to accept that everybody isn’t going to like you. You have to stand up for yourself and express yourself accordingly. That is the only way that you can be true to yourself and your purpose. It is all about developing yourself and gaining that needed level of confidence.
JL: What are you doing to break away from being known as “the girl from American Idol”?
LL: I don’t see why being known that way is bad. I’m grateful for that opportunity and that experience. I am just happy that people know who I am and that show has done nothing wrong to me. It helped me get to new places. I’m grateful. I don’t care if people say that is the girl from American Idol. That is a part of my background and an important part of my career. That show allowed me to show what I can do and with my album I took it to a different place. People were able to see my growth and diversity quickly on that show. I’m just going to work on my next album and take that to a whole different level.
JL: What are some of your aspirations?
LL: Just the belief that I know I can do it. Everyone needs a principle to focus on in their life. It is all about survival. That is how I see this because when you grasp something that you love and you need it to survive then that is what keeps you focused. My drive is there because I love what I do and that is how I make it through. I want to do my part in trying to change the world for the better. I want to get involved with different organizations, put my money into different charities when I do start making money. I want to do my part physically because I do want to work with kids at some point in my life. I love kids and I think that we need to live our lives as examples and play our part. We will see how things go. I want to be a wife and have kids and do what I have to do in society.
JL: How do you deal with those moments when your self-esteem or confidence is a little low?
LL: I just pray, really, because that is where and how I gain my strength anyway. God already gives us the strength inside in order to equip us with what we need to gone ahead and do what we want to do. When we lose that within ourselves the only way we can get it back is to pray and regain that strength. You can go to that person that comforts you the most like momma, daddy or a friend and lean on them, [but] in the end we just have to reconnect ourselves again.
JL: What is the hardest thing about being in this industry?
LL: The fact that it is hard to stay true to who you are. So many people try to steer you in a certain direction that will benefit them. It is all about reminding yourself who you are and what you stand for. You can lose yourself in all of that.
JL: How would you describe yourself as a person outside of being a performer?
LL: Caring, giving, supportive and boastful about the good people in my life and their great achievements. I have my bad points, too, but don’t we all? I don’t want to disclose those. We all have bad points about us.
LaToya London has come a long way and yet, being humble, encouraging and respectful seem to be fruits that continuously sprout from her tree of being. She is focused on being a positive role model for women around the world. An aspiring singer, wife, mother and environmental activist, she is ready and willing but still waiting for her ultimate moment to shine. She fascinates us all with her wonderful personality, amazing drive to give back, and phenomenal rule of favor within the industry. She is said to be the next “Netty” within the play The Color Purple during its run in Chicago. We are excited about her accomplishments and wish her much success. LaToya London is truly the essence of a beautiful BrownGurl!
Want more LaToya London? Check out her official Web site www.latoyalondon.com.