Singer Jordin Sparks’ career took off after winning season six of the television show American Idol. Her music career broke out with hits “Tattoo” and “No Air” then she released Battlefield where she had her first number hit “S.O.S. (Let the Music Play).”
She sizzled in acting roles like the remake of Sparkle playing opposite the late Whitney Houston.
Her third album Right Here, Right Now drops this week and Sparks took a moment to stop at Roscoe’s to say hello to her gay fans on this past weekend.
Nexus talked to her right before her arrival.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Jordin. We did an interview a few years ago for your starring role in the movie Sparkle.
Jordin Sparks: Good to talk to you again.
JN: What have you been up to since then?
JS: Ever since Battlefield came out I was out on tour and working on the new album so it was not from lack of trying. I did the acting thing for a little bit with Sparkle and it was amazing to do that. I did a couple of other movies as well, Left Behind and The Grace of Jake, which has yet to come out. I have been taking classes and working on music. I have been trying to find exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted it to sound. I was actually able to do that on this record. I am beside myself that the album is coming out in a week. I’m freaking out!
JN: The sound is different for this album. How do you describe it?
JS: I would say it is pretty music with a bump to it. The sound was very inspired by ‘90s R&B like Mariah, Whitney, Babyface, Boys II Men, Brandy, all of those amazing artists. You will hear a lot of that on the record. I grew up listening to their music. I was a ‘90s kid and always loved it. It is an amazing opportunity to sing what I love, not to say that Battlefield and my first record I didn’t love but I can now create focus and control to make things the way I want to sound. I can say what I want to say and I feel like I am coming into my own. I feel I have finally put out a complete piece of work.
JN: How was it working with 2 Chainz on this record?
JS: It was fun. I wanted to work with people on this album that I was a fan of. I’ve always thought his clothes were great and he’s very funny. He’s the perfect fit for the song “Double Tap.” He was fun and cool to work with. He came in did the song and we made the video. Everyone had a great time, from the crew to the extras, him, myself, and the director.
With the other collaborations on the album I was encouraged to pick people that I liked. It has been a long time since I put something out. For these artists to agree to my project when it has been a minute was really cool.
JN: Who are some of the other guest artists on Right Here Right Now?
JS: We have Shaggy on there, Elijah Blake, B.o.B., J-Doe, who is also on Louder Than Life. He is my label mate.
With Shaggy the collaboration came about because I was doing some summer radio shows and he was on it as well. I remember sitting on the side of the stage and he was performing hit after hit. We saw each other in the hallway and talked about doing something but not really knowing if it would happen. He’s a pretty busy guy but got the collaboration done a week before we had to turn in the album. I was so excited to have Shaggy on the album!
JN: The video for “Right Here Right Now” the new single has lots of shirtless men in it. This will be perfect for playing at the gay bar.
JS: I’m stoked to come and see my fans. I can’t wait. I am going across the country to a few different malls. I am doing some big meet and greets. I will be at the Water Tower Place in Chicago. Anytime I can go and say thank you to my fans face to face I am all for it. I can’t wait to go to the bar and go to the mall! One of my best friends lives in Chicago, Gina Glocksen, who was on American Idol with me. I hope I get to see her when I am out there too.
JN: You are looking amazing in the new videos. Do you have work out tips?
JS: Thank you. I wish I could say that I have been going hard in the gym but if I am honest I have just been so busy that I haven’t stepped a foot in the gym. Because of that I have really had to watch what I eat. I know for myself that if I can’t get in the gym that I have to be more careful with what I eat. If I want to have a cupcake I have to be even more careful!
I think it is important not to get down on yourself or beat yourself up if you do have that cupcake. I feel like everyone deserves one every once in a while. As cliché as it is everything should be in moderation. I used to eat food because it tasted good and I would keep eating seconds and thirds because it tasted good and not because I was hungry. That was a big thing to listen to my body when it’s full. That really helps. I definitely indulge. I love desserts so when someone offers me one I’m going to take it!
Exercise is important. I do try to walk around and bought a Fitbit recently. My goal is to walk around 10,000 steps a day so I try to get that in.
JN: I just started Fitbit this week.
JS: Isn’t it amazing? I bought my mom one and her husband and all of my hair guys too.
JN: How was your experience being in the musical In the Heights?
JS: Oh my gosh, it was amazing. I miss it every day. I remember being welcomed with open arms from the cast. I was a newbie and had never done Broadway before. I was coming in as one of the lead characters. I thought they would expect me to be on my own but it wasn’t like that. We were a big family and they all encouraged me. It was so much fun. Now Lin-Manuel Miranda who created In the Heights has a new show called Hamilton on Broadway. I haven’t seen it yet but I am very excited that some of the same cast members are in it from In the Heights. I’m very proud of what everyone is doing.
I would love to do Broadway again. It would have to be the right part and the right timing. That is the only reason I would move back to New York if Broadway called again.
JN: Where are you based out of now?
JS: I’m in LA.
JN: Are you coming back on a tour after the album is released?
JS: I definitely hope I am. We will see how things go after it is released. I would love to do a tour since I haven’t been in a while. I want to be able to perform for my fans across the country and international as well. I’m sure Chicago will be on the list.
Listen to Sparks’ new music at www.jordinsparks.com!