Sanjaya is back! And he has a lot to share with you! TWIST recently chatted with Sanjaya and we got the scoop on his new EP and book, available exclusively on Amazon.com. Check out our Q&A where Sanjaya opens up about his new music, the 8th season of American Idol and his most embarrassing moment! He even sang to us on the phone! Wowza!
TWIST is also giving 5 lucky "Fanjayas" a signed prize pack, which includes his book and EP! Comment now for your chance to win! TWIST will randomly pick five winners in 24 hours!
TWIST: Hey Sanjaya! Tell us about your EP Dancing to the Music in my Head which just came out.
SANJAYA: I'm really excited! We used raw beats, which is a really strong influence in my music and all kinds of different world sounds and influences. It's kind of an infusion of worlds because my influences are Nine Inch Nails to Sublime to India.Arie to Lauryn Hill. So it's all over the place.
TWIST: What's your favorite song on the album?
SANJAYA: My favorite song is called "Rainy Days." It actually came from a song my cousin wrote. She gave it to me for my 16th birthday. I took the lyrics to that and I changed the beat around, changed the melody. Originally, it was kind of an upbeat, folk-y song. One day, I went for a walk and I went to Central Park. I just sat there and this song just came - the entire song came! I was like, "Oh, this is really weird! I wonder what I can do with this!"
It had character! And then it fit with the song that I made and we were like, "Oh! We can make that work!" And then it kind of exploded! I'm just really, really proud of where it came from and how it turned out.
TWIST: What would you say is the most personal song?
SANJAYA: I think "A Guy Like Me." The intro, it's just something that really touched me.
(He sings!) "Tomorrow I'll give you the morning,
Tomorrow I'll give you the sun,
Let me wrap my warmth around you,
'Til our souls become one."
It's like - tomorrow, I want to do all these things for you. I want to wrap you and keep you safe and keep you warm. But, you just have to wait a little bit. Tomorrow, it will happen, but I just can't right now.
I was in a place where I had just gotten out of a relationship and gotten into American Idol. I was thinking about my career rather than what I'm going to learn at school. You have to totally change your mental thought process. So right after American Idol, I met my current girlfriend. We've been together for a year. We met, became friends and were hanging out. There was chemistry, but neither of us were in a place where we wanted to be in a relationship at all. That was like, the last thing we ever wanted to do! That's kind of where the song came from. Then it ended up working out! And now we've been happy and together for a year!
TWIST: Speaking of Idol, the 8th season is under way. What advice do you have for the newcomers?
SANJAYA: They should just go in there - they're obviously going to be nervous. Well, maybe not, but I was nervous! It's a stressful situation! The audition process is more stressful than it ought to be. I'd just say, go in knowing what you want to portray and who you want to be, who you want them to know you are. And be confident! When you're actually performing, it's more about performing than anything. Obviously if you perform really well, but you look horrible, that's something. But if you just stand there, they're not going to want to put you on their TV show, because they're casting for that. So just go out there, sing and perform, be confident, smile and who knows! Maybe you're just what they're looking for!
TWIST: Are you still in contact with anyone from your season?
SANJAYA: I went to dinner with Jordin [Sparks] actually, the night of the premiere! I was watching it and then she called me up! She's like, "Hey! Wanna go have dinner?" And I was like "Yeah, totally!" That was cool! And I'm going to try to see Melinda [Doolittle] in the next couple of days. She's coming into town. I went to LaKisha's [Jones] wedding! I try to keep in touch with most of them. A lot of them actually wrote inserts in the book, so that's really cool to get their side of things. I'm trying to get together with as many of them as I can before I get really busy.
TWIST: It's good you guys are still so close.
SANJAYA: That's really what formed the bonds we all have. We were the only people that really understood what it was like.
TWIST: What's your favorite memory from being on Idol?
SANJAYA: I think the day I found out I was going to Top 10! Because I knew I was going on tour! And I had a lot of trouble choosing a song that week, 'cause it was a big week! It was deciding whether you'd get to spend 3 months with the people that you're here with or you just leave. So, it was an amazing week!
TWIST: Tell us about a recent embarrassing moment.
SANJAYA: Well, on the Idol tour, I was changing and I realized I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to get to the stage and get off stage. So I had to run from the dressing room to across the hall into the stadium. So I'm jogging in the halls, and I had jeans on. I had jeans and a t-shirt and it was the second to last song. When I got to the stage, I realized that everyone was going on right then. So I started running, and I tripped and scraped my knee. I did the song and came back, and for the next number everyone was supposed to be wearing white. We were all in white and Jordin was in a blue dress. I have these red pants that I have to wear when I sing this Michael Jackson song. But they were way to small for me, so I was trying to find a bigger pair. And I saw this black dress that I had a feeling would look really good on Jordin. She tried it on and it fit her perfectly. Makes her look gorgeous! I said "Jordin, would you rather wear this or the blue dress?" So we got it. So on stage, everyone's wearing white and she's wearing this beautiful black dress. But my knee was bloody, so I wore the red pants that were too small because I didn't want to wear the white pants and get them bloody.
TWIST: Finish this sentence. A nickname I've had is:
TWIST: Your favorite snack for the movie?
TWIST: Favorite reality show?
SANJAYA: America's Next Top Model.
TWIST: Favorite outfit?
SANJAYA: Jeans and a t-shirt, but a cool t-shirt.
TWIST: Favorite movie?
SANJAYA: Across the Universe.
TWIST: Most embarrassing song on your iPod?
SANJAYA: "Hit me baby one more time" by Britney Spears.
TWIST: A superpower you wish you had?
TWIST: Biggest dating pet peeve?
SANJAYA: Too much make-up.