Eleven years after Jessica Sanchez merited international music recognition when she emerged runner-up in the 11h season of “American Idol,” the popular Fil-American artist remains on the international music scene doing what she loves best.
“American Idol,’ that’s just so crazy to me,” the 27-year-old Sanchez told ABS-CBN News. “It all happened so fast and I was so young then. I feel like I couldn’t really experience it fully, mentally and emotionally.
“But I believe everything happens for a reason and at God’s timing. I am so grateful for all that I’ve experienced and all that I’ve done since ‘Idol.’ I know I still have much to learn and I’m still growing in my artistry, so I’m just excited to continue this journey.”
Not surprisingly, Sanchez has established her fan base even in the Philippines, where she has been constantly well-received and adulated.
Even when she was younger, Sanchez’s dreams were always in music. “There was never anything else I wanted to do and I made sure there were no distractions,” she said.
Successfully joining “American Idol” was perhaps something that Sanchez importantly ticked on her bucket list more than a decade ago.
Apparently, there are still so much to accomplish for this native of San Diego, California, where she originally hailed from.
“Tonight,” the carrier track of Sanchez’s debut album released in 2013, allowed her to record with Ne-Yo. Together, they performed the song in the 12th season of “American Idol.”
More singles and new songs later, Sanchez recently added to her growing music catalog her latest, “Baddie,” which she also penned with a friend.
“We were really just having fun with the song and the first lyric that came to mind was ‘You got a baddie’,” she shared.
“The song is all about being confident, knowing who you are, what you want and your worth. Of course, there’s a little love dynamic going on, but it’s really about the confidence you carry.
“Anyone can be a baddie, but the main thing to being a baddie is embracing who you are, flaws and all, and walking into any situation with that confidence and sense of worth.”
Sanchez counts a few tunes that are closest to heart even if they are songs recorded by other artists. Older songs like Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day” and Celine Dion’s “Power of Love,” top her favorites.
“Those are older songs, but they mean a lot to me because of the recent passing of my grandmother,” Sanchez disclosed. “Her favorite song was ‘Power of Love’ and just hearing ‘One Sweet Day’ makes me think of her.
“My grandmother had a huge impact on my career and my life. It’s definitely going to be different being in the Philippines without her.”
However, with regards to her own music, Sanchez has written so many songs based on personal experiences and feelings.
“I’m so excited to share who I am through my music,” she insisted. “I can be kind of a quiet and awkward person, so it’s hard for me to express myself fully. Thank God, I have music to use as an outlet and way of expression.
“You guys are definitely going to see and hear a new side of me that you haven’t heard before. I hope you guys enjoy getting a little peek into my mind and life.”
Sanchez acknowledged the pandemic hit everyone pretty hard, especially the entertainers who were not seen onstage performing live for nearly two years. That was the major challenge she encountered in her career. Inevitably, she learned to adjust.
“It definitely was a sudden change from traveling and performing to now being at home not knowing really what to do, because music is really all that I do. But it was a blessing in disguise because it was really what I needed.
“I had to get in the studio and build my writing muscle and confidence. I honestly think that if things didn’t play out the way they did, I wouldn’t have released my own written music until much later.”
She was in Hawaii with her partner and some friends before the pandemic started. That was the last destination she went to.
“We were just on a mini vacation and then everything hit right when we got back home,” Sanchez recalled. “We used to travel a lot more, so that’s definitely something we’re going to do when things calm down.”
Naturally, maintaining her image as an international entertainer is something that Sanchez needed to do.
“With regards to new listeners, I know it’s a lot different then what people know me as from ‘Idol,’ so I’m just really trying to embrace this newness and the reactions from everyone.
“I’m also trying to get out of my comfort zone with social media. I’m a bit shy, so that’s always been difficult for me, but I really do want people to get to know who Jessica really is, fully.”