Syesha Mercado may have been an American Idol season seven runner up, but like those before her, she is invested in her craft and plotting a career far beyond the confines of reality television. The singer, who labels herself an optimistic, generous and loving person, has already conquered Broadway and continues to showcase her killer vocals online. During our exclusive Vixen Chat, she also dished on daily inspirations and future plans. Equal parts sweet and genuine, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with Syesha’s infectious energy.
Get into our girl talk on the next page.
Photo credit: Getty Images
VIBE Vixen: Where does your inspiration come from?
Syesha: My earlier inspiration comes from my mother. She was a gospel singer. When I was younger, I used to create monologues for my family and recite them. I always had the passion in me. My mother told me that when I was two I wanted to sing and dance. Before I could remember, I would follow my mother around the house and sing behind her. As I got older, I understood the influence that people could have over their audience. I knew that I wanted to inspire others through performing.
What are you inspired by today?
My inspiration now comes from many different places. I listen to all types of music, so lots of different genres inspire me. Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of Tye Tribbett, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. The music that I listen to always depends on the mood that I’m in. I love to create and listen to different types of music. It allows me to be able to bring creativity to my craft.
What are you working on today?
Currently, I am in a Broadway play called the Book of Mormon and an urban film called Dreams. In the Book of Mormon I play the character Nabulungi. In Dreams, I play a character named Mia.
What are you focusing on professionally right now?
I’ve decided to focus more on my acting career. Doing The Book of Mormon on Broadway right now has been a rewarding and challenging experience. Every show is a little different than the last and every audience is different as well. It’s an amazing experience when you get to see the crowds reaction to your performance.
Which form of acting do you enjoy more? Broadway or film?
I love doing both Broadway and film. Film is a little different because sometimes you are only filming for two weeks and then you don’t see the production until months later. With Broadway, I think that the theater schedule is a lot more demanding on your voice and your body. Sometimes you are acting on a stage for weeks straight. You have to make sure you get a lot of rest because there is not much time between shows. There are no second chances on Broadway. You have one moment to be on stage and then you’re done. They’re really different, but I enjoy both of them.
What was your first film experience like?
I play the character Mia in the Lionsgate film Dreams. She’s an aspiring singer who struggles with personal family issues that hinder her from pursuing her dream of becoming a star. Marvin Winan Jr. showed interest in me doing the film. He wanted me to be a part of the movie and after seeing his vision and reading the story, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I fell in love with the script. It was my first film and I didn’t really know what to expect.
What are some professional goals you would like to accomplish in the new year?
I hope that we have a successful run with The Book of Mormon. Dreams is available on DVD now and I am really excited about that. I’m thinking positively about my future. I hope to be involved in more films and acting opportunities. I’m definitely going to continue doing music and doing covers on YouTube. I recently began constructing a studio in my home where I can create whenever I get inspired. I am just really grateful to have been granted all these opportunities. It really has been a dream come true.
Press play to view a clip from the movie with Syesha’s character, Mia.