She's nominated for Best Female Video and Best New Artist at the Video Music Awards for the video for "No Air," her collaboration with Chris BrownChris Brown. Chris Robinson, the video's director, revealed that Sparks' sheer determination made her a pleasure to work with.
"She's focused and a worker," he told MTV News. "She sang her heart out on every take for 18 hours. I told her to 'take it easy, this is going to be a long day,' but I think she only knows how to give everything her all. It's refreshing to see that."
Robinson didn't immediately respond to the request for him to work on the video, but once he listened closely to the track, he knew he wanted to team up with the young singer.
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"At the time, I was very busy and it just kind of sat in my inbox for a minute. Then on the weekend, I sat back and listened to the track and was blown away. The feeling the song created was really special. I heard this powerful voice that drew me in. The lyrics, Jordin's delivery, the duet all created a vibe."
Robinson was impressed by Sparks and fellow teen sensation Brown and was surprised by their on-set chemistry. "The dynamic between everyone on set was great. It was really interesting to see these two young people so talented and yet so professional and down to earth.
"When I was 18 or 19, I most definitely did not have it together like these two! When you see Jordin and Chris you see two artists that will hopefully continue to push the envelope artistically," Robinson gushed. "We all ended up putting a piece of ourselves into this project."
He was "pleasantly surprised" to learn of Sparks' VMA nomination. "We all know that at all kinds of award shows, sometimes the things we think should be nominated aren't and vice versa," he said. "I feel like Jordin really deserves it."
He also described Jordin as a unique voice for her generation — a quality that makes her, in his opinion, a perfect Best New Artist contender. "The Best New Artist should be looked at for the talent they have and the feeling they give the audience they are communicating to. Jordin definitely is speaking to her generation.
"As far as talent," he added, "it's evident she has loads of it."