After months of praise and encouragement during her run at the title, season 11 "American Idol" runner-up Jessica Sanchez has landed a major-label deal alongside winner Phillip Phillips. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the 16-year-old high schooler has inked a deal with show mentor Jimmy Iovine's Interscope Records. The pint-size diva's debut album is debut is due out in October and will eschew the big, poppy ballads Sanchez was saddled with on the show for a more urban-flavored sound that matches her expressive voice.
Though details about producers and songwriters for the as-yet-untitled disc have not yet been released, Sanchez appears to have already begun work on it. For the past week, Sanchez has tweeted a series of messages to her followers about the recording grind, including one on Sunday, in which she wrote, "Another day at the studio #musicmakin'." Earlier, she told them, "At the stuuuuudio recording some amazing tracks for the upcoming album ;) <3"
You may think you know her from her soaring Mariah and Whitney ballads on the show, but when it comes to her album, well, you have no idea.
"I don't want people to just hand me music and be like, 'Here, you sound good on this. Sing it.' I want to be able to say, 'This is me,' " Sanchez told MTV News recently , adding that she has high hopes for some A-list contributors on the album.
"This is going to seem odd, but I love Eminem, because he has so much conviction and emotion in the way he raps; every word that he raps, you feel it," she said. "And I think our talents would mesh. So, hopefully, it could happen, and I would just die if he'd collaborate with me!"
Sanchez will have to keep the tracks rolling on the road, since the "Idol" top 10 are preparing to kick off their summer tour on July 6 with a show in Detroit. After some health issues that threatened to sideline him for the outing, champ Phillips appears to be on the mend following kidney surgery .
During recent tour rehearsals, Sanchez said it was great to get the gang back together. "It's so much fun," she said of reuniting with her "Idol" pals. "It's just like the old days when we were first auditioning and everyone was just a big family and just jamming out."
At last week's Newark, New Jersey, auditions for the upcoming 12th season of "Idol," host Ryan Seacrest reacted to rumors of Sanchez possibly joining the cast of "Glee" and said he's all for it. "I saw that [and] I wasn't surprised she made the cast of 'Glee,'" he said of reported talks between the singer and show runner Ryan Murphy about a multi-episode arc in the middle of the upcoming fourth season. "I was surprised that Phillip wasn't asked to be on the cast ... He's perfect for 'Glee!' I'm kidding you, I'm kidding you, he's doing just fine without! But I think that's perfect for her, that's what this show can do for you."