Since being eliminated on last Tuesday’s Orlando auditions of ‘America’s Got Talent,’ Athens, GA resident Sponjetta Parrish has racked up nearly a quarter-million views on YouTube with her original song, ‘Studio,’ which saw her get buzzed by the judges, Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne, and Piers Morgan. Once the show aired, a groundswell of online interest in Parrish’s performance started – with some good comments, some bad, but more than the average singer eliminated from ‘AGT’ auditions. Host Nick Cannon added a lot to Parrish’s performance, telling the judges they made the wrong choice, and with a sense of humor, doing another rendition of ‘Studio.’
In her first interview since ‘America’s Got Talent,’ Parrish talks with Fancast about her response to being on the show, what she thought of the judges, her future in music, and where her name Sponjetta comes from.
What was your reaction to being the show?
It has been really wonderful. I felt ‘AGT’ was really great to me. It gave me the opportunity come out, and it was amazing. The feedback I’ve gotten has been totally outrageous. It’s more than I ever thought it would be, from the Internet and from people coming up to me and wanting my autograph. All the feedback has been wonderful. The autographs have been happening every day since I’ve been on TV. I can’t go anywhere without being recognized.
You live in Athens, GA but you auditioned in Orlando?
They flew me out to Orlando. Everyone [in Athens] knew me from my job and my family. I was already kind of popular from the hometown. Once I premiered, it went crazy, literally. The next day, people were waiting several hours for me to come to work. They wanted my autograph and to take pictures with me. I was somewhere else recently, a small town, and people recognized me there. I’m like, ‘Wow, I can’t go anywhere without people recognizing me.’
How did ‘Studio’ come about? Where did the beat come from?
Actually, it was an instrumental track that I found online. I started singing ‘In my studio’ over the beat. I was like, I’m going to do this right here. This was what I wanted my whole life, to do music professionally and have a record deal. At first, I put it on YouTube and didn’t get that much feedback about it. But then after I was on TV, people were coming up to me and saying they saw it months ago, that it was good, and they have been listening to it for the last two months. I had no idea it was going to blow up the way it did.
Is ‘Studio’ your favorite original song?
Besides ‘Studio,’ one of my favorite songs I have written is called ‘Let’s Kick It Up a Notch.’ It’s an upbeat pop song about going somewhere, having a good time, leaving old things behind, and moving forward into bigger and better things. I have another song called ‘In Just a Moment.’ It means, in just a moment, you will have the things you want in life. You will have riches and fame, and that kind of thing. I have a lot of favorite songs, but I would say those are my tops. They have the catchiest hook.
Do you keep focus on the lyrics?
Most times I start off with the chorus, then I get into the lyrics. Basically I wouldn’t say I’m one kind of artist, I do all kinds of music. I do from R&B to pop to hip-hop to even a little rock. But I would have to say my first choice of music would be R&B and hip-hop.
What’s coming up?
My plan is to get a record deal with some kind of label. I am looking for someone who will sign me for what I am really worth. I will pursue my dreams and going places, auditioning, because I’m not going to stop until I get what I want.
Watch Sponjetta’s ‘Studio’ Below:
Do you perform live?
Oh yeah, I have been performing in places since I was 11. In my hometown, I was going to a karaoke thing, but the place shut down. I went to live shows in Atlanta, like The Crows Nest in other places, like open mic night. Mostly, my singing has to do with auditions.
Have you heard from anyone in the record industry since ‘AGT’?
I haven’t heard anything from anybody in the music industry yet.
What did you think when you saw the judges say no?
I was surprised because I got so much good feedback before I went down there. For the ‘AGT’ audition, you can go to the open call, or link to your page. First, a producer got back to me, and he was like, this is a standout video. He was like, I’m going to send it to some producers and other cats in California. They told me I’d been accepted, and they’re flying me down. They were going on and on that they love that song ‘Studio.’ So, once I went in front of the judges, and the audience started booing, I said to myself, ‘On my God, I don’t know why they’re booing.’ At the same time, I wanted to be a good sport about it. You don’t want to get on TV and not be a good sport about it, and sound ridiculous. At the same time, I have respect for the judges. Any time you’re in the music industry, you have to be ready to take negative criticism. Not everybody is going to like your music. Some people are going to like it, some people aren’t.
Do you think the judges were shortsighted to not see your potential?
Yeah, I think they could have given me longer. But what it was, the audience was booing. I think that’s why they didn’t give me a chance to completely finish.
Have you talked to Nick Cannon since the show?
I haven’t talked to Nick Cannon since ‘AGT,’ since the audition for the show.
Would you work with him?
That would be wonderful. Given the chance, I would do it.
What did Nick add to ‘Studio’?
I think it added a lot. People on Twitter are talking about it. A lot of people Twitter Nick Cannon, the page comes up about me. I think he is just a real down-to-earth person. You know how some celebrities are. They’re in their own world. Around Nick, I felt I was around a normal, everyday person.
Is Sponjetta your real name?
That’s actually my full legal name. My name means a lot of different things. One of the things that my name is supposed to mean is beauty. What happened is, a long time ago before my mom had me, when she was pregnant with me, she was looking at TV. This guy was like, I am going to get with this beautiful girl, and her name is going to be Sponjetta. My mom heard it and was like, I like that. My daughter is going to be named that, she’s going to be beautiful. It will mean something. She always told me I would live up to that. I think I have. Everyone knows who Sponjetta is now. Not exactly everyone, but I’m hoping more people find out about me.