You were "the one that got away" on 'American Idol.' Do you feel like it all worked out, signing to Interscope? Do you feel vindicated?
I feel like everything happens for a reason, and God has a plan for us all. This was the plan for me. I feel like even if I had made it one week longer the outcome of me getting signed to Interscope and the public's reaction to my elimination may have been very different. Signing to Interscope is a dream come true. Learning that Jimmy [Iovine] joined 'Idol' this season was a big part of the reason that I decided to audition again.
How's the 'Idol' tour going?
The 'Idol' tour is amazing so far! There are so many highlights throughout the show and many of us, myself included, are showing a very different side than what we showed on 'American Idol.' It's great to be back with the group!
You debuted your new single 'This Time' on the tour. What was the reaction, and how did it feel to be up there doing your own song?
It was the most incredible, almost intimidating moment of the show for me, because the audience wasn't familiar with the song so I wasn't sure how it would be received. The reaction after I concluded the song was awesome! People really responded and could truly relate to it. That was a feeling I will never forget!
Listen to Pia Toscano's 'This Time.'
What's the driving inspiration behind your upcoming record?
To be relatable and to stay very true to what I do. It's going to be a pop album with R&B influence. It has an edgy, soulful and powerful vibe.
You make it look so easy when you sing onstage. Were you singing before 'Idol?' What's it like going from being a makeup artist to a national singing sensation? Have you always wanted to be a singer?
It's definitely not easy for me! But I've been singing since I was 4 years old. I've taken quite a few vocal lessons and I was classically trained at La Guardia High School of Performing Arts. I've known since I was 4 years old that I wanted to be a singer and performer. One of the perks of all this is that I can finally have my makeup done instead of doing others' makeup.
Who helped you the most on 'Idol?'
Jimmy was a huge help on 'Idol!' I think it's really important to have someone who is so powerful and influential in the business mentoring us from week to week. In the past the contestants would get critiqued but never really know how to grow and build from that and Jimmy really helped mold some of us from singers to artists. The producers, as well, really helped find our sound.
We have to ask, how's your love life these days? Are you dating Mark Ballas from 'Dancing with the Stars?'
Because my life is so public now and out in the open, there are certain things that I would like to keep private and to myself. However, I will say that Mark is a wonderful person who I look up to and respect as an artist as well as choreographer and is someone I turn to for another musical opinion.
What advice would you give to aspiring singers, especially next year's batch of 'Idol' hopefuls?
This was my fifth time auditioning for 'American Idol,' and from the age of 13 I was doing demo work and writing music. I've been told "no" so many more times than I've heard a "yes" in regard to my music and that just made me want to work 10 times harder. Perseverance is key and you truly can never give up. Nothing is impossible.
What's the next step for Pia Toscano?
I'll continue touring until mid September, and then finish recording and release my album sometime during the fall. I am so excited for what is to come and I'm truly so thankful to my fans who have been supporting me throughout this journey!