Q. American Idol shoots in Los Angeles. How has it been living on the West Coast?
A. “I love it! I just feel like you get lost in L.A. For the most part, when I invite my friends and family down here they feel like it’s a vacation place. I like to drive and look at the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s relaxing. The people are less agitated out here. They’re calmer. Also, when I lived in New York, I wasn’t really exploring fashion as much. I wasn’t as colorful. I feel so inspired by everything out here that it makes me try new things. I’m excited to try different designers. I’m never leaving. I’m an L.A. girl.”
Q. You’re so fearless with your style. Was there anything you weren’t allowed to wear as a teenager?
A. “I remember that I wanted to wear gold bamboo earrings, and they were super big. My mother would say, ‘You can’t wear those!’ So every day before I walked in the door, I had to remember to take my earrings off and put them in my book bag.”
Q. What advice would you give your high school self?
A. “Go to school on time. I remember at one point I had an English class, I think I had it for zero period or first period. I would miss it every day. But English was one of my favorite subjects, so it hurt me that I was missing it, but I just did not have the discipline. I wish I would have paid attention a little bit more because it’s fun to talk about those types of things.”
Q. How has your experience as a judge on American Idol been?
A. “I’m very, very happy that I ultimately made the decision to do it. I’m excited because every time I do American Idol, I go on Twitter and see what my fans say. It’s fun; it’s like a bonding experience, and I can’t complain about it. I love the people that work on the show, I really do.”
Q. You’re a social media queen. What advice do you have for social media users?
A. “I would recommend artists not to read blogs. Maintain your privacy if you can. Stay in your zone, do what you know you do best, and the great comments will always find their way to you.”
Q. What were your favorite music videos to watch as a teenager?
A. “‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ by Cyndi Lauper. I loved ‘Creep’ and ‘Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg’ by TLC, and ‘Whatta Man’ by Salt-N-Pepa.”
Q. What was your first big purchase?
A. “My first car that I purchased was a BMW. It was beautiful! It was a 3 Series so it fit me perfectly. 323i. It was white and looked brand spanking new, but it was, like, two years old with hardly any miles on it. I got in a car accident, so I had my little settlement money come in, and instead of me going shopping and blowing it, I wanted to have something that I would be able to see, so I took it as a down payment on my car. No one could believe that I had that car. My mother, my uncles, and my mother’s friends and everybody were like, ‘Girl, you’re going to lose that car, you’re not going to be able to keep it up.’ It was my first car, and it was my prized possession. So amazing!”