Former American Idol, Season 9 Contestant Ms. Keia Johnon recently hosted a mini concert in Memphis, TN at Minglewood Hall. The event was epic. Keia delivered energy, warmth and them vocals! Oh My God! She sent chills down my spine. It was the first time I had seen her perform in person.
After the performance, I want to get with Keia and see what she has been up to since Idol.
What have you been up to since American Idol? What haven’t I been up to LOL!? I’ve worked as an Entertainer on the American Queen, I’ve auditioned for The Voice (season 4), I’ve dropped an EP (T.I.M.E) I’ve had 2 photo shoots, gotten an Emmy for my work on a PSA for the Memphis Music Foundation and am currently getting ready to start rehearsals for the musical “The Color Purple” set to open this summer at Playhouse on the square, whew. That was a mouth full!
Are you still in contact with any of the contestant from your season? I’m in contact with a few but not too many, once everyone goes back home a lot of people go back to their regular lives.
What advice would you give to singer(s) interested in trying out for Idol? So much has changed since the two seasons I was there, new judges constantly, I don’t know. I’d never discourage anyone from following their dreams because I wouldn’t listen to that person. But I would say no matter what happens, even if you win the entire show don’t lose yourself. Don’t forget who had your back before the fame because the “Johnny Come Lately’s” can confuse you. I’d also say if you try and you aren’t chosen to go on, so what!!! These shows are just a FEW options to help you realize your dream. Keep pushing no matter what.
Who would you love to work with (producer/artist)? Man, Timberland, Dark Child, Benny Blanco and Stargate, Ryan Leslie, Brandy, John Legend, Kanye West, Raheem Devaungh, Adele, Mint Condition, Joe!!! Lord I’m gonna have to stop myself because that list could go on and on.
If you had to compare who would you say you sound like? I’m not sure, I’ve heard sometimes I sound like Brandy, but mostly folks don’t say I sound like anyone which I think is a great thing!
How would you describe your sound? My sound is soulful but young, thoughtful yet light, a mix of R&B, Dance/Pop, Inspirational and sometimes edgy.
What inspires you to write? Music, seriously. I journal but I normally only compose songs when I’m inspired by a track, or a piano, or guitar; some instrument. I’m not the type of writer that hears songs in my head or at least not yet.
If you were not singing, what would your dream occupation be? I would love to be teaching young gifted children. I have dreams of opening a Charter School and giving young people the gift of education and the performing arts in the Mid-south. That’s a goal of mine in the next 20 years if God blesses me to still be on this earth.
Tell me something people may be shocked to know about you? Umm, That’s kind of hard because I’m so transparent I don’t think there’s anything about me that would be shocking but I can be vulnerable and say I grew up a very insecure child. Music was the only thing that saved me and the only place I felt at home was behind a mic, on a stage.
What is the highlight of your career? I don’t believe I’ve hit the highlight of my career yet. I’ve had turning points. Idol was a turning point, releasing my EP was a turning point, winning an Emmy was a turning point but so much left to do before I feel like I’ve had that highlight that allowed me to sigh a sigh of accomplishment.
What’s the best cover tune you have ever done? People love to hear me do “Black Cat” by Janet Jackson, it had kind of become my calling card I think “Where have you been” is becoming it’s replacement though
Are you single? I am single.
What motivates you? God’s purpose in me motivates me, retiring my parents motivates me, new music motivates me, old music motivates me, I find motivation in the biggest and smallest things in life. Sometimes I need a big push other times a small one will do
Guilty Pleasures? I’m a Cheese-aholic and Shoe-aholic!!!! Have to have them!
Name one thing you don’t leave home without? Some lip gloss and hand lotion in my purse LOL!
Where do you hope to be (5) years from now? I hope to be touring regionally and internationally.
You recently performed at Minglewood in Memphis; what was the inspiration behind the performance? People thought I had retired, didn’t know I had new music, hadn’t heard my vocal growth and I felt the people hadn’t seen me really put on a show, lights, dancers, programmed show, background vocals, I needed to give people a taste of where I’m headed and I think I did.