Jessica Sanchez returned to the "American Idol" stage last month where she debuted her new single "Tonight" -- a collaboration with Ne-Yo.
The 17-year-old California-native also showed off her newly-refined dance moves. Following the show, Sanchez revealed that her energetic performance was the result of a series of dance classes that she recently enrolled in. “Right after 'Idol,' I was like, ‘I've got to become a totally different person. I gotta upgrade myself. I can't just stand there and be all shy and sing," she tells Billboard.
Sanchez has been busy on an altogether different stage. She’s been perfecting her acting skills in preparation of her upcoming appearance on “Glee,” which she will be taping soon. “I’m excited because I’ve never acted before,” says Sanchez who recently learned that she is set to appear in two episodes of the show. “It's going to be the finale and I guess I'm playing a student from a rival school who was supposed to be a legendary diva powerhouse singer. So more ballads.”
Sanchez will release her debut album, “Me, You & the Music” on April 30. Though she didn’t write the songs on the record, Sanchez stresses that she was instrumental in selecting each track: “They came to me with songs and I was able to choose which songs I like. If I didn't like something about them, they would take things and tweak them. I had a lot of input - It wasn't like here's this song, just sing it,” she explains.
In addition to her collaboration with Ne-Yo, fans can expect a duet with Dominican singer/songwriter Prince Royce on her forthcoming release. According to Sanchez, the songs will be “very urban/R&B” and will include a few heartfelt ballads. “You also may be hearing me sing it in some Spanish,” she adds.
Sanchez told Billboard that she still can’t believe the direction her life has taken in the year following her stint on “American Idol.” Before “Idol,” she explains, "I didn't really do anything. I just sat at home and I was a regular teenager. I was homeschooled so I pretty much just sat at home and watched TV and played video games. I was so lame and now I'm traveling the world and doing everything. I'm ready to show the world what I am, who I am…just ready to kill it in 2013.”