"I’m an artist first, rather than trying to be critical as an A&R," Aguilera tells Billboard of her mindset for selecting a winner. "So, I’m just going to go with my mood and what feels good. I’m looking for people who are really experimental as I’ve always been in my music – try different things, collaborate with other people and musical styles. I really like to have fun with music at the end of the day and get as creative as possible. Sometimes a little sweet, sometimes a little tart, depending on my mood! It’s just people who are able to have fun with that concept and be themselves and get into that individuality of it."
As a former coach on The Voice and a star who loves helping up-and-coming singers, the contest fit naturally for Aguilera. "It comes with my nature," she says of mentoring. "Clearly, I have a lot of experience as a vocal coach but now I get to use in studio experience that I have, getting into the music side of it which is very cool and interesting and different for me to be able to collaborate with fresh talent and hear what’s out there."
As for her favorite SweeTarts candy, Aguilera loves the Twisted Ropes, which you can purchase here on Amazon. "I love color in everything I do," she explains. "It’s really fun to play with color in general. But I’m also very nostalgic from my childhood about the classic chewy candy."
But the SweeTarts collaboration isn't the only sweet treat she has in store. The iconic singer is in the studio working on her second Spanish album, which will arrive more than two decades after Mi Reflejo. "It’s a big deal right now and it’s really nostalgic and part of my Latin culture and history," she explains. "So, this is really, really fun to get into some family roots and explore who I am now as a woman musically. Things are coming from a different approach."
She will also head to Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl this Friday (July 16) for a special, full set with the Philharmonic Orchestra. "It’s a different kind of show than I’ve ever stylistically and vocally put on before," she gushes over the upcoming performance. "It’s such an honor and an incredible experience to be able to do that as a lot of my inspiration comes from movies and movie scores and so many orchestra pieces and sounds and elements and strings and horns and all these things that I love incorporating into my music in general. So, this is really an opportunity to explore that in a way I’ve never been able to."
"Just imagining songs like 'Fighter' or 'Dirrty' with an orchestra, and that power behind it, is so special," she adds.
Tickets for the show are still available here.