'American Idol' Alum Pia Toscano Goes EDM, Releases New Single via Beatport
American Idol season 10 alum Pia Toscano has teamed up with rising EDM star Jenaux for the release of the new single "Renegades."
The energetic track, released today on Beatport, will be featured on Tritonal's next compilation CD, Tritonia 002, out March 9 on Enhanced Recordings. The track will also be available on iTunes that same day.
For Toscano, wading the EDM waters was a leap of faith and a bit of a departure from the "indie soul" music she is currently working on with singer/songwriter Jared Lee. But once she got her feet wet, the 26-year-old singer was all in.
"When I was presented with the opportunity I said I definitely want to try this," Toscano tells Billboard. "I listen to EDM all the time, but it was not something that I ever thought was going to be suited for my voice."
The genesis of "Renegades" began in Jenaux's studio on the Upper East Side. He had come up with the riff and sent it to Lee, who in turn worked out the lyrics with Toscano.
"We co-wrote the song together, and Jenaux sent us the track and Jared was like, 'Hey, this would be amazing for your voice, do you want to write to it?'" she says. "We wrote a song that was very tailored to my voice so it worked out perfectly. I never thought I would end up in the EDM world but I am definitely happy that it was with Jenaux, because I think he is an amazing upcoming artist and DJ and I think he is going to have a huge career."
Strategically, Toscano's teaming up with Jenaux -- who is signed to Primary Wave -- looks to be a good move. By releasing the track to Beatport, a destination for DJs, the song stands a good chance of getting showcased in DJ sets, equaling more exposure. Still, Toscano curbs her enthusiasm, having been down this road before.
"I guess it all depends on how this song does," she says. "We are really pushing it hard, and maybe we'll be invited to some festivals. I would love to perform with him."
Certainly Toscano has learned plenty about performing in the last few years -- not just from her Idol experience, but also from singing backup vocals for Idol judge Jennifer Lopez. "Performing with Jen, she gives you a good mix," Toscano explains. "She gives you the dance, she gives you ballads, and she is an incredible dancer, so her stuff is a little bit different than EDM, but it is definitely that uptempo fun kind of stuff, so I got a little taste of it when I started working with her."
In the meantime, the Queens native is continuing with her schedule of singing at the home games for the L.A. Kings, traveling for performances, and recording new music for her in-the-works album.
Adds Toscano: "This is like a new world for me, and it is opening up another element of what I can do."