'American Idol' Finalist Qaasim Middleton: 'I Want to Pack Stadiums in a Year or Two'
Fans of ousted American Idol finalist Qaasim Middleton hoping to see him on the Idol summer tour, don't lose hope just yet: There's a chance you might see him at least once.
The show -- which announced Wednesday that only the top five finalists will hit the road this summer -- is in negotiations for the remaining singers to open their hometown shows. Middleton hails from Brooklyn, and New York is one of the confirmed cities on the schedule.
“Whatever happens, I’m down for some big things,” Middleton said Thursday (April 9) on a conference call with reporters. “I don’t know too much about the tour other than the fact it is supposed to be the top five make it through, but I know I am going to be doing some big stuff on my own as well.”
He is planning new original music that he described as funk, rock, hip-hop and soul mixed with alternative. His dream is to be a stadium artist (he name-checked Prince, Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars as examples), and he wants to create video games.
“The stuff that we are going to come up with is next-generation gaming,” he said. “We have so much to brainstorm about this. I’m a gamer. My uncle Carl is a professional gamer and gets paid to do this. He lives in Japan. My grandmother, she has beaten over 200 video games. No joke… She was one of the first people in the tri-state area to beat God of War III. I got into gaming really hard when I was younger. ... It’s a whole other market, and I can dish out some of my own now.”
Which doesn’t mean the former star of Nickelodeon's Naked Brothers Band is abandoning acting opportunities. Show business is in his blood -- his father, Keith Middleton, performed in the New York cast of Stomp and his mom, Toni Seawright, was a fourth runner-up for Miss America -- and movies and dance videos are on his radar.
“I want to pack stadiums in a year or two,” he said. “You have not seen the last of me at all."
Middleton said he still gets recognized from his Nickelodeon days and was pleasantly surprised by a fan at Wednesday night's show.
“The first time I ever got a sign was yesterday. Someone came up and said they were a fan since NBB,” said the 20-year-old performer, adding that he was upfront about the 2007 series on camera. “I talked about it on the show a few times but it never got aired. I don’t know if it was a clearance thing.”
Middleton, who benefited from being this season’s judges’ save, said he was thankful to Jennifer Lopez for sticking up for his vocal abilities on Wednesday night’s show prior to the Twitter vote.
“I was getting a lot of flak from people that think I am not that great of a singer but I’m a great dancer,” said Middleton, who said he only started dancing in December. “If I wasn’t a good enough singer, I wouldn’t be on the show. I really appreciate her vouching for me and letting the public know that I am great singer. I do have some chops and I want to showcase those on originals that I have coming out for y’all soon."