IdolInterviews: Season 7 Top 50 Contestant Seanna Turner

Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2011 by MiKey in Labels: , ,

Q: I know it’s been awhile since you’ve had to talk about your Idol experience but can you tell me about what the audition process was like for you?

A: The audition process was an experience that I will always cherish and remember for the rest of my life! I auditioned in Atlanta at the GA dome. The process was extremely exhausting and it was definitely a cattle call atmosphere! That year, 800,000 people showed up to audition at the GA Dome. People were standing around belting out into the air and doing anything possible to draw attention from the camera crew! My father just so happens to pastor the church next door to the GA dome (Mt. Vernon Baptist Church). This made camping out the night before the auditions a breeze! I slept on the pew of my father’s church the night before Idol came into town and I was able to quickly run over to the dome at the crack of dawn when Idol allowed the contestants to start a formal line! My BFF LaTeefha Kemp met me with sleeping bags and snacks and 16 hours later we were still in line! 20 hours later I finally had my chance to audition and compete against 800,000 vocalists in the middle of the Atlanta Falcon's football field!

Q: I know each time I’ve gone to the “Cattle Call” audition it’s filled with over the top divas, people that like to scring (which is my combination of scream+sing) –lol, the gimmicks etc… How did you remain focused through the process?

A: You are so right about the over the top divas and the “scringers”! Imagine looking out into a sea of people sringing in crazy costumes, dancing and warming up! There were people even singing in the restrooms! I knew at this point that I needed to focus and get into my zone in order to not be distracted! I looked around the dome at all 800,000 people thinking to myself, “Wow! I must stand out amongst all of these people; and then I thought, “I can only be myself and if it’s meant to be, I will win! I chose to sing All I Do by Stevie Wonder. I didn't want to sing a typical female song that would have been over done a thousand times before the judges got a chance to hear me. I figured that if I sang a male record that was popular with my spin on it, I would definitely stand out. This process was so weird because it was out in the open on the football field for everyone to see as they put you in groups of 4 to have a sing off! They were cutting people off left and right and some people didn't even make it pass the 3rd word of their song. My chance finally came and I blew them away with my version of All I Do! I made it and I was handed a yellow sheet of paper and escorted to the back to fill out paper work to prepare for the “Randy, Paula, and Simon” auditions! The people in the group who didn't make it were escorted out immediately! It was a very emotional environment. People were crying from the joy and excitement of winning and there were people crying from the disappointment of not advancing to the next round. I was so happy and bursting with joy that I ran across the street to my father's church to share the news to my family!!!!! All I could focus on was the next phase of the audition process with “Randy, Paula and Simon”

Q: In Season 7 although you didn’t get any featured airtime what do you think we would have seen as a viewing audience if you had?

A: I had a few little short moments of airtime where they showed me getting my golden ticket to Hollywood and my family going crazy! They also showed a short clip of me and my reaction to Simon on the Idol commercials during half time of the Super Bowl! That was a complete surprise to me! I was watching the game with my family and friends and out of nowhere I saw my face on TV....on Super Bowl Sunday! If I had of gotten real long quality airtime, you would have seen me nail every solo I had during Hollywood week! You would have seen Simon tell me that my performances were so polished that I wasn't TV worthy because there wasn't anything to correct! This was a bomber to me because I went to Hollywood ready to compete and give my best! Now I know that although it is a talent contest it is also a game show and they need all of the drama and craziness to make the show entertaining and comical! It's almost like, the more flaws you have the more airtime you get! Idol 2007 was the 1st year they did not do the group auditions in Hollywood. Every man was for himself and the unspoken theme was sink or swim! I made it to the magic 50 by singing a Jazz song titled The More I See You and If I Ain't Got You by Alicia Keys! I was originally going to sing my version of All Night Long by Mary J. Blige but when they “accidentally” started playing All Night Long by Lionel Richie it totally killed my performance and that’s when I had to perform the Alicia Keys song as a last minute back up! (Talk about being caught off guard!-lol.) I knew that they weren’t going to show that because it was a huge production error on their end! But to keep a positive attitude, I remained focused and I did my best! The Top 24 came out of the Final 50 and the rest of us went home!

Q: From just talking with other past contestants there are some that still stay in contact, do you still keep in contact with anyone you met throughout the audition process?

A: I stayed in contact with my roommate from Hollywood Week Samantha Musa! We became BFF'S from the 1st day we met! She was from LA and she still lives there. If I ever move to LA we may even be roomies again! She is so talented and beautiful on the inside and out!

Q: What is your most notable memory of the interview process?

A: My most notable memory was with Ms. Debra Byrd. She pulled me aside after hearing that I didn't make the Top 24 and looked at me with tears in her eyes stating,” Seanna you are extremely talented and gifted. The decision they made does not define you or your gift. When you become famous, please find me because I would love to work with you!” I was feeling crushed about not making the Top 24, but when she told me that I knew that I had to follow my destiny and never give up! She told me to always own my music when I sing and to make people believe and feel what I sing! I have been singing all of my life but that experience made me discover the new passion I have now as a Rock/Pop artist! I was signed to Universal a while back and like a typical 1st deal for most artists, I was put on the shelf when they merged with Motown. Immediately after that experience, I took a short break to finish college at Kennesaw State University earning a BS in Sports Management/Marketing. I lost a top position in the Sports/Entertainment industry due to Hollywood week with American Idol and I just recently left another corporate sales job to pursue my music career full time. I support myself financially as a professional vocalist, songwriter, vocal coach and makeup artist. I get to work with lines such as Laura Mercier, Giorgio Armani, and Chanel during the day and I transform into a Rock Star at night!

Q: So I scoped out you My Space Music page [here] there are some catchy beats on there.I like the edgy rock sound you have on Take It All Away. However I also like that R&B vibe you going on in tracks like Gotta Go and Hustler. So with that’s said, do you have a favorite genre to sing/perform? Also as an artist who do you look up to and how have they inspired your craft?

A: I grew up in a very strict home with a pastor for a father and a mother who worked for the FBI. I have always secretly listened to and written rock music, but growing up I was only allowed to sing and listen to classical, jazz, or gospel! I was never the typical cookie cutter R&B artist even when I was signed to Universal. I always added an edgy vibe to R&B and I would combine funk and soul with jazz! I am a very creative and well rounded artist due to my musical background. At 17, I was accepted to The Julliard School of Music on as a classical vocalist and piano minor. Take It All Away is my baby and I originally wrote it for Gwen Stefani but now I am remixing it and performing it live with my band. I wrote that song after my 1st breakup as an adult. My ex was extremely insecure about my music career and he always tried to make me choose him over being a singer. I found out that he was cheating on me right before Hollywood Week of Idol and we broke up over the phone the night before I left for Hollywood! My entire city, family and friends were so excited for me except for him. When I returned from Hollywood week I went in the studio and recorded Take It All Away without writing anything down on paper! I recorded that song straight from my heart! I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from DJ's and radio stations about that record. I am going to shoot a video for that song and upload it on You Tube this spring. Gotta Go was a record I wrote and pitched to Fergie and Britney Spears. Hustler was a song that Ester Dean wrote for Keyshia Cole years ago and I was hired to demo the song at that time. I can sing anything but I am definitely drawn and connected to the Edgy Rock vibe that allows me to be free and passionate on stage. I have always loved edgy women like Pat Benatar, Tina Turner, Gwen Stefani Macy Gray, Alannah Myles, Heart, Tracy Chapman, Cheryl Crow and my latest discovery Betty Davis (The Betty Davis that was married to Miles Davis and long time girl pal to Jimi Hendrix).

Q: Within the next couple months what can your current and potential fans expect from you?

A: I just started my band one month after I officially left my corporate sales job in September. We had our 1st debut in front of 500 people at the SESAC showcase in December. Our 1st official show was January 22nd at the Hard rock Cafe where we opened for 2 other major Atlanta bands. That night was magical as I looked out into the sold out crowd. Everything clicked to me and I knew that making the sacrifice to follow my dream in the middle of a recession was no mistake! Although I have been singing and performing for years I had to always tone down and hide my music career from my company. Everyone knows how it’s hard to balance those types of jobs while maintaining a full time music career. I can now freely put information about my shows on Twitter and Face Book without it being a conflict of interest with my former company! I just participated in the Hard Rock Battle of the bands on Feb 3rd performing and winning a chance to compete in the final round that took place last Thursday Feb 24th! We lost by point five to a band that had been together for 7 years while working on their 3rd album! It was a great experience and we had amazing feedback from the crowd and the judges. It would have been even better to win a chance to open for Bon Jovi in London's Hyde Park for the Hard Rock's 40th Anniversary, but I know that everything happens for a reason! I am currently in the studio creating a timeless album that will have longevity. I write with a lot of emotion and I want to create awareness of certain controversial topics through my music. I wrote a song called Addiction that talks about how women or men who are involved in relationships with people who have addictions end up becoming an addict of pain and the wrong type of love. I saw my mother go through this struggle with my father when I was a little girl before his transformation. He was addicted to cocaine but he turned his life around and has been clean over 20 years while leading thousands of people to sobriety through his non-profit organization Product of The Power. I saw friends deal with this issue in relationships as well as fellow artist and musicians that never succeeded due to certain additions and these experiences moved to write a song about the conflict and pain this type of love brings. Between my makeup artistry and my music career I work 18 hour days and I won't stop until I am at the Grammy's. I am in the process of putting a team together to help promote my future project!

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers/followers here at Idol Phenomena?

A: Being welcomed with open arms into Atlanta's rock Community has been a blast! My band “The Nominees” will be performing around Atlanta and touring over the summer. I have been compared to Tina Turner, and Pat Benetar (in their prime) and Gwen Stefani (when she was with No Doubt) which for me is very flattering. I just want to sell out arenas and bring great music to the world leaving an unforgettable mark on my generation as well as generations to come!

To follow Seanna check out the following links!!!

[MySpace] [Twitter] [Reverbnation]

Check out Seanna Turner and The Nominees Live @The Hard Rock Cafe Battle of the Bands 2011

Check out Seanna's song How Do I below...


  1. LaMoton says:

    She is a very talented artist that will go down in history as one of the greatest! Mark my word!!