Well, after finishing 11th on Idol, the Naples, Fla., resident relocated to Los Angeles and started working on new music.
Now she’s preparing to release a six- or seven-track debut EP, probably in late February.
The music is R&B pop, and you can check out 95-second snippets of four songs at Soundcloud.com. The songs are “Lucky,” “Shine,” “Waste of Time” and “Sucker Free,” all of which will be on the EP.
Last week, Paige, now 25, took time to talk to Idol Chatter about her new music and her time on Idol.
Idol Chatter: You asked the fans to help pick the first single. Why?
Paige: I wanted them to be involved in it. I wanted their feedback on the music and kind of let them see how they’re part of this project. We make music for ourselves as artists, but also we need to know what our fans want from us as well. So I threw out a few samples to see what they were liking. Funny enough, the ones they kind of landed on were my favorites as well, which is awesome.
Chatter: Which songs were they?
Paige: “Waste of Time” and “Lucky.” It’s great. Those are two my favorite choices. I was happy about that.
Chatter: So which one is going to be the single?
Paige: Well, right now, man, it’s tough between those two. I think “Lucky” has the edge though.
Chatter: The EP is called “Stardust.” Why?
Paige: Actually, I’m kind of a nerd. Stardust is actually cosmic particles. It’s the dust that comes from stars in outer space. And I thought it was really cool that there was dust of stars. You know, stars are fire, and (stardust is) kind of remnants of this big, flashy beautiful thing that’s actually quite hot and dangerous. So I really like the actual definition of stardust … Lots of people think stardust as in celebrity stars. Actually, (my reasoning) was completely scientific.”
Chatter: Back to Idol for a moment. The bio on your website says you almost decided not to audition because you were scheduled to leave for the Dallas auditions on the same day Michael Jackson died. Tell me about that.
Paige: He died the day before my audition in Dallas. And I was devastated. At that point, I really didn’t want to do anything. I went over to a friend’s house and decided to stay there. I hadn’t packed. I hadn’t practiced any songs. I really wasn’t in a mood to do it.
He’s one of my American idols and a great inspiration behind the music I like to perform and for me just being in love with music the way I am. He has so much to do with that. I really wasn’t in the mood to do it. … I actually had even gotten a little hoarse, maybe from crying. I was supposed to be in Dallas at 5 a.m. that Friday, the 26th. And at 12:30 I was still in Houston. And my friend pretty much kicked me out of my house. She was like: “You need to go. I don’t know why I feel like you need to go, but you just have to go.’”
Chatter: You would have been 23 when you auditioned. Why did you wait so long to try out for Idol?
Paige: I actually waited so long because I was never really sure about going into the industry the Idol route. It can be very brutal. You go from being unknown to being thrust in front of America really quickly. And not just being thrust in front of them as an artist, but someone who’s being scrutinized and criticized in front of millions.
Being an amateur and going into it that way, you’re thrown in the spotlight. … You’re going through your developmental process in front of the world, while other artists do that behind the scenes and America sees the finished package once it’s all done. But we kind of grew up in front of everybody.
Chatter: Now, I have to ask. Have you seen Idol this season? What do you think of the new judging panel?
Paige: I’m a big fan of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. I think it’s a whole shakeup. It’s just so different without Simon. It feels different. It’s a big change. I’ve watched the show on and off since I was 16. You kind of get used to something one way, and it’s very different. J-Lo and Steven Tyler are great, talented musicians. But I don’t know. I miss Simon.
At the same time, I think change is always good. I’m just interested to see how America takes to it. I think there’s a really interesting dynamic to that panel. And, actually for me, thinking back as a contestant, it’s always good to have people (judging) who know what it’s like to be on stage and thrown into the spotlight.
Paige: Actually, the first time I will be performing the songs will be at the annual Cultural Heritage Festival in Naples, Fla. (on Feb. 19). So I’m going back to my hometown at the end of February. And I will be performing for the first time “Waste of Time” and “Lucky.”
And for a look back at Paige’s Idol performance, check out the “9 Years of Idol” link above and click on her name. There’s a page for each Idol finalist from the previous nine seasons, complete with all the videos from the Idol finals we could find.