Fantasia is known worldwide as a sultry, soulful songstress who delivers mind-boggling performances every time she touches the stage.
What most fans don’t know is that Fantasia once showed tremendous promise as a track star during her high school days in North Carolina… That is until the “girly girl” in her won out over the potential superstar athlete.
“I started wearing short hair in high school and I was sweating it out,” Fantasia said with a laugh. “That wasn’t working for me!”
We caught up with the Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum singer/songwriter to chop-it-up about everything from her new album “Sketchbook” (Oct. 11) to McDonald’s fries to why she’s still riding with the Golden State Warriors.
Jason Jordan: We’re a sports entity first, so I always like to gauge the sports backgrounds and experiences of all my guests on the Celeb Chop-Up; what sports did you play coming up?
Fantasia: Ooh, yeah, no I wasn’t good at any sports. Well, I was good in track, but I started wearing short hair in high school and I was sweating it out. That wasn’t working for me! I was a girly girl so… I just didn’t have the passion for it I guess.
JJ: OK, but you said you were good; let’s say you had the passion and you stayed with track where would your career be today?
F: Oh I would’ve gotten really far. I do well in things I’m passionate about. I always watch Serena and I love her passion. I’m a Warriors fan and a Panthers fan and I can always tell the players that have that passion! That’s what I love about Serena. I feel like I would’ve been her in my other life!
JJ: Are you still a Warriors fan with KD leaving? A lot of people jumped off that wagon.
F: Oh I don’t jump off, see that’s the problem! If you’re a fan then you’re a fan! We’ve gotta correct the definition of fan. Steph Curry is from Charlotte and went to school right here by me then Klay Thompson; it was always the Splash Brothers anyway. If people leave us I’m still gonna be there with them. I’m a true fan!
JJ: Completely respect that. Perfect place to take it random; what’s the first thing that pops into your head when approaching a yellow traffic light?
F: (Laughs) You’re trying to get me in trouble Jay! (Laughs) Well, the first thing that pops into my head is “You’re speeding, and you should probably slow down before the red light comes.” I’m gonna be honest though, I don’t always slow down. To God be the glory I haven’t received 500 tickets. It definitely pops into my head to do the right thing, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
JJ: OK, that’s a real answer.
F: (Laughs) That’s real sad!
JJ: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
F: Well, because I’m getting older and I’m a mother and a wife, I think I’m a bit OCD. I don’t like to see stuff dirty. I just can’t. I’m always telling my daughter that she needs to clean this and that, and I used to hate when my mom did it to me. I’d always feel like she was just too much and now I’m doing it.
JJ: Other than “American Idol,” because we all know you’re the GOAT there, what competition-based reality show would you absolutely win?
F: Can I be honest, I wouldn’t do another one. That would be my first and last.
JJ: I like it, let’s keep the winning percentage at 100.
JJ: What fast food restaurant has the best fries?
JJ: The best pizza you’ve ever had in your life was from where?
F: Just any pizza in New York! I can’t lie, they’re the best.
JJ: You’re a southern girl so I need you to settle an age-old debate: Which state is King of barbecue?
F: Ooh, I’m gonna have to go with Mississippi! My husband’s brother lives there and wow, it was amazing! I went there and couldn’t stop eating, which isn’t good because it all goes to my thighs and booty, but that’s OK because I’m a southern girl! But, yes, Mississippi.
JJ: In the epic game of Paper, Rock, Scissors which object do you find that you get the most wins with?
F: (Laughs) Wow, I actually play this a lot with my son Dallas and I always go for the rock because I’m a solid in the person that I am. I’m rock solid and for that reason I usually pick the rock.
JJ: Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds?
F: Ooh! That’s cute! Hmm, I’m gonna take invisible. Man, that’s a good question.
JJ: How would you use a rewind button in life?
F: Ooh baby, I would use it right in the middle of my career when I was very gullible and green. I didn’t know much back then, so I would go rewind back to that time and apply what I know now and take everything back that was taken from me.
JJ: Good one. If you would 100 percent get away with it which crime would you commit?
F: (Laughs) Ooh now you ain’t right! OK, I wouldn’t commit a crime, I would go in to the court system and change all the jacked-up stuff they do.
JJ: I liked how you switched that up!
F: (Laughs) Yes!
JJ: Let’s hop into the DeLorean Time Machine (“Back to the Future”), which era would you like to drop in on for a week?
F: Ooh great question. I always say I was born in the wrong era, I would love to be on stage with icons like Aretha, Diana and people like that! I would love to go back to their era for a time. I love your questions, these are cute!
JJ: Well, thank you Fantasia! OK, what’s the most overused slang word or phrase out right now?
F: (Laughs) Ooh, don’t ask me that because this makes me feel old! My daughter is gonna kill me if I don’t answer this right! OK, probably the new thing where they say things twice like, “You saved, saved!” or “You mad, mad!” At first, I was like, “Girl are you stuttering?” She told me that’s the new thing.
JJ: I’m definitely gonna pretend I already knew that.
F: (Laughs) I know that’s right!
JJ: OK, President Trump’s Secret Service code name is Mogul, President Obama’s Secret Service code name was Renegade; if you were President what would your Secret Service code name be?
F: Hmm… Diana. I like Diana.
JJ: Tell me something about you that most people would be shocked to know?
F: That I’m very regular. I do my own cooking and grocery shopping. As a matter of fact when me and you finish up, I’m gonna go and cook dinner for my family.
JJ: Well far be it from me to hold up a good meal; first though we’ve got “Sketchbook” coming on Friday and everyone’s excited about that. Talk about everything fans can expect from the new project.
F: This is a very different album for me because I’m independent that means there aren’t a lot of people standing in the way telling me what to do. It’s all me. It’s a different sound for me; it’s not hurt music, it’s not sad music like “Bittersweet” or “Free Yourself.” I’m married now, I’m in a different place, and I think in life we all must grow whether that’s with business, with relationships or even family. I’m in that place in my life where I’m growing. The plant that was planted long ago is finally being nurtured and catered to the correct way. We’ve repotted the gift and now it’s properly growing, and I see things different now. Nothing on this album sounds the same and I did that on purpose. I was raised in a musical family and we listened to every genre. I’m not boxing myself in to R&B because I’m more than that. It’s a vibe and it’s upbeat. I wanted to bring something that men could rock to as well! We start touring Oct. 17 so I’m really excited about that too.
JJ: Aren’t we all!
F: Thanks Jay! This was so fun! God bless you.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY