Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Didi Benami: "I don't feel like I lost my way"

It suddenly dawned on me this morning that I hadn’t shared Didi’s comments from her media conference call with you. You’ll see that it’s clear that Didi still doesn’t quite get it. It’s not about singing a particular genre. It’s about making that particular genre fit into your genre. Of course, I get the feeling Didi is not quite sure what her genre is…

Here’s some of what she had to say…

On whether she was prepared for all of the scrutiny: “No, actually I wasn’t prepared for that. I was not an avid American Idol watcher, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Honestly, I was just being myself, and I did stuff that meant something to me, and I also had a good time. So, I wasn’t expecting that, no, but I am okay. I dealt with it, and it’s actually interesting because it was a lot like my Los Angeles experience. You get kicked down; you got to get back up again and start over. It’s not anything I haven’t dealt with before. So, no big deal.”

On her LA experience: “Oh boy! It’s crazy. I moved out here when I was 19, and I’ve had crazy roommates and all sorts of ridiculous experiences where I moved around a lot. There were points where I didn’t even have a place to live, and I was living out of my car, and it’s been rough. I wanted to do some entertainment, and I wanted to sing and do Rebecca’s songs, and I somehow managed to find my way along the way because I didn’t really know what I was doing, other than I moved out to LA and was trying to pursue what I loved.

And, I just faced a lot of ridiculous hardships. I was waiting tables and it’s never predictable. I switched jobs many times. It’s never really been a stable environment for me, ever, living out here until just recently, and then my life got uplifted again. And, it’s a crazy experience in LA, and you get kicked down a lot. I taught myself how to play guitar and write out everything that was bothering me or anything that I had on my mind and couldn’t say in reality to somebody because I wanted to be nice. And, I was able to start writing songs and meet people that wanted to co-write and from there, just really started honing (I can’t find the words I am so tired) and just started working on my skills and trained myself to write and took voice lessons. I worked really, really hard to get where I am, so I am just really grateful that I had the opportunity to be on American Idol in the first place because it’s a great platform for me to be able to get my music out there and to continue my song writing and my love and my passion and what I was put here to do. So, it’s really amazing.”

On being so emotional: “Music is definitely therapy for me. It’s therapeutic and I do it as a release, and it’s who I am. And it’s funny because the cameras always catch me whenever I am emotional, which sucks because I am not always emotional. I’ve actually been pretty strong through this whole thing. It’s just whenever something happens or I break down, it’s unfortunately right when there’s a camera in my face. But, it’s been an amazing ride, and of course, it’s been emotional because this is something that I’ve always wanted to do and reaching that place that I got to on the show was a really amazing thing for me, and it was a really big accomplishment. That was emotional for me because you work so hard, and you just try to believe and keep the faith and imagine and just know that good things will come, and when they finally do, it’s like almost in disbelief, and it’s a really amazing opportunity, and it brought me to tears, so ….”

On whether Ryan trying to get her to admit why she sang her song hurt her: “I don’t know. There’s no way to tell what the, it was kind of a weird situation. It was kind of awkward for me, and I wasn’t trying to get any sort of, there’s a time and place for, I was trying to convey a message through the song, not by somebody asking me why I was singing it. I think it was pretty obvious to people why I was singing it. And I don’t think that anybody hasn’t had that emotion, and I sang the song because I love the song, so ….Yes, and it was kind of an uncomfortable situation for me because I didn’t want to answer the question, but ultimately, I think I did what I thought was in my best interest, and it’s all good.”

On Kara saying she lost her way: “I don’t feel like I lost my way. I feel like they wanted me to do something specific every week and I kind of went out on a limb several different weeks and I did different things and they weren’t expecting it, and it was kind of a surprise. Just to show that I can do other things. I am a singer/songwriter and I have that, but I also tap into every single emotion that I have and that I do very well. That’s something that is artistry. Through these songs I was just showing a different side to myself. It probably wasn’t necessarily the side that they wanted to see, but I have them and I think everybody does. So, I was just being me and that’s really all I can say.

I appreciate Kara, though. I think she was trying to, I think that they were all trying to be really helpful and I was just doing my thing and it wasn’t exactly what they had kind of planned out for me, I guess. But I just wanted to show a different side of myself. It’s not every day you get to sing in front of 30 million people and I just wanted to do different things and not do the same thing every week, to show that I can do other things and I am diverse.”

On what kind of music she wants to do: “Didi music. I’m going to do my thing. I’m going to do singer/songwriter type of, like acoustic, low key, chill, relaxing music. I’m going to put my heart into what I do, like I do every time. It’s me and I can, it’s like acoustic, I guess, all acoustic kind of fusion stuff. A little jazz, a hint of bluegrass, a little bit of everything that I’ve experienced in my life.”

On the pace of the show: “Wow, it’s like insane, intense; like boot camp for singers kind of thing. It was definitely intense. It’s like here, get a song, learn it in like very, very little time, sing it on stage in front of everybody. It’s just very like, I don’t know, it’s a lot of pressure and it’s an amazing experience at the same time, so you want to take full advantage of it and you don’t want to mess up. And you want to do everything you can to give them everything you have. So, it’s definitely an interesting experience. They definitely always keep you busy with like four shoots and photo shoots, there’s always something. It’s really amazing and valuable experience. I’ve learned a lot and I can’t wait to sleep. Never thought I’d say that, but yeah, I’m exhausted. But I’m really, really grateful and glad that I got the chance to do it.”

On the moment she had to wait for the judges’ decision about the save: “It was tough. You know, the whole crowd was chanting and that was pretty cool, but ultimately, regardless, I kind of felt like I was going home. I thought it would be cool if they exercised the option to let me stay and I wanted to come back next week in Beatles week and be great. But regardless of what happened, I was kind of in the head space like I was okay either way. I’m not really worried, I’ve had amazing support from everybody and it’s just been a really crazy, cool ride. I’m happy because I’m going on tour and I have a lot to look forward to, so I’m not at all distraught about anything. I want to put a record together and I want to get my music out there, too. I’m okay with it.”

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX