In The Spotlight: Singer Pia Toscano
With an unbelievable voice that has given me chills since I first heard her sing on Idol six years ago, singer Pia Toscano is making her way back in the spotlight. Her new EP “Belong” was just released in December, she recently married her longtime love (dancer Jimmy Smith) and is currently recording some new music!
Pia and Jimmy stayed at YOTEL New York on their wedding night, but before all the wedding festivities went down, we were able to catch up with Pia for a little photo shoot and Q&A!
Find out more about Pia (and what she thinks of YOTEL and recommends to check out in NYC) below.
Have you always been interested in music? At what age did you discover that you had an extremely powerful voice, and decide to pursue singing as a career?
I was four years old when I discovered my interest in music. My sister would play The Bodyguard soundtrack around the house and I would always sing along to "I Will Always Love You." I was 10 years old when I really discovered by voice and it was in band rehearsal. I was alone in this room practicing for my flute performance, when I noticed how amazing the acoustics were in the room. I started to sing the National Anthem and my band director walked in and asked if that was me singing. When I said ‘yes,’ he had me open for our band performance the next day and I went on to sing for every single assembly in the school.
You placed 9th on the 10th season of American Idol. (You were my absolute favorite that season!) Can you tell us a little bit about your experience being on the show? What doors did being on American Idol open for you that you might not have had otherwise? Do you still keep in touch with any of the other contestants?
Thank you!! My time on Idol was great. I wish I absorbed more of it to be honest. It all goes by so quickly that it becomes quite a blur. American Idol has given me a world of opportunity. I toured around the world, I have sung for really incredibly events, and have met some wonderful people. But mainly I am now able to do what I love for a living and that is the ultimate blessing. I still keep in touch with my fellow Idol contestants. We are on a group text chat!
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
There have been so many highlights, but one would have to be doing my first theater show called "For the Record," where I was able to act and sing with the most talented people in our industry. I was the only one in the cast that didn't have some kind of history with acting or theater and they literally helped and supported me every step of the way.
How would you describe your experience of being on tour with J. Lo?
My experience with Jennifer has been great. She is like a big sister. I have learned and continue to learn so much from her.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Who inspires you most?
Whitney Houston & Celine Dion are my all-time favorite vocalists. They pretty much taught me how to sing. Now I love Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Adele, etc. I would say Celine inspires me the most, as I would love to one day have my own residency.
If you had to pick a theme song for your life, what would it be?
The theme song of my life would have to be my own song off of my EP called "Belong." That song is my autobiography, so you can't get much closer than that. Ha!
You have quite an impressive following on social media. How have these platforms helped your career? Is there a specific platform where your fans are more closely engaged with you over another?
Social media is amazing and it definitely helps to keep me engaged with my fans. Instagram and Facebook now have this live-stream that I love where you can show in real-time what's happening in your life. It allows for a real conversation with my followers.
When you’re not making music and performing, what are some of your hobbies?
I am a foodie! My husband and I love to go to nice dinners and explore new things. We also love to go to the movies and just chill.
You’re from NYC originally. What are some of your must-do recommendations for people visiting the city? Favorite clubs, concert venues, bars, tourist attractions?
My favorite time to go to NYC is in the winter, because there is truly nothing as magical. The way the city is decorated makes you feel so warm & happy. I would definitely recommend going ice skating at Rockefeller Center, Central Park, having a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity… My two new favorite restaurants are Pio Pio and Serafina, and of course I would recommend all of my friends to stay at YOTEL.
Congratulations on your wedding! (And thanks for choosing to stay with us in our VIP Suite for your wedding night!) How would you describe your experience staying at YOTEL New York? What was your favorite thing about staying at YOTEL?
Our experience at YOTEL was fabulous. Our view of the city was out of this world, and it was in a very central spot of Manhattan which made traveling easy. The food is great and it’s just a really hip innovative hotel.
Lastly, what’s next for Pia? Any tours or new albums in the works?
Right now I am back in the studio recording. I am auditioning for some shows and working on some projects with my hubby. I go back to Vegas in February with Jennifer and hoping to go on a tour of my own very soon!
Pia Toscano. All images shot at YOTEL New York. Photos: Rebecca Perry