The 5-Minute Beauty Secrets Syesha Mercado Learned From American Idol
Upon first meeting Syesha Mercado, I can tell we're going to be fast friends. It's not just her natural curls that entice my Afro envy or her cherry-red MAC lipstick that makes me want to pump up my pucker; it's her effervescent personality that truly draws me in. You probably remember Syesha from season seven of American Idol. While she didn't take home the prize (David Cook won that season), her soulful singing style did get her a place in the top three. Since 2008, Syesha has launched a successful career performing on Broadway, where she starred in Dreamgirls and The Book of Mormon. But it's a viral YouTube video of her performing Beyoncé's "Love on Top" that has people anticipating her first album (scheduled for release this Fall).
Growing up in Florida with a multicultural background influenced Syesha's sound drastically. Her mother's experience as a backup singer for Motown gave her a love of gospel and soul, while her father's Puerto Rican heritage made a love of all things Latin. "I never had CDs growing up. I would listen to the radio and record what was on the radio and then have it taped so I could play it back," Syesha said. "Then when I was 16, my mom bought me an Alicia Keys CD and I fell in love with that album. She had the braids, she was playing piano, and she was just so different." You'll also find Kirk Franklin, Esperanza Spalding, Etta James, Mariah Carey, and Celia Cruz on her eclectic playlist. Each artist has influenced her unique folk sound.
Keep reading to listen to a preview of Syesha's new album, glimpse into her extensive bath-time ritual for soft skin, and steal her five-minute curl secret.