EXCLUSIVE: Get to Know The X Factor’s 13-Year Old, Carly Rose Sonenclar
Carly Rose talks to SL about Broadway, auditioning for ‘The X Factor’ and instant fame.
13-year old, Carly Rose Sonenclar, wowed The X Factor audiences with her powerful, inspired, and soulful rendition of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ during auditions. The judges gave her a standing ovation, Simon awarded her "4,833 yes’s", and she soon passed through the first day of boot camp. Everyone wondered where this rare singing sensation came from. Where has she been until now?
Sonenclar could be named America’s Youngest ‘Triple-Threat’. She began singing at the age of 2, taking singing, dancing, and acting classes in New York City. By 7, Sonenclar was already performing professionally as the lead in New York Musical Theater Festival’s production of The Night of the Hunter and Young Cosette in Les Miserables in Broadway.
At 10 years old, she starred in the national touring production of Little House on the Prairie The Musical. Over the last 3 years, Sonenclar has appeared in numerous theatrical productions, TV series, and feature films.
Sonenclar returns to The X Factor stage on Wednesday evening, but caught up with Shalom Life to chat Broadway, The X Factor, Nina Simone, and other things that have her “feeling good”.
ASHLEY BAYLEN (AB): Congrats on your success with The X Factor! You have such a beautiful voice. I understand you starting singing at the age of 2. Did you have a moment when you realized you wanted to pursue music professionally?
CARLY SONENCLAR (CS): When I was six years old I took a local singing/acting/dancing class and they brought us to a manager who offered to sign me. At that point I really didn’t even know what that meant! They started sending me out on auditions and I got my first professional role at the age of 7. I guess that is when I knew!
AB: You made your Broadway debut at 7 years old in Les Miserables as Young Cosette. What was that experience like? It must have been crazy.
CS: It was amazing!! The cast was unbelievable and there were 4 other kids in the production and we had a blast! One of the most incredible nights was opening night on Broadway when the cast, crew and creative team exchange gifts and there is a huge party afterwards.
AB: You’ve been consistently performing in theatre since Les Mis. Why did you decide this was the year to transition from theatre to solo music and audition for The X Factor?
CS: Well I have always loved solo performing, in fact I have been doing it a lot lately…singing in some great places like the amazing Birdland jazz club in New York City. But this year was the first year I was old enough to audition for X Factor.
AB: Why did you choose ‘Feeling Good’ as your audition song?
CS: I love the song and it shows off the bluesy, jazz part of my voice. I also thought it was something different that the judges wouldn’t expect to hear from someone my age. It was a risk but I guess it paid off!
AB: What was going through your head when you took the stage to sing in front of 5,000 people for the first time?
CS: I was just so ready to perform! What you don’t see on TV is that we were waiting for almost 10 hours before I got on stage. I am lucky enough to have the experience of performing the National Anthem at Shea Stadium, Dodger Stadium and Madison Square Garden and those crowds were even bigger. But I was excited to be in front of the judges!
Go to the next page for the second half of our exclusive interview!
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