Originally published in the San Antonio Current.
After slaying her way into the top eight of last year’s American Idol, homegrown San Antonio singing sensation Ada Vox is returning for a performance at the San Antonio AIDS Foundation’s Webb Party on Friday, April 19.
If you somehow were living under a rock last year, let’s recap: Vox — born Adam Sanders — made it onto the iconic singing show as its first drag queen contestant. Week after week and performance after performance, Sanders showcased her vocal range and dynamic on tunes ranging from Radiohead’s “Creep” to the Lion King’s “Circle of Life.”
Her commanding voice and powerful stage presence — and killer looks — even grabbed the attention from the most famous drag queen in the world, Rupaul, who tweeted “SHANTAY, you slay! @AdaVox XORU.”
After getting sent home as she closed in on the finals, Vox has continued to thrive, last year releasing her first single, “Because of You,” and touring relentlessly. The singer relocated to Dallas last October, saying its airport has more direct flights to the cities she’s performing in.
With the Webb Party coming up, it seemed like a good time to hit up the South San High School alumnus to what she’s been up to since her appearance on American Idol.
So first off, how are you?
Good! Your girl’s doing her thing all over the country – all over the world. I’ve just been very, very busy planning a move to LA in July. It’s time to make the next step and move forward in this career
Are you playing a lot more shows there or what’s going on?
I have a lot of stuff I can’t disclose, but I have a few singles in the works, and let’s just say that there are many opportunities in LA that are going to benefit me in the long run.
Any plans on moving into acting?
I’m definitely planning on branching out to more than just music, only because I want to be known as someone who can do a little bit of everything. I take pride in the fact that I dabble in a little bit of everything and hopefully can get into doing stuff like sitcoms or a Neftlix series’ or movies.
Have you thought about auditioning for Rupaul’s Drag Race?
I thought about it, but at the moment I’m just extremely busy, and I’m booked way out in advance. I also just don’t have a need to cancel all of those bookings just to take a chance on another show. Realistically I don’t consider myself a drag race type of girl. When people ask me what I do, I say I’m a singer, I don’t say I’m a drag queen. And I think that’s what separates myself from a lot of girls that are on that show. And so much great talent comes out of that show, but I would rather be known from my platform of American Idol as a vocalist rather than a competitive drag queen.
I saw that you got a little shade on Facebook for moving away from San Antonio. What’s that all about?
Some shady people claim that San Antonio made me everything that I was and that it was selfish of me to move away after San Antonio did all this for me. I’m like, “Honey, this is where I was born and raised.” The way that it works is that people are born and raised in some places, they live their lives and then seek opportunities elsewhere.
The fact is this: San Antonio didn’t give me anything. I was doing free shows every week just trying to make a name for myself. San Antonio didn’t put me on American Idol. San Antonio did not even vote me through any of the live shows, because I didn’t make it based on public votes at all. While I appreciate the support, I do not owe anything to the city for “making me,” because I did this myself. I put in the work. I’ve been in the industry for over a decade singing. It’s not like San Antonio catapulted me into stardom. American Idol did, not my city.
The people that make it, make it when they move away. It’s a great start-up city for musicians, but you’re never going to make it big here, you have to move out for opportunities and it’s the bigger cities that will make you into something great.
Do you still have family here? Do you still consider San Antonio home?
Yes! And still I think San Antonio is one of the best places in the whole wide world. It’s such a great cultural mixing pot. It has the best food ever. I think the people are awesome compared to the majority of places that i’ve been, and it’s always going to be home. I’ll never not claim it. I’ll always represent my hometown of San Antonio, no matter where I go.
Tell me about this show at the Webb Party coming up?
It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to get back home and have some fun with the people that do appreciate me and are excited about the things that I’m doing with my career. I love any opportunity to be back at home performing.
San Antonio AIDS Foundation Webb Party “Stayin’ Alive,” 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 19 at the Aztec Theatre, 104 N. St. Mary’s St. Tickets are $75-$90 can be purchased at this link.