September 25, 1998
Christina Aguilera - Early 'Mulan' Interview
Read on to find out what it takes to make a hit and the little tidbits on creating 'Reflection.' But best of all, get to know all about Christina Aguilera, her thoughts on 'Mulan' and singing the role of the greatest new heroine! Plus get the scoop on Christina's debut album! And now, here is the fab songstress on Disney's 'Mulan':
Linasia: How did you learn about Disney's 'Mulan' and what do you think about the legend and the animated movie?
Christina: I learned about Disney's 'Mulan' when my record company RCA approached me because Disney had approached them looking for a girl who could sing the song. The difficult part was having to strongly belt out the high E above middle C. They were also looking for someone to sing the song with the right emotion. As far as my opinion on the movie, I thought the animation was beautiful and the story was incredible. I'm very proud to be a part of such a wonderful project!
Linasia: Celine Dion sang for Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast,' Vanessa Williams for Disney's 'Pocahontas,' and now you for Disney's 'Mulan.' What's the best thing about singing the part of a great heroine in an animated feature?
Christina: The best thing about singing the part of a great heroine such as 'Mulan' is that I think she is a really great role model because she goes after what she wants with such bravery. She didn't let any limitations hold her back and succeeded in the end. Also, it feels awesome to be in such wonderful company as Celine Dione, Vanessa Williams, etc.--in being a part of Disney history! I can't believe I got to do it!
Linasia: Your role in Disney's 'Mulan' was singing 'Reflection.' Did you have to make special preparations for this singing role?
Christina: Actually, in preparation and during recording, I'd received my very first real vocal lesson in helping me find different techniques in belting out the high notes and strengthening my stamina. I loved it, and continue the lessons. I never knew how many different ways you can approach notes. And during recording sessions, I live on hot water and lots of honey--I love it when it comes in those cute plastic bears!
Linasia: The song 'Reflection' brings out a lot of emotions. What do the lyrics in 'Reflection' mean to you?
Christina: I immediately connected with the lyrics to 'Reflection,' finding them so true. I believe that many struggle in their youth trying to find themselves, and so I thought 'Reflection' would be something those around my age could really relate to--others who might find themselves in that situation. I also thought that it was cool that this was a song different from the usual boy/girl, relationship type love, but instead it deals with 'self-love.' The emotion was easy to convey, seeing as the lyrics were so easily felt and understandable. It was such a beautifully written song.
Linasia: I heard it took four hours to record 'I'll Make A Man Out Of You.' How long did it take you to record 'Reflection?' I saw your 'Reflection' video with scenes from Disney's 'Mulan,' I really like it! What was the making of the 'Reflection' music video like?
Christina: I really don't know much on the recordings of the other songs on the 'Mulan' soundtrack, but as for 'Reflection' went for me, I'd say it took about 5 or 6 days to fully record - in and out of the studio. As far as the music video was concerned, it was filmed in one day. The location for the entire video was at the Chinese Pavillion in Epcot Center, Orlando, Florida. It was a long day for me, having to wake up at 4:30 am, be there at 5:00 am for hair and makeup, and start shooting at 6:30 am. They wanted to begin early to capture the sunrise. My favorite parts were getting to release the doves - which wouldn't keep still in my hands - and filming inside the Chinese Pavillion, where they'd set up smoke machines, big gold pots with fire lit inside, and I was completely surrounded on a table by a hundred-some candles. It was really, really cool to be in the middle of it all.
Linasia: Who is your absolute favorite Disney character and which if any do you relate to the most, and why?
Christina: When I was younger I absolutely adored Minnie Mouse. The first Disneyland I ever went to was Tokyo Disneyland in Japan. I lived there from age three to six. I remember arriving in this cute little 'Minnie-like' dress. I bought this little pink cap with mouse ears on it, and I was thrilled when I met her there. Recently, while in Orlando, I met Eyore from Winnie the Pooh, and I loved how cuddly he was. Eyore's just so sad....you gotta love him!
Linasia: Can you tell the fans about your early singing and acting career? I read that you worked on soap operas, the Mickey Mouse Club, and Star Search. What do you see in your future, more acting, more singing, or a bit of both?
Christina: When I was six I began singing at local block and pool parties. From there I auditioned for Star Search when I was eight years old, and was on as a contestant. I tied with 3 1/2 quarter stars out of a possible four, if you're wondering how I did. At nine, I auditioned for an open audition in Pittsburgh. I heard nothing back until I was twelve. They told me I was too young for the show before, but that they'd kept my tape and wanted me to audition now. And you know what happened from there. As far as any soap opera work, I've never done any. In the future, I'd like to do some acting in films, after maybe my singing career is established, and when the time is right.
Linasia: Can you tell us about your upcoming debut album?
Christina: I'm extremely excited to be recording my very first solo debut album! I've always wanted to do this and one day become a successful recording artist. I'm pretty much finished recording the album. My first single, which I'll give you the scoop on here--it'll be called 'Genie In a Bottle.' As for the content, I've been working closely with Ron Fair from RCA Records and top producers to make it all come together. With an arrangement of ballads, mid and up-tempos, you can expect a fresh-sounding pop album with some R&B influences.
Linasia: What are your favorite places to visit on the web?
Christina: With my crazy schedule I really don't get to visit the web that often, unfortunately.
Linasia: What other movies did you sing for Christina?
Christina: 'Mulan' is the very first movie I've ever sung for.
Linasia: Where are you from?
Christina: I was born in Staten Island, New York. Most of my childhood was spent moving around a lot since my father was a sergeant in the Army. But I consider my hometown a place called Wexford, Pennsylvania.
Linasia: What is your favorite movie?
Christina: My all-time favorite movie is 'The Sound Of Music,' with Julie Andrews. I began singing with that movie and still enjoy reciting the songs and lines for fun with my sister, Rachel. When I was 5, I had the soundtrack on tape and I'd open up my bedroom window and sing out all the songs. I love the opening scene where Julie Andrews appears in the hills, singing out so free. I guess I was trying to mimic that. And of the more contemporary movies, 'Mulan' is definitely on my list of all time favorites.
Linasia: Who do you like better, Mulan or Shang?
Christina: My favorite character has to be Mulan. Coming in second is Mushu. He was so funny!!
Linasia: Wow! Thanks Christina for taking the time to answer all these questions! Not only is Christina a great singer but she's also down to earth and sweet. She sure loves the fans! Make sure you look out for Christina Aquilera's debut album! Her first single 'Genie in a Bottle' is a big hit!
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