–Alyson Stoner is a busy girl! Besides having two movies coming out this year, “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” & Step Up 3-D, she has a song on the new DisneyMania 7 album! You can get DisneyMania 7 on iTunes HERE.
We talked with Alyson last week about her cover of the song from “High School Musical” (did you know she recorded it in a bathroom?!) and if she plans on releasing more music. She also gave us the scoop on filming “Camp Rock 2” (they filmed at the same place she shot Cheaper By the Dozen 2) and Step Up 3-D (she returns as “Camille”). Check it all out below.
What was it like being asked to be a part of DisneyMania7?
It was an incredible opportunity for me as a dancer and actress to get to sing. I sang “What I’ve Been Looking For” by the “High School Musical Cast.” I love that movie is so uplifting and positive. The lyrics are really meaningful and inspirational so I wanted to just bring this to life and add my own flavor. It was an incredible experience. I’m really excited for everyone to hear it.
Were you a fan of the previous albums?
Of course. You can’t really go wrong when someone has created a beautiful song. All you can do is add a different flavor to it so that’s what we’re doing with this album and the previous ones. We’re looking forward to seeing how it’s received.
How did you choose “What I’ve Been Looking For”?
Well I had presented Disney with a few songs that I had hoped I could record, but they had already been taken. It’s ok because I love the new versions, but they presented me with “What I’ve Been Looking For” and what drew me to it was the truthful message. It’s something that every human longs for, that lasting satisfaction and fulfillment. If I had the chance to sing a song that powerful, of course I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity.
I actually recorded it with an amazing producer Brian Todd who used bathroom to set up the studio because apparently there’s really good acoustics in the restroom. So I’m standing next to a toilet as I’m singing the song, but only you’ll know that now.
Was that awkward for you? Did you have to pretend you were somewhere else?
Well, not really. As an actress you’re dealt with different situations and you just adjust and adapt as easily as possible. I was in a whole other place. I was singing a song that was really meaningful and I could have been singing next to a toaster oven and I would have been just as joyful.
How did you put your own spin on the song?
With my version, we stripped it down, made it very acoustic. A little more soulful, very sweet, similar to a Colbie Caillat track. It’s very laidback, very chill, very relaxed. We recorded it in just a few hours about a year ago now, and didn’t add too much production to it. We had already heard that version in the movie, it’s very poppy. We wanted to strip it down a little bit.
If you could cover any other Disney song, what would it be?
Oh I love the songs from Tarzan. “You’ll Be in My Heart” and “Trashin’ the Camp” which is that instrumental song in Tarzan. Oh I just love it because it’s so rhythmic and as a dancer I think of all the different vocal rhythms and percussiveness that I could use. So if they ever put lyrics to that song, I would definitely want to do it.
Are you planning on releasing more music or your own album soon?
Definitely. It’s been a long time coming. It’s a process developing your own sound, but if I’m going to sing, I want it to meaningful and I don’t want to just release something that’s not in perfect timing. So, I’m not rushing it, but thankfully after years and years and years of development, my songs will be released close to next month actually, and throughout the rest of the year. I am recording different songs for The Little Engine That Could, which is my animated movie coming out next year, and other things.
My music is a funky, acoustic, soulful pop. Kind of like India Arie and Colbie Caillat mixed together. Everyone’s going to hear it pretty soon. I’m excited.
Read the full interview inside…
Full Audio Interview with Alyson Stoner
You mentioned The Little Engine That Could and you do work on “Phineas & Ferb.” Do you prefer voice-over work as opposed to being in front of a camera?
Definitely. It’s a different experience because you’re forced to communicate every emotion using solely your voice. On camera, a lot of times actors choose to keep their inflection very basic and speak in a monotone voice but their face says it all. To have to flip that and then speak everything with my voice and not get the chance to smile or to frown so people know. It’s a challenge but I love doing it and I’ve gotten to work with a lot of great people so I’m very thankful.
One thing people are really looking forward to is “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.” What was it like getting to go back and work on that movie?
Getting to go back on “Camp Rock 2,” what an experience. It was more than just a reunion because it gave us that chance to grow in our relationships and bond even stronger or more strongly. So you see that chemistry onscreen. I really think it’s going to be communicated onscreen when people watch. In a nutshell, it’s bigger and better. The music is powerful, Demi & the boys are back. We have a few new additions to the cast. We just saw a couple clips of it onscreen and it’s just eyepopping. I’m really excited for everyone to see it this summer.
What will be going on with Caitlyn in the movie?
Caitlyn, my character, has transformed from music producer to dance choreographer so she’s still Mitchie’s loyal friend to the end but she’s more focused on saving the camp and restoring the camp to what it was then being in the spotlight herself. So it’s a little less selfish and more teamwork which is a nice switch for me.
Do you have a favorite song in the movie?
I think the final song called “This is Our Song,” is an anthem that just speaks to everyone who listens. You can relate it to anything in your life and it really ties the movie together so I’m really excited for people to see it from the beginning to the end because it’s just perfect. Such a sweet, perfect ending.
Are there any onset pranks or secrets you can share?
Not necessarily pranks, but I will say there were a lot of bees where we were filming, so we had people getting stung everywhere. In fact, Demi’s aunt got stung in the roof of her mouth. The bee flew in and stung her so we were on bee and pest control and we shot this at a remote location so we had no technology. We were forced to bond with each other and it was actually the same location that I shot Cheaper By the Dozen 2. So that was nice to revisit the same set.
Another movie you have coming out this year is Step Up 3-D. What was it like working on that?
I loved it! I felt like such a newbie compared to all of the other dancers who have been dancing longer than I’ve been alive. Jon Chu is a visionary. He has a great eye for what reads best on camera and the fact that the movie is in 3-D technology just takes it to another level. Everyone involved is really passionate about what they do so that translates on camera and we’re hoping that people just jump at it like we have. It’s been our little baby. We’ve been working on it forever now so we’re excited. It comes out this summer. You’ll have to check it out.
Can you tell us about your character in the movie?
I play “Camille Gage” who’s “Tyler Gage’s” little sister. “Tyler Gage” was the main character played by Channing Tatum in Step Up. I’ve now graduated high school and I’m starting at NYU with “Moose” (Adam Sevani), who is the star of the second Step Up. I’m very close with him but I see him more romantically than he sees me and it’s sort of frustrating. I’m trying to develop a relationship and grow up together and he doesn’t get it at all. He’s just totally oblivious, so I have a huge crush on him and that’s our relationship. He’s forced to deal with this whole underground world of hip hop and the dreams that his parents have for him, which is pursuing an engineering degree and that kind of education. So it’s an interesting storyline. I actually, I think it’s the best of the Step Up series. Of the A & B storyline, we’re probably the B storyline. And ‘A’ is played by Rick Malambri & Sharni Vinson and they’re just incredible. They have this crazy crazy relational dynamic that is going to be really interesting to see on camera.
You were part of the first Step Up. Was it fun getting to return for another chapter in the series?
Definitely. I had watched a portion of Step Up 2 and actually believed that the lead girl was an older version of my character just with a different name. I didn’t know if they were trying to make me older. Then when I heard from Jon Chu that it was a totally different storyline, my hope was restored and it gave me the chance to work on this one and oh boy, I just took it and ran with it. It’s something I’ve never done before so it was very new and a bit of a challenge to learn all the dancing, but I had it easy compared to the other dancers. You should see what’s going on. It’s absolutely mind boggling. But it was really fun. We really had a great time.
You dance, sing and act. Do you have a favorite, and which is the hardest?
You can’t really choose, no matter how hard you try because as feelings change, so does your choice. So some days I wake up and I just want to dance, others sing, others act. Which is the hardest, probably…they each have their unique challenges but I’d say acting is probably the most difficult because you don’t get to choose what you say or when you say it. You’re forced to live someone else’s life for the story, whereas with dancing and singing I get to be myself and share what’s going on personally. So I guess it’s easier to be myself than try to live someone else’s life, which I’m thankful for, it’s a good thing I think.
Do you have any places where fans can find you online?
Yes, myspace.com/alysonstoner as well as youtube.com/therealalysonstoner, as well as alysonstoner.com as well as my SayNow phone number which is 1 (419) 329-4780. I’m working on securing a facebook and twitter page. I don’t have one right now but I just want to prevent anyone else from pretending they’re me. So whether or not I use it is one thing but don’t believe anyone on facebook or twitter as of now.
Any message for your fans?
If I could say something to them, anything, I’d want to encourage them to exercise their unlimited potential. To reach out somewhere that they didn’t think they could go. Stretch their faith and take a leap because you can never really create change unless you step outside the box. Follow in the footsteps of past world leaders like Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandella, Helen Keller, everyone and stretch your faith a little and see how far you’ll grow. I think you’ll be surprised.
Be sure to pick up a copy of DisneyMania 7 and look for Alyson in “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” & Step Up 3-D later this year.