Local ‘American Idol’ contestant resolves to keep music hopes alive

Kenyatta Small, left, and his ‘American Idol’ contestant daughter Saasha ‘Aname Rose’ share a laugh over how much money Saasha will need on her next shopping trip

Sherise Henry / The Daily Iberian

As thousands around Acadiana watched in anticipation Sunday, local singer Saasha Small, who goes by the stage name, Anamé Rose, arrived at the chance to belt out the Dream Girls hit “One Night Only” before being told it was her last night before “American Idol” judges.

The 19-year-old New Iberia Senior High School graduate (Class of 2017) and Loyola University music student said farewell to her days on the nationally televised show with her spirit dampened but her resilience still intact. 

“I obviously was sad but I think that I knew why they didn’t let me go through and I knew the circumstances so it wasn’t as bad.” Small said. “I wish I could go forward, but I’m still grinding, I’m still making music so it hasn’t stopped me from doing what I’m doing,”

Although the news that followed Anamé Rose’s solo performance was a disappointment, the experience she had on stage was unforgettable, she said.

“I think I sang it really, really well. I think it was the best performance I ever had,” she said. “Just being able to stand in front of those judges at all and have a band was a gift all in of itself. It’s been a great experience and something I’ll never forget.”

Small, the daughter of Kenyatta and Sheree Small, said some of her greatest moments on the show came the night before the group round audition day which aired last week. She still keeps in touch with her friends made on the show some of whom have advanced to other rounds of the competition, she said.

“My biggest learning experience was probably confidence,”  Small said. “Confidence and knowing that you can do anything you want to do and a voice can come in any body and any age and you don’t have to look a certain way to be chosen as an ‘American Idol.’ ”

Some family and friends who gathered for Easter stayed at the Small home to watch Sunday night’s show. Among the fans who will remain faithful way beyond the bright lights of Hollywood include Small’s father, Kenyatta. 

“I mean you’re going to have failures in life, just use that failure as a springboard to keep pushing for what you want in life,” her father said. “The talent is there so she just has  to keep pushing,”

Small is using the momentum from ‘Idol’ to pour into more original work.

“I have some original songs that I’m working on. I’m starting my own You Tube channel and I’m open to perform for anyone,” she said.

Those who have become fans of Anamé Rose’s music can now search the performers name on You Tube. She also has Instagram and Twitter accounts under the name Anamerosee with two e’s, as well as a Snapchat account under anamerose.

“I’m very proud of her. She’s a very blessed and good child and I know its’ going to happen for her,” her father said.

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