"I love the name I was born with, but as an artist, I prefer to be called London," she toldThe Oakland Tribune in a recent interview.
The 28-year-old is also taking her new name and returning to her roots, as London and her The Color Purple cast mates began a month-long run of the show at San Francisco's Orpheum Theater on October 9.
"The thing I miss about Oakland is the scenery," the Bay Area-native told The Tribune. "The lake, the Bay, the bridge, driving down 80 and seeing the bridge over the water and that whole view when the sun is about to set."
While Fantasia plays the role of Miss Celie -- the abused young woman played by Whoopi Goldberg in Steven Spielberg's 1985 big-screen adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel -- London plays Celie's sister Nettie. Despite performing in up to eight shows a week, which London said is the "hardest part" of the gig, she's also come to enjoy acting.
"Every night I discover something different about myself, and I feel my capability," she told The Tribune. "I just can't wait to go further with different characters. Nettie is close to who I am, so it's easy to relate. To challenge myself, I hope my next role is completely different."
London released her first album -- "Love & Life" -- in September 2005, and she's already got her sights set on the follow-up, which she told The Tribune will "definitely [be] soulful but fun and funny and spunky, more of who I am."
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