Capturing the Holiday Spirit with Idol Winner Kris Allen
Nov 22, 2017 04:00PM ● Published by Nicole Gould
After taking a road trip to Louisville, Allen decided to try out for the reality competition, American Idol. During his audition with “A Song For You,” Allen received his ticket to Hollywood, despite the judge’s belief that he was too modest. From day one, he perservered, ultimately capturing the season eight title over glam-rocker Adam Lambert.
Six months after his win, Allen released his debut self-title album featuring his lead single, “Live Like We’re Dying,” which climbed to the Top 20 on the Billboard Top 100.
The Arkansas native has been faced with multiple obstacles after experiencing a career-threatening shattered wrist, but wasn’t willing to let this sideline his passion for music. After three surgeries, re-learning to play the guitar, recording his third album, and continuing to tour, Allen produced more than 70 new tracks, including the release of his fourth album, Letting You In and his first full-length Christmas album, Somethin’ About Christmas. With five albums under his belt, each infused with Allen’s distinct soulful sound, this artist continues to win the hearts of fans worldwide.
“I never want to be the statue on stage that’s just there for people to listen to and look at. I want people to feel like they had a hand in creating the night for everyone. My job is to usher everyone in to that realm. But, I feel like everyone is a part of that and especially during Christmas time, I want everyone to feel like they can sing along and feel closer to the person next to them.” – Kris Allen
Capture the holiday spirit with Kris Allen on Wednesday, November 29th, 8 p.m. at Rams Head On Stage as part of his Somethin’ About Christmas Tour. Tickets are $27.50 for the show and $50 for a VIP Meet & Greet pass. All attendees must be 21 and over.
When did your passion for music develop and what made you continue to pursue it as a career?I think it was something that I was born with. My dad was into music and I watched him perform and sing, so I think something was engraved inside me. For me, it’s this thing I’m supposed to do and I never saw another option. I’m sure there are other things I could’ve done, could’ve been good at, or be put on the track to do other things, but I feel very purposed, very happy, and inspired. I feel all of these things because I get to play music and because this is what I’m supposed to do.
How did the decision to audition for American Idol come about? How would you say that experience helped you grow into the artist you are today?Auditioning was kind of on a whim. It sounds lame, but a lot of people plan to try out for months and my brother and I got together with another friend and my brother knew that tryouts were going on that weekend. So, we drove up from Little Rock to Louisville and decided to have fun with it, have a dude’s weekend, try out, and if it worked out or it didn’t work out, we would have a good road trip.
I think Idol did a couple of things. It inspired me and gave me the confidence that I can do this, but there were other things like photo shoots, recording, doing interviews, and all of those things that helped me to be a better representation of myself in the industry.
The inspiration and the confidence that I do feel like I belong in this industry was incredibly pivotal for me. Since then I haven’t stopped. I’ve been on the road and I’ve never taken a break. I’ve made five records-maybe even more than that.
Also, it made me realize that I have a lot to learn. Watching some of those people and mentors, I was able to pick their brains. I knew I was a baby going into this and I needed to put pen to paper, take notes, learn from other people, take them to heart, and put them to practice.
It’s been said that your latest album, Letting You In, is your most intimate work to date. Where did you pull inspiration from to create this album and where did the decision to release something so personal come about?For me, it was my fourth record and, honestly, I wasn’t going through a writing block per se, but I was thinking what to write about and I had to search really far deep inside because songs were just coming out of nowhere. They were a little hard to come by, so I really had to go into my soul and things that were going on inside myself and put them out there.
Also, not being afraid to do that. On the surface, my life is great, but everyone goes through stuff and I just wanted and felt like for this thing I needed to go deeper and let people into the thoughts that I had and maybe they can relate to it as well. You never really know until people come up to you at a show and thank you for a specific song. That was the tough process behind that record.
What track would you say you relate to the most? If so, why?Because it feels like myself and scatterbrained, “Way Up High” feels like there’s all these different thoughts and observations going on. I like to sit there and observe things and so that song makes an observation with these deep thoughts. So, that’s probably the one I relate to the most. Even when I sit by myself sometimes, I enjoy playing that song.
What are you looking forward to most during your Somethin’ About Christmas Tour? What’s your favorite track from the album? How about your favorite part about the holidays?I came out with the record last year, went on someone else’s tour, and it was awesome. I didn’t get to play a lot of my songs from the record, but I’m incredibly proud of this Christmas record. I had a great time recording it and I’m excited to get up there and present them in a live setting to people.
I’ve got some special things planned and it’s going to be a really fun and joyful experience for not only myself, but hopefully for everyone involved and everyone that’s out to see me.
My favorite track from the album would have to be “Just Like Snow” because that song just feels like Christmas and it makes people happy when it comes on. I also love what we did with “Here Comes Santa Clause.” It’s a different take on the song and it’s really fun.
Christmas gives you that life. I feel like everyone, for the most part, is in a better mood because of it. I think it’s the general dusting of joy that happens all over the world.
What’s next for Kris Allen? Are you working on any new songs/albums?I’ve spent quite a bit of time writing by myself this year and I just started doing some co-writing. The plan is to make a record sometime next year and hopefully not in parts.
I’m just working on recording and dreaming up then next record and the next thing. I’m really excited. There are songs I’m already excited about that are different that any of the others, which is fun because it’s always fun to go in a different route. I do feel there are so many genres inside of me that have inspired me and made me who I am.
What can people except to see at one of your shows?They can get the sense of communion. I never want to be the statue on stage that’s just there for people to listen to and look at. I want people to feel like they had a hand in creating the night for everyone. My job is to usher everyone in to that realm.
But, I feel like everyone is a part of that and especially during Christmas time, I want everyone to feel like they can sing along and feel closer to the person next to them. Especially for our Christmas show, I want people to come away feeling like they have this smile because they came to the show. I hope people feel like that.