Neon Limelight Interview: American Idol Champ Lee DeWyze Dishes On “Very Chill” Debut Album
With the lights, cameras, and judges from American Idol in the past, the show’s ninth season champ, Lee DeWyze, is feeling like himself as a performer again. Known on the show for being the shy guy rocker, Lee has reverted back to using his confident swagger on stage as he performs around the country on the American Idols Live! tour this summer. The pressure of performing is off.
But there’s a new pressure: putting together his debut album. Lee was mum on who he’s working with on the already-in-progress album when we caught up with him backstage at the Idol’s Live tour stop in Baltimore, MD this past weekend, but we managed to get a few tidbits about the set’s overall sound and how it will represent him.
See what he told us about the album, his favorite part about touring, and which past Idol contestant he’d duet with if given the chance in our exclusive interview below:
Neon Limelight: Seeing how you won, you probably wouldn’t go back and do anything different, but now that you’ve had the chance to go back and see what you did well and what you could have improved on, if you could go back and mentor yourself, what would you tell yourself?
Lee DeWyze: I feel like when I went on the show, in the beginning — before the show, I knew who I was and I was myself — when I went on the show, everything was just jumbled for me. It was kind of I had to relearn how to do everything. It was really bizarre. Towards the end of the show I started falling into my groove again. And now that the show’s over and I’m doing the live stuff again, I’m back to being me. If anything I would tell myself to not be as nervous and just sing and not worry about it, but other than that, I’m kind of happy. I did what I could.
NL: Do you still get those nerve when you’re about to go on stage.
NL: Not at all?
NL: That’s awesome!
LD: I played for four years before I ever went on American Idol, so it was never about being nervous to play live, it was just about the cameras and the judges. It was all so bizarre to me. Now that that’s all over, I’m just having fun and doing my thing again.
NL: You’ve done live shows–
LD: Not like this!
NL: Of course! But what’s the biggest surprise about touring so far?
LD: That I can actually sleep on the bus! I didn’t think I’d be able to actually fall asleep on the bus but I can.
NL: Do you get good baby sleep or is it bumpy?
LD: No, when I fall asleep on the bus, I’m out. I’m out like a light. So I’m happy I can sleep on the bus.
NL: What’s your favorite part of the live show you guys do on the tour?
LD: Seeing the fans. Seeing the fans support and seeing them come out the way they do is awesome, it’s unbelievable. They’re the ones who voted us to where we got and supported us throughout the show and are gonna buy albums and go to concerts and be part of what we’re doing. Those are the people I want to thank and do this for. That’s why I’m doing this.
NL: What you gotten the chance to think about what your album will be like and have you started it?
LD: I’ve already started. It’s gonna be like a whole rock/pop sort of deal. It’s gonna be very chill rock, a little harder stuff. It’s gonna be my vibe — stuff I would have done from day one [and] what I’ve always done. It’s gonna be awesome.
NL: Who are you working with, like writers and producers?
LD: I can’t tell you. [grins]
LD: I wish I could or I would. I would tell you for sure.
NL: It’s fine! I understand. So, if you could duet with any past Idol contestant, who would it be?
LD: That’s a good questions. Including this season?
NL: Not this season.
LD: Probably Carrie Underwood. She’s got like a really beautiful, pretty voice and I’ve got like a harder, rougher voice, so I think it would be kind of cool to put those two together.
NL: Yeah, I think they would compliment each other well.
LD: Yeah, it would be really cool. So, Carrie Underwood.