Kris Allen: The full scoop
"American Idol" fans were shocked when the mellow singer Kris Allen, 23, beat frontrunner and glam rocker Adam Lambert, 27, for the title.
Kris recently participated in a conference call with members of the press. Here's what he had to say, from the way the show has changed his relationship with his wife to his thoughts on his first single, "No Boundaries."
You're a newlywed and I imagine that being thrown into this new kind of lifestyle is just going to be kind of a crazy thing to adjust to. Have you and your wife talked about that, how your lives are going to change?
Its definitely a topic of conversation, all the time. Shes been out here during the whole thing and kind of been going through all this so if anything, weve kind of been getting ourselves ready for everything. Things are definitely going to change, but were really strong and shes really cool so we dont have any questions that everythings going to be fine.
After you won and you said that Adam deserved to win, why did you say that?
I still feel that way. I feel like Adam deserved it just as much as I did; he was the most consistent person all year. He was, seriously, one of the most gifted performers thats ever been, seriously that Ive ever met. Hes really just a great guy; we became great friends and we told each other that day, You deserve it. He shot it back at me. I think it could have gone either way and America could definitely not have gotten it wrong.
What did the judges say to you after you won?
I really didnt talk to too many people. I talked to Paula and she told me that she was so proud of me and that things are going to be great. Paulas amazing; shes a sweetheart.Could you tell us things like when you got married, had you and your wife been dating since high school and had you graduated from college? Were you doing something else?
I went to college for three years. I took two, maybe more than two years off and tried to do the music thing actually. It didnt work so I was actually on my way back and I was taking classes and American Idol came along and I had to drop out. So I havent graduated yet. My wife and I had been dating forever and only been married for eight months.
Can you tell us about what type of album you want to make?
For me I felt like I did exactly what I wanted to do on the show, what I would want to do on a record, maybe stray a little bit on some of the stuff, but when I went on the show and did Aint No Sunshine, I felt like thats the kind of stuff that I wanted to do; stuff that kind of has that feel, stuff that kind of moves people, that has that feeling.
Would you write your own songs?
I do write my own music, but I dont know if well be able to use any of that stuff on the first CD or not, but well see.
When do you think youll get a CD out, within the year?
Hopefully after the tour.
On Tuesday night there were a lot of people who felt like the comments that the judges gave you were sort of consolation prize-type comments. Did you feel that way at all at the time?
After we sang that last song; that song is hard to sing and I dont think Adam or I were happy were our performances at all. I think that they were not trying to judge us on that song more than anything and just judge us on the year, which was kind of nice. It felt great to be judged on what weve done throughout the year and not exactly what weve done on that song.
And regarding the last song, one of the judges said that they thought the arrangement was probably too high for you. Why was that not something that was worked out in advance to make it more comfortable for your vocal range?
Id actually sung it that morning and it was fine. It is a high song, but Id done it this morning; it sounded great and then I think both of us just got tired and there were some sound issues where we couldnt hear ourselves. It was definitely a rough night at the end. We were both getting really tired.
Is there a place for your wife within the now Kris organization? Will she probably work for you; will you try and keep that separate?
Well probably try to keep it separate just because more than anything I dont want her following me around and she has some things that shes passionate about. She will start doing those things.
Simon has had some harsh things to say about "No Boundaries." How do you feel about that as your first official single?
They kind of have some stipulations on what theyre supposed to do with these songs and so they have to write the words a certain way and its supposed to have this nice feeling. To have your first single be something that you were a part of writing its a little bit weird, but you cant complain.
How did you celebrate your win?
We went to the "Idol" party that night and that was a blast. We had some time together there and seriously, we just have been trying to spend any time of alone time that we can together just because I know that thats going to be very sparse right now.
You mentioned that she has dreams and things that she wants to do. What is it that she wanted to do?
Shes really passionate about acting and shes got some other passions as well, just helping people. I know that she wants to start some foundations and things like that.
When you made the Top 36 and the Top 13 Im sure you can understand that some of us were like, Who the heck is this guy? Did it frustrate you that in the beginning and in the Hollywood realm they really didnt show you at all?
I think there was maybe a little bit of, Wow, theyre not showing me. But it was more shock than anything because I felt like I had done my thing and a lot of other people are getting shown. For me, thats kind of the way I live my life though. Im kind of laid back and low key and every once in a while Ill stick my head out. Thats kind of how I did the competition and it seemed to work out.
I loved your duet with Keith Urban. Im wondering if youre thinking about adding a country vibe into your album at all.
I was actually afraid of that and for me, I dont feel like I would go that country way. Thats not my type of music and thats not the feeling that I want in my album. But seriously we had a great time together; hes a great guy and I respect him so much as an artist, as a musician.
Can you think back to your first audition, not before the judges, but the mass audition and just what was going through your head before you tried out?
The very, very first audition that I did was actually really scary because I drove there and I could not talk. We were waiting for like 14 hours because we were some of the very last ones to go. I seriously would not talk all day and it was really scary. I was there with my brother and I was like, I really hope you get through because theres no way Im getting through. I sang okay, but I was really impressed that they put me through on that performance because I was really, really sick.
Your performance of "Heartless" -- how did you decide to rework it and the big response that it got.
We got to kind of do whatever we wanted to do as long as it got cleared. I was listening to the album; I was listening to the Kanye album because I think its great. The song came across and I was just like, What if I do this song and made it my own? And I was like ... Im just going to go for it and be bold and be risky and did it and I think it got a lot of good reviews. I was really excited that I got to do something like that because I think it showed people what I could do.
Is there anything you ultimately want to do?
For me the only thing that I really want to do is just be respected in the music industry and my music be respected. Whether that means selling albums or winning Grammys or just people liking your music, thats all I really want to do.
Talk a little bit more about yourself as a writer. How long have you been doing it? Do you tend to be prolific? Is there a pile of stuff that you at least are going to present for the album?
Ive been writing since probably about six years or so. I think I never really wanted to. I was just like, itd be really tough, and I started to and nothing would ever happen. Then one day I wrote a song and I was like, Maybe I should start writing songs. For six years Ive been writing songs on and off. You have a writers block every once in a while. Definitely havent been able to write too much in the past eight months just because so much has been going on. I love writing music; I think its the way that I express how I feel. Im not a man of many words; Im not a very expressive or emotional or whatever, but it comes out in my music. Thats who I am.
I dont know how great I am at it. I think Im getting better and I think the more that you do it, especially when you start collaborating with people as well you just get a lot better at it.
You mentioned earlier how you do tend to kind of be low key and keep yourself low profile. Now youre in a position where youre going to have to stick your head up all the time. Are you ready for that and what kind of change is that going to be?
I think Ive been getting ready for this all my life. Ive done a lot of things in my life; Ive been in a lot of places. Life gets you ready for whatever is going to happen next. This has been just kind of everything coming into culmination of everything that Ive already been through. I dont even know. I just think that everythings going to be great; Im really excited.