Tuesday, November 13, 2012

'Tis the Season: Chatting With Scotty McCreery

Conversation With Scotty McCreery

Mike Ragogna: Hi, Scotty!
Scotty McCreery: Hey, how are you doing?
MR: I'm fine, and you seem to be doing really, really well. Serioulsly, I'm sitting in front of so much news on you that I don't even know where to start.
SM: Yeah, it's a crazy time of year for us. We're pretty pumped up and excited about what's coming up.
MR: Well, one thing that's coming up is your new Christmas album, Christmas with Scotty McCreery. What went into choosing the songs for this record?
SM: That was the tough part of this record. Singing the songs was easy because most of them I've heard my whole life, but picking them was crazy because you hear so many and there's so many different classics and traditional that you hear every year. So we sat down with a pen and paper and I put down my favorites and other people put down theirs and we kind of clashed ideas and once we got down to about eleven we were good to go.
MR: You recorded one of my favorites "O Holy Night," and you handle those high notes really well.
SM: Oh, I appreciate it. That's a tough song to sing so we took our time with that one for sure.
MR: Yeah, "Oh night divine" kills everyone.
SM: [laughs]
MR: You include a couple of new originals.
SM: Yeah, definitely.
MR: Do you want to go into them?
SM: Yeah, "Christmas in Heaven" is my favorite on the album and I was actually writing a song like that one about my grandfather and how we miss him down here and it wasn't a week later after I started writing that one that the guys in Nashville sent me this song and it was just such a perfect thing and exactly what I wanted to say in a song. I haven't really mastered my songwriting craft yet, so if I see a song that says exactly what I want to say and more I'm going to go with it. That's what that song was, and Christmas is coming around again, that was a different kind of Christmas song but it's just talking about the powerful time of Christmas, the healing power of Christmas and the great time of year it is and what it can do. To me, if a Christmas song is going to be new, it has to either make you get up and dance or it has to be really meaningful to you, so these two are definitely meaningful to me.
MR: Let's talk about Christmas for a second, Scotty. Can you throw out there one of your favorite Christmas stories, maybe one of your favorite gatherings of the family?
SM: Oh, man. Christmas is by far our favorite time of year in the McCreery household so we have plenty of stories. I think if I'm going to look back at Christmas stories, I'd probably say the Christmas I got my first guitar from my grandfather. I was probably ten or eleven and I got my first guitar. I didn't know what the heck I was doing with it at first but I got into some lessons and really started picking it and it kind of led me to my musical love today, so that was definitely a big moment for me, Christmas-wise and life-wise.
MR: You were very close to your grandfather, weren't you.

SM: Yeah, he passed away. I have another grandfather that's still alive and kicking but my mom's dad is passed away now and he was definitely a good grandfather. He definitely cared a lot about us and we were close, you can definitely say that.
MR: Okay, so what do you want for Christmas?
SM: For me, this year, I'm not asking for a whole bunch of stuff. I'm just looking for some new tires for my truck, and whether or not I get it at Christmas time is whatever. I've got a nice truck and stuff but I've just got to get some--I've got kind of wimpy tires to have on it, so I'm just looking to beef it up a little bit.
MR: Cool. Did you maybe get the truck for Christmas last year?
SM: No, I got the truck pretty much for my birthday last year because we had to wait around for it. The winner and the runner-up for American Idol win a truck from Ford, so I got a nice truck.
MR: Now we're going to have to get into all of this prestigious stuff that's been happening to you this year. First of all, there's Billboard's 21 Under 21: Music's Hottest Minors of 2012 category, and you were number four on that.
SM: Yeah, I saw that, it was pretty wild.
MR: And you're in the Guinness Book of World Records.
SM: Yeah, I think it was "Youngest Male to Enter the Charts at Number One." That's pretty cool. I remember looking at the Guinness Book of World Records when I was a kid, looking at the man with the longest fingernails and all that. You never think you'd be in there but it's definitely pretty cool to be in there.
MR: And ironically, look at that, there you are, right next to the guy with the longest fingernails!
SM: Am I really?
MR: No, no, I'm kidding.
SM: [laughs]
MR: And you've got items on exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History.
SM: Yeah, I was informed about that a couple days ago. I remember sending the outfit to them so that's pretty cool. We'd go there as kids and I'd take fieldtrips there with school and now I have my own exhibit. That's pretty daggone cool.
MR: Yup, it sure is, and then there's the big one. You won American Idol.
SM: Yeah, that's the big one. That's got me going for sure.
MR: I want to make an observation: You seem like a really normal, together guy who's had a lot of hits and a lot of success t a very young age. How is that possible? How can you remain a normal, nice guy after all that?
SM: I remember being asked the question in my first interview with American Idol before we'd even made it past the first day and they sat down with a camera crew and said, "Scotty, what makes you different?" and I just told them, "What makes me different is that I'm normal. I'm just your average teenage kid." I didn't expect this to happen to me. I wanted it to, but I didn't expect it. I've just been going with the flow the last few years, I guess. I went back to high school and finished out there and finished my tour as well, so you mix that in and I'm in college now and have Monday to Wednesday schedule so Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, we're hitting the road. I'm just trying to maintain a balanced lifestyle. I think I have to, especially at this young of an age, you know?
MR: Absolutely. Scotty, are you conscious of your age? It does come up as we're talking, but because of the amount of success you've had, you may still be a teenager physically, but do you feel like a teenager anymore?
SM: I feel like I've had to do a lot of growing up over the last few years. I definitely do have to be conscious of my age; I still have to have fun like I'm a teenager. I'm turning nineteen in five days, so I'm still enjoying it and I still do stupid stuff like all the teenagers do and get in trouble and stuff, but I definitely have to be an adult because my job is in the adult world. But when I'm back home or in my everyday life, I'm just your normal average teenage kid, I guess.
MR: Cool. How are your pals taking all this?
SM: My pals? They're just enjoying it with me. They don't really read too much into it or get too excited about it. They did in the first place, but now, they just kind of treat me like the same old kid, because they see everybody else freaking out when we're walking down the street. I think whenever I'm around them, they really try to just be normal and treat it like the old times.
MR: So they give you hell for that and razz you a little?
SM: Yeah, they definitely do. They're probably the ones that hate on me the most. It keeps me grounded, so I need it.
MR: What is your favorite thing about singing and entertaining? Do you like going to the studio most, do you like going on tour most?
SM: I think when I first started out, I liked the studio most, just getting in and being creative and really working with the guys in Nashville. But after touring with Brad Paisley, I enjoy getting out in front of the crowds every single night, I enjoy seeing their faces light up and having a good time out there and seeing the smiles on their faces. That's what gives me a thrill now, just getting up there for the live action and just performing. That's what keeps me going.
MR: Beautiful. Was Brad a mentor to you?
SM: In a way, yeah. He's a guy that I can really look up to as far as being an artist and just being an upstanding guy. It's been nice for this being my first country tour and I've definitely learned a heck of a lot from him.
MR: Are there any stories you can't tell on the radio?
SM: I don't know, maybe just with the guys on the bus, having guy humor stuff but other than that, it hasn't been too, too bad.
MR: [laughing] Scotty, I asked you this before, but let's do it again. What advice do you have for new artists?
SM: You've just got to go out there and hit the ground running. You can't be scared. I know you'll be nervous because I was, but you've got to have fun with it. Take it in every day and you never know what can happen. You never know where the road is going to take you, but you've just got to be willing to go down it with your best foot. That's what I have to say.
MR: What's your advice to Scotty McCreery as you're moving into your future?
SM: Focus on the music. If you focus on the music and get the right songs, I think the rest will take care of itself. It's been a wild year for me with the success of the album--winning an auto, I've won awards. That's been cool but I haven't really had that major hit song yet, so I really have to focus on that, personally and as an artist. I've got to focus on the music.
MR: You know it's just a matter of time, right?
SM: I hope so.
MR: You were an awesome person to talk to, I really appreciate the time.
SM: Yes sir. Y'all are always good to me, so I appreciate it.



  1. I'm glad the interviewer mentioned O Holy Night, Scotty does such a beautiful job on that song. That's always been my favorite Christmas song...of course he did a beautiful job on all the songs and I was never a fan of Jingle Bells, but Scotty's version is fantastic, the best version I've heard. I can't wait for anything new from Scotty, I'm hopelessly addicted.

    Thanks for always feeding us Scotty fanatics with any new Scotty news. You girls do a great job.

  2. Yes 6:24 they do. I love coming to this site you guys do a really good job. Yes you can tell Scotty must have been really close to his grandfather. My favorite is "Christmas in Heaven" it really does make me feel close to my husband I lost. I got everyone of my family his CD because that song is going to be so special to all of us this Christmas. I love "O Holy Night" also and The First Noel, love love his voice in that one and O Holy Night the range he has in that song is so incredible. I just love the whole album its the best I've heard in a long time.Great Interview I love it when the person told him he was Awesome to talk too, that is great for his career to see that. Proud of you Scotty. ILYTB

  3. what a great interview. Wow!!!! it is so wonderful always to listen to Scotty talk. He is always so cool and calm so well spoken for his age. He is just a complete package.

  4. Yes, he is great. I think it's rare to see an individual with so much talent from head to toe, personality and all, everything about him is number one.

  5. Scotty is so down to earth - so real that is why we all love him To be turn on at my age by a young man - his voice but most of what he represent. There are no words to explain what Scotty does to so most of us


  7. WOW!!!!! WHAT A GREAT INTERVIEW!! ALL I CAN SAY IS HE IS SO TERRIFIC. I JUST LOVE HEARING HIM TALK IT'S ONE OF MY FAVORITES BESIDES HIS SINGING. HE IS TOTALLY SPECIAL IN EVERY WAY. I just love him to pieces. hey ya'll I'v got something to tell you that our Scotty is in the country weekly issue of NOV.19 and his Christmas cd is at #2 in the back where it shows the albums under it. Isn't that great that his Christmas Cd is #2.


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