Thursday, September 19, 2013

Scotty McCreery balances college, headlined tour

SHIPPENSBURG — Scotty McCreery will make a stop to perform in Shippensburg on Friday — a day he happens to be off from college classes.

While the 19-year-old country singer is headlining his first tour, he is also a sophomore at North Carolina State University in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C. McCreery, who won season 10 of “American Idol” in 2011, said he attends classes on Mondays and Wednesdays and then tours Thursday through Sunday.
“It’s just one of those things where I just try to keep up,” he said. “It’s all time management, just like any other college kid. I have to travel for my work, instead of just going down the street. But it’s all good, we’re having fun with it, and it’s been a good thing for me so far.”

The communications major will perform at the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University. The concert is one of many stops on his Weekend Roadtrip Tour 2013, which was just recently extended through December, McCreery said.  “It’s my first headlining tour,” he said. “We spent all last year touring with Brad Paisley, so this is the first time we have been out by ourselves, and it’s going good. It’s pretty awesome to see that folks are coming out to see me, not somebody else.”

While on campus at North Carolina State, McCreery said people just let him walk around and go to class like everyone else. Although he said he has to stop to take pictures and sign a couple of autographs every day, he said it’s pretty tame.  “I’ll stop gladly and say hey to folks,” he said. “The fans are the ones that got me here, so I kind of owe them to do all this stuff for them.”

McCreery said going to classes isn’t necessarily his favorite but it is a part of the whole package. He said the best part is just getting to see his friends and relax with them.  “Obviously, every college student will tell you, the school part sucks, but being there is cool,” he said. “Getting to be there with friends (is fun). To me it’s as much about the education as it the experience that I’m learning from. It kind of makes you a more well-rounded person being there, I think. I’m enjoying being there.”

McCreery’s new album is something he is quite proud of, having written or co-written five of the songs, he said. Getting the chance to be a lot more creative and be a part of the process was something McCreery said he really enjoyed. He said writing some of the songs made the record more personal.
Even though McCreery’s favorite song on the record is not one that he helped write, he says the song really spoke to him.

“This record is definitely a lot more me than the first record,” he said. “I’m excited for folks to finally hear it. I think my favorite is a song called ‘Carolina Moon.’ I’m an old soul, so it’s kind of the most traditional sounding song on the record. This one really strikes home with me and strikes a chord, so it’s probably my favorite. It’s talking about touring, and it’s talking about North Carolina, so it’s right up my alley.”

With McCreery’s increased popularity over the past two years, it would be easy for the singer to lose himself in the fame, but he said his family helps to keep him in check.  “I just keep my friends and family close,” he said. “I call (my family and friends) my biggest haters, ‘cause they’ll (smack me) real quick if I get any kind of cocky. So it’s nice to have them around. They treat me good, but they don’t treat me too good.

“Even if you’re in the spotlight ... you just gotta be you,” McCreery said. “You gotta be you, gotta do you, and everything else will fall into place. You ain’t gotta change to please people or anything like that. Just be yourself and everything will be all right.”

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