Thursday, February 21, 2013

'American Idol' winner Scotty McCreery talks about stardom and his Atlantic City solo debut

Scotty McCreery

Singer Scotty McCreery is announced the American Idol for 2011 onstage  during Fox's (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

'American Idol' champ Scotty McCreery is Back on the Ground for his 2013 Weekend Roadtrip Tour and recently performed for a sold-out crowd at Atlantic City's Golden Nugget.
At only 19 years old, this country artist has had many accomplishments after winning the 10th season of 'American Idol' in 2011. He was the program's youngest winner, as well as the first male country winner (superstar Carrie Underwood was the first country winner). The celebration continued as his first album topped the country album charts at number one, making him the youngest man in history to achieve that honor with a debut release. He remained number one for six weeks and then earned platinum status in just 13 weeks. spoke to Scotty and got him to dish out the details on his life's journey. When you auditioned for 'American Idol' did you feel that you would get this far?
Scotty McCreery: Oh never, I mean it's one of those things where you are obviously hoping to, that's why you try out. You're wanting to try and win but you never really think it can realistically happen. For me to win it and keep on going like this, I am blown away and ecstatic.
Do you stay in touch with your fellow 'Idol' alums?
McCreery: Yeah, we try to stay in touch as much as we can, but everybody is kinda off doing their own thing now and living all over the country. So we don't see each other as much. We will send out a group text every now and then to make sure everybody is doing well.
How does it feel to be on your Weekend Roadtrip Tour?
McCreery: Feels great! I spent all last year out on the road with Brad Paisley and now I have my own headline tour. It's exciting. The band and I are pumped up to play our new music for the fans, everyone has that energy about them on this tour.
How does it make you feel when fans tell you they love you?
McCreery: It makes me feel great. It's a mutual love, without them I wouldn't be here. They have been so loyal and so great to me. A lot of artists can say, we wouldn't be here without the fans while they are on stage, but for me it's literal because they voted me through and have continued to support me. That love goes right back from them to me and me to them. It's great!
Are you going to stick with Country music, or do you have other musical interests as well?
McCreery: I listen to the top 40 and make sure I'm in touch with what's current in today's world. I'd say that 95% of the music I listen to is Country, but I venture out every now and then to see what everyone else is listening to.
What's your favorite rap or hip-hop song?
McCreery: (snickering) Oh, my favorite rap song, you're asking the wrong guy. A lot of times with rap or hip-hop songs that I hear on the radio, I'll catch on to the chorus. So I'll sing the chorus but won't know song title or verses or anything.
Do you have aspirations of expanding your empire beyond the music industry?
McCreery: I think for right now, I need to focus on my music and make sure all is going well there first. If I end up having this career for the rest of my life, like I want, then things will go as I want them too. But who knows what can come down the road in the future. If we get offered something, we might jump on it and take an acting role or something, but for right now it's just music. But I've been in a play and musical before in high school, so I did a little acting there.
Tell us 3 things that people may not know about you?
McCreery: Well..hmm..this is tough coming off of American Idol because they make you tell your whole life story.
1. Everyone kind of knows that I am 1/4 Puerto Rican.
2. Another interesting tidbit, is that both of my grandfathers served in World War II, one in the Navy and the other in the Airforce.
3. My whole family sings. I'm just the one that's outgoing about it. They are all going to be on my next record with some background vocals.
Would you come back to Atlantic City and what place would you want to check out?
McCreery: Oh, heck yeah. I'm sure I'll be back there soon. Although I am still under the casino limit, the boardwalk was pretty cool. I'd love to go around and see it. We were on the Idol tour there a couple of summers ago, so it would be nice to get back up there.

Tweeted pictures from tonight's show in Pitsburgh, PA

Me n the band have been discussing the plans for Pittsburgh, and I think yall are gonna be in for a little extra fun

gets to have his cake and eat it too. He won and he's in Pittsburgh tonight with FROGGY

Froggy winners Going backstage to meet with at show starts at 8pm

Ladies and gentlemen. Scotty mccreery

VIDEO: Scotty McCreery interview

Stephanie Langston ‏@stephnthecity @ScottyMcCreery host @CountryMusic All Stars Concert. Check out our interview from @Yallwire! …

Scotty McCreery is making the most of 'Idol' win

Scotty McCreery has a dual major. For the first part of the week, he's on the campus of North Carolina State in Raleigh majoring in communications, and then the second half, he's learning how to be a bona fide country star playing to crowds on the Weekend Road Trip Tour.
The 19-year-old singer got to this point by winning the 10th season of "American Idol" with a boyish face and a baritone that left judges and viewers with their jaws dropped open.
Scotty McCreery
With: Sarah Darling.
Where: Stage AE, North Shore.
When: Doors open at 7 tonight.
Tickets: $25; $30 day of show;
His prior experience had been singing with a touring choir and doing some talent shows. Since then, he has been anything but an "Idol" bust. He hit the charts in the spring of 2011 with his first single, "I Love You This Big," and his album, "Clear as Day," became the first debut by a country artist to top the Billboard chart. (Carrie Underwood has actually sold almost twice that much the first week but was second to Madonna.) His debut produced two more modest country singles, "The Trouble With Girls" and "Water Tower Town."
After doing the American Idols Live tour in 2011, he got some heavier touring experience last year opening for Brad Paisley and The Band Perry, and he went the tried-and-true holiday route with "Christmas With Scotty McCreery." Now, during the buildup to his second proper studio album, he's out on his first headlining tour. Last week, he called us from the road, flashing that unmistakable voice.
So, going to school half the week and touring half ... it sounds like it could be a difficult way to live.
I'm enjoying it. It's actually pretty fun. The touring thing is actually the same as a lot of the big artists. I was on the Paisley tour, January through October last year, and we only did Thursday through Sundays as well. So, now, Monday through Wednesday, instead of just chilling, I'm going to college. And I'm loving it. Obviously I think every other college student would say they love the college life, hate the college work, but you can't have one without the other, so we're just going with the flow.
So you do your homework on the bus?
Pretty much. When I hang up from this interview, I have to email a professor real quick and try to get some stuff straightened out. But, yeah, instead of playing Xbox before a show, I might have to type up a paper or do some Spanish, you know.
So, how are you treated on the campus by the other students?
Pretty normal, I'd say. The first couple weeks they were probably a little weirded out by it, but once they see I'm just there to get an education like them and I'm not walking around like I'm big man on campus, I'm just walking around in my sweatpants like any other guy out there. ... So far, it's been pretty tame and pretty nice, actually.
Each week on "Idol" you had to do a lot of preparation. How does that compare to pulling off a whole show?
It's totally different, man. The preparation for "Idol" was tough. We're learning brand-new songs each week and having to perfect them, and singing it for millions of people one night. So there's pressure there, but I'd say the pressure is a little more to put together the 22 songs in our set, and have the blocking right and have the lyrics right, and make sure it's going to come off as great as it can to the people that are out there watching. So, there's a lot that goes into a live show that doesn't go into an "Idol" show.
Brad Paisley is clearly a pro. What did you learn from touring with him?
I like to think that I learned a lot from him. I went out there every night with a ball cap and a hoodie on and just kind of watched him from the stands with all the fans out there. I learned a lot from watching him entertain but also the way he treated his crew backstage and the way he ran his tour. It was a very class act, and that's what I'm looking to do out here with my first headlining tour. I don't want to come off I'm like the big guy here, everyone answers to me. I want it to be like everybody's a big family out here, if we're going to be spending all this time on the road together. So far we're doing that.
There's been a long debate about whether "American Idol" is like a shortcut to stardom or a hard road to it. What's your viewpoint on it?
Yeah, I'd invite anybody to go do what I did for months and see if they could survive. There were times I didn't think I was going to make it, and I was talking to the family about buying a plane ticket home. It was tough, it was grueling, seven days a week, 24 hours in the day. If anyone wants to say it's a shortcut, I invite them to go out there and try it themselves and see how they come out.
I can see where that would be a comment they'd use back in the day, where there's pretty much only a traditional way to get into Nashville or get in the recording industry, but in today's age, there's Justin Bieber getting found by YouTube or social media, there's so many ways to break into it now, and it's still such a rare chance, but there's a lot more ways than the traditional way.
Do you sense that the established artists respect you, even though you didn't go through that Nashville route?
Yeah, I'd say most of them, especially in the country genre. I'd say all of them get it. Obviously there's a few who feel like what you were saying and only think the traditional way is the way to go. I would say that's just naive to think that. The best of the best, Keith Urban's out there and he's been in the industry forever now, and he did "The Voice" in Australia and he's doing "American Idol" now. And Carrie Underwood, she's the best of the best. Blake Shelton is on "The Voice." There's all these people in the country industry embracing these shows and the new ways to get into country music.
Did you always know that country was the route for you?
Oh yeah. I grew up with my mama, who was from Eastern Carolina, and that's all we listened to. Obviously, the pop and stuff, that's nationwide, but country music had a stronghold and a strong route throughout where I was growing up. There was really no question to me that country was what I loved. Obviously, you never really expect to get in the industry, it's such a rare thing, but I've been blessed, and hopefully I hold the country flag well.
What can we expect from the next record?
We're in the process of making it right now, and it's the sophomore album to "Clear as Day," it's not a holiday record. We're debuting songs out on the road right now and seeing how the crowd reacts. We've got about, I think, seven songs are cut right now. None are guaranteed to make the record. We're getting fan's reactions and that's kind of a cool gauge. I'm enjoying it. I think we're finding a lot better songs than on "Clear as Day." I love "Clear as Day" and I'm proud of it, it's me, but it was pretty rushed, and I think this one we'll have a lot more time to be creative with and really put my own stamp on it.
So you'll have more creative control?
Yeah, a whole lot more. And I'm actually getting a chance to write some, too. The whole album won't just be my writings, but the best songs we're finding are going to make it, whether that's me writing it or Joe Schmo out there, it depends. I'm not going to be partial to my stuff, but we're definitely going to give it a shot and try to write as much as we can and put stuff on there so people can see my style as well.
So, when you played these clubs now, you can't even drink, right?
No, no drinking. No gambling in the casinos. But I'm not there to do that. I'm just there to put on a show, so it's all right for me.
Scott Mervis: or 412-263-2576.
First Published February 21, 2013 12:00 am

Scotty McCreery's Weekend Roadtrip Tour 2013 will be in Pittsburgh, PA tonight

Venue Capacity: 2,400
Venue Setup: Gernal Admission Indoor

Stage AE

Stage AE
400 North Shore Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 

Venue Image