Jonathan Frahm:How has the current touring experience been for you so far?
Kris Allen:Man, it’s amazing because when you get off the road, you’re like, “It’s so nice to be home.” Then, right when you get back out, you start to realize, “Oh, this is the reason that I do this.” Me, myself, and the band are out there playing new music and old music and people are singing the songs. It’s been a lot of fun. We’re actually out with a band right now called Boyce Avenue, so we’re playing for some new fans, too, which is really nice. We’re having a good time so far.
JF:Also concerning the tour, I’ve recently had the distinct honor of watching the video promo for the Kris Allen VIP Experience on YouTube.
KA:[laughs] Nice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6auDsb8SQk
JF:What was the development process like for that video? Like, how did you know that that was where you wanted to go with it?
KA:It all happened incredibly fast. We wanted to get an idea out there that the VIPs are out for sale, but I’m not very good at selling myself. So, I decided to create a character that would sell them for me and totally just went there and started to become this other person. I’d decided that we needed another person to play the VIP, and I thought it would be funny to have this big, huge guy playing a girl. He killed it. He was amazing. [laughs]
JF:And “Just The Two Of Us” is a classic.
KA:Yeah, it was fun editing it and putting it all together.
JF:Getting into more serious ground here, after your sophomore album, Thank You Camellia, was released, you were dropped by your then-label shortly thereafter. Really, though, at what point thereafter did you say to yourself, “You know what? It’s time to come up with a new album,” and how has that experience contributed to the development of Horizons?
KA:I kinda knew it was gonna happen, and it was better for everybody, really. I remember that all that happened and then we were just going on the road playing all of the new stuff from Thank You Camellia. It wasn’t long after that that I started writing for the new record and started putting together some songs, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I got together with Charlie. We exchanged some emails and we met, and from there, we decided to start making a record together. It was so genuine and so natural. We were just really happy and really blessed that it happened like that.
JF:In what ways was working with Charlie Peacock on an album different from collaborating with previous producers or labels?
KA:Well, there’s a lot of trust that goes on with somebody like him. When you have a producer, you’re putting your art in their hands a little bit, and trusting them with the end result. There’s a lot of trust that went on with him. There was always myself in the back of my mind going “What if I did this? What if I changed this?”, but he always had a focus that stayed true the whole time. He wanted people to realize that the songs were really good and that I was a good singer, and so, he was always trying to keep that in focus. As much as I was trying to veer from that at times with different songs, he always had that as his center.
JF:How did you and he go about selecting the tracks that make up Horizons? Particularly, one of our writers, Kelly Sinkavitch, is a huge fan of yours and is especially partial towards “It’s Always You”. If you could spill some details on the development process of that specific song, I’m sure she’d be beyond thrilled.
KA: Oh, cool! Generally, when you’re writing for a record, all of the good ones become clear, as in, it becomes evident that these are the best ones and that they’ll make the record for sure. We recorded 12 songs, but we knew what the best 10 were going to be. It wasn’t like “Let’s record 30 songs and pick out the best 10,” it was like, “Oh, okay, these are the best songs.” As far as “It’s Always You” goes, I had had the verse and the chorus – not even the whole chorus, just like half a chorus – and I had my friend Adam Hambrick at my house back in Arkansas and we wrote the rest of it in probably an hour. It’s one of my favorites for sure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDSlJJ8K80U
JF:Like any artist navigating this business, you have had your ups and your downs. How have what you recognized as some of your greatest feats and failures contributed to your overall worldview as a musician. Moving forward, what are you looking to achieve in your career as an artist?
KA:I wouldn’t say anything that I’ve done is a failure, and I would say that for anyone doing anything. We learn from our mistakes. I’d say that with my first record, I had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to write all of the songs, but I wasn’t that great of a songwriter back then. I was okay and I think I had little spurts of good, but I feel like I’ve grown, and I’ve grown because of that experience. As far as success goes, it’s all really relative. I think that I really love this last record and love the sound of it and the vibe of it and the new direction that I’ve taken with it. I think other people that have heard it really like it, as well. Right now I’d say that’s the biggest success for me, but I haven’t sold as many of these records as I have the last one. Hopefully I will, but you never know – it’s an interesting world in the music business – but it’s all relative. As for what I’m looking forward to? I don’t look too far ahead, because that kind of freaks me out every once in a while, but right now I’m looking at Christmas and going “Okay, we just recorded a Christmas song.” I’m excited about that, and we’re going to put it out soon, so I’m going to hope that people really like it. That’s where my head is right now.
JF:By the way, what’s one of your favorite foods?
KA:My favorite foods?
JF:Yeah. Whatever comes off the top of your head.
KA:I love the wood fired brick oven pizza. Oh my gosh, those are so good.
JF:Now then, if you were a brick oven pizza, yourself, what would separate you from all of the wood fired brick oven pizzas in the world?
KA:Hoo. I’d probably have a little bit of sugar on me. Just a little bit, not too much, but you don’t see that very often, you know? I do enjoy that, though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWKVSf4gf-8
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