Fans of American Idol winner Kris Allen have been waiting patiently, since his self-titled debut album came out in 2009 and rose up the charts with his hit "Live Like We're Dying," to get their hands on his follow-up album.
That time is almost here, as Kris' second album Thank You Camellia will finally hit stores on May 22, and the first single off the album "The Vision Of Love" and its video recently hit iTunes.
OK! sat down with Kris to talk about the album, the video, whether the name of his single reminded too many people of Mariah Carey and if he could see one of his songs ending up on a Hunger Games soundtrack.
Tell us about your new music video for "The Vision of Love"?
We shot the video downtown, and it was a ton of fun. It was the first time I actually worked with actors on a music video. It’s always been just me so it was nice to kind of sit behind the camera and watch them do their thing. I loved it and they did such an amazing job. Young people just out here doing their thing. They came and just killed it.
Why anti-bullying as a theme in the video?
It was almost an accident. There are two characters in the video and two characters in the song, and we even added a character into the music video, as well, that we had to edit out. There’s like this old lady, too, who is going through some stuff and it was very moving, but hopefully, we can let people see that.
Was it fun to have more input this time?
Absolutely. I had a lot of calls with the director. He is out in New York, but we talked a lot about the treatment and just trying to make sure that everything was right and that everything was cool. And make sure that we were on the same page. It was very collaborative with me and him. I feel like I have been more involved with everything, which is a little stressful, but also it comes out meaning more and I feel like I am taking the reigns a little bit. I feel like that’s what you have to do in this business.
Did you get feedback on the video yet?
Yes, oh my gosh! The feedback is so good. People love the message of it and everything about it. People love the actors in it. They thought they did a really good job, and I think its turned out to be a really moving video. My mom called me and she was like, "You made my cry!"
How do you feel about the title of the song being close to a Mariah Carey song?
I wanted to change the title so bad! I was like, "Can we call it something else?" That was the very first thing that I thought of. I was like, "Mariah Carey has a song like this." I mean, it’s not a ballad. It’s a totally different thing. We put a "the" on the front of it so maybe it’s a bit different.
Your dog Zorro is on the cover of the new album. Why did you want that?
You know what? When we were thinking about the cover art and doing the photo shoot and everything, I was like, "Listen, I got a cool-looking dog. He’s pretty awesome and everyone loves dogs." And, he’s like a new part of my life since the last record has happened so he’s my little dude. We hang out all of the time and he’s a lot of fun so I wanted to incorporate him in some way. We had the photo, and I almost got scared of putting him on the record.
Because I was like maybe its just weird or whatever, so we took him out. Then I was like, "No, it’s not the same!" It just looks so much better with him in there. He’s got like this cool face on.
When will you announce tour dates?
We are still working on stuff. We have a couple things coming up. We are playing at this Live in the Vineyard thing in Napa, Calif., this weekend and it's so much fun. We did it a couple of years ago and Napa is just so beautiful. And the lineup is just amazing, Jason Mraz is going to be there, Mat Kearney, Mayer Hawthorne, who I think is amazing, so it's going to be cool.
A lot of fans say "Out Alive" (a track from the new album) should be on the next Hunger Games soundtrack. The lyrics fit it perfectly. Are you a fan?
I haven’t read the books or seen the movie. I need to see the movie. Apparently, the movie is great. My wife, Katy, is really into it. She read all three of the books in like a week, and she loved the movie. She thought that Jennifer Lawrence was amazing. I loved Winter’s Bone. She is very cool. But people have listened to the song and it definitely relates, so maybe the second movie!
Check out Kris' video for "The Vision of Love" below. Are you excited for his new album?