Kris Allen is a very, very busy guy right now: as the new winner of American Idol, triumphing over pal Adam Lambert during last week’s finale, the musician has been all over the media discussing his win.
OK! was lucky enough to grab a few minutes of the new champ’s time when he visited our offices in NYC on Wednesday to grab a few cupcakes from Sprinkles, chat about everything from his big moment, his music (of course!), his beloved wife, Katy, Twitter, and more.
Did you ever consider yourself a front-runner?
No, I don’t think anybody considers themselves the front-runner. I don’t think Adam was like, "I’m the best," or Danny [Gokey] was like, "I’m the best," you know we don’t consider ourselves that way. And I definitely did not. I was striving harder and harder to get through every week.
What was your favorite performance that you’ve done to date?
I seriously think my favorite so far is “Ain’t No Sunshine.” I just thought it was a lot of fun and I had a great time rearranging that song.
How do you rearrange music? What’s going through your head with the audience you’re trying to please?
Usually if I like a song, I’m just gonna play it on the piano or play it on the guitar and try to figure out a way to make it my own and just how I would have written it or how I would have played it.
You sing, play guitar and piano; Do you play the ukulele, or is there some other talent you have hidden?
A little bit.
Very little, but I do play the ukulele just a little bit. But, I actually grew up playing the viola.
Any more instruments?
I have a mandolin, but I have no clue how to play it.
You’ve gotten a taste of traveling all over the country starting last week. Did you travel a lot before Idol?
Actually, I’ve done a lot of traveling. Not really in America, but around the world.
Any favorite vacation spots?
Usually I’m not on vacations, but I went to Cape Town one time and I thought it was incredible. Most beautiful place I’ve ever been.
Where do you see yourself going, musically?
I think what I did on the show is indicative of what I’m going to do on an album, and with just a little bit more surprise, probably. And something that hopefully you haven’t seen or heard before.
Are there past winners you want to model your career after, like Daughtry, who has an amazing rock career?
I’ve actually talked to him a lot and we’ve become pretty good friends and he got fourth place and he’s one of the biggest Idols that there are. And he’s sold so many albums, and he’s come a long way and someone that’s stayed true to himself, for sure and that’s what I hope to do, with everything that I do. It’s worked out well for him.
In staying true to yourself, what are some of the values and things that you hold close to your heart?
Probably, just like what the music is about, you know music today is not about anything, it’s just kind of dance music and that’s fine. You know, it almost feels a little bit like disco to me right now, in that it’s not really about much. It’s a good beat and actually good hooks and all that kind of stuff. The really popular stuff isn’t about much. I feel like I have something to say and I want to portray that in my music, whether it’s about relationships or whatever, it’s just something to say.
Have you gotten to spend a lot of time your wife since the finale?
She’s here in New York right now. We’ve been able to spend time together here. We’ve gotten to spend almost day together since the finale, which is great because we haven’t had time at all to spend together.
When you guys were on the show, did you call her every day?
She actually had driven to L.A. and was staying with a friend, so I saw her almost everyday for a couple hours so that was nice.
It wasn’t like you never saw her for four months?
I did see her a lot because she wanted to make sure that she was at the show every week. And so I saw her a lot.
When they told you you’d be performing with Keith Urban, what were your thoughts on that?
I was excited because I think, you know, I don’t feel that I’m a country artist, but I feel that if anybody is not so much country, it’s Keith Urban. I play guitar and he’s an amazing guitar player and so, it keeps it fun. We had a really good time together.
When does the Idol tour start?
It kicks off July 5 in Portland, Oregon and it’s gonna be really cool. I’m excited about it.
What are some surprises that you can tell us about?
I know that Adam and Allison [Iraheta] are gonna do the duet, which I think a lot of people are going to be really excited about that. And I think there are going to be a couple other duets that some people are going to be surprised about.
What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you go home?
Hang out in my apartment, I just, I love my apartment. We have a deck out on the roof and so I’m just gonna hang out there and lie out on the roof and look out at the sky or something.
No Twittering anytime soon?
No, absolutely, not. Twitter’s the devil.
What is one thing about you that no one knows?
When I was 12 years old, I had a rib removed from my rib cage. I had a tumor.
I’m good now. They just had to get rid of it.
Check out Kris’ visit to OK!: