Monday, July 23, 2007

The Most Joyous Thing

This article recently appeared in the Oakland Press:

It's been four years and three albums since Clay's runner-up turn on "American Idol." But the North Carolina-born singer says he's still trying to find his place in the pop world.

"I'm still trying to figure out exactly where I want to be and where I want to go," says Aiken, 28, who finished behind Ruben Studdard in "Idol's" second season. "I think the difference between someone like Kelly (Clarkson) and I is she really has found her niche and pushed herself beyond the 'Idol' kind of thing.

"But there are so many different things I like."

For now, Aiken is promoting his latest album, "A Thousand Different Ways," which features 10 covers - including love songs by Richard Marx, John Waite, Elton John, Bon Jovi and Dolly Parton - and four originals. It's an outgrowth of Aiken's 2004 summer show, which focused on his personal favorites from the '50's through the present day. But Aiken says it's not necessarily a direction he'll stay in beyond this album - and he even has designs on doing more than just music.

"I think people like to put (performers) in a box and categorize them somehow -'This person is an actor. This person is a singer,'" Aiken explains. "It's very rare you'll find somebody who's known for more than one thing.

"So right now, I think people see what we do as singing. I'd love to change that a bit to kind of branch out and be known as other things."

Well yeah Clay, people do see what you do as singing! Because well, that's what you do. I don't really care what else he does, as long as he continues to sing.

He has mentioned several times, many times really, that he wants to do a talk show.

I don't watch talk shows, hate them really; but I wish him luck if that's the course he decides to take. I might tune in for the singing parts.... OK, I'll definitely tune in for the singing parts!

If he does Broadway, I'll never get to see him, and that would be sad.

Acting in movies would probably drive him crazy, he just doesn't realize it yet. All that standing around...I don't think he could stand that!

He could do stand up - seriously, he could. He is just that funny.

I know it's his life, and I know he deserves to be happy and make his own choices, and I would never deny him that privilege.

But....please Clay - please never stop using your voice. You said in your book that "singing is the single most joyous thing a person can do."

I hope you still feel the same way.

touchstone (n) a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated

©touchstone 2007

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