Woman's Gotta Have It
Filmed at The Workplay Theater in Birmingham, AL 9-26-09 with Ona Watson.
Song available on Taylor's new album, The Distance.
On sale now! Pick your copy today!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Taylor Hicks Talks to the Press-Telegram - `Taylorizes' Teen Angel Role

So much GREAT press lately for Taylor!! What a fantastic way to ease his name back into the public consciousness before his brand new album drops in the Fall. Here's an interview he gave the Press Telegram out of Long Beach, CA about his role in Grease, AI and appearing on the Capitol Fourth special on PBS.

After winning "American Idol" a couple years back, Taylor Hicks didn't go on to sell nearly as many records as fellow "Idol" champs Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.

But the silver-haired singer from Birmingham, Ala., remains upbeat and is following in the footsteps of Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino ("The Color Purple") by making his Broadway debut in "Grease."

Taylor called from Manhattan on Monday afternoon to talk about his latest gig, which kicked off last Friday.

"It's definitely country come to town," he said of his presence in the Big Apple. "The traffic, all the people and the fast pace that New York is an adjustment. But I love it and I'm starting to become more comfortable with my role in the show."

The role is that of Teen Angel, played by Frankie Avalon in the 1978 movie version, and Taylor gets a nice, big solo in the production.

"The music is classic and the part is a perfect fit," he said. "I couldn't turn down the opportunity to perform on Broadway for the first time."

But don't expect an imitation of Avalon or anyone else. Like everything else he does, the 31-year-old performer said his number has been "Taylorized."

"The great thing about this role is I was able to be Taylor at the same time as Teen Angel," he said. "It allows me to get my feet wet a little bit before I really dive into acting."

He will be living in New York until at least Sept. 6, when his run in the show is due to end. But he will be multitasking all summer: writing songs for a new album planned for later this year and an appearance on "A Capitol Fourth," which airs live on July 4 (on PBS).
Taylor will join such stars as Huey Lewis and Jerry Lee Lewis on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol and he will be performing "This Land is Your Land" as well as songs "Dancing in the Dark" and "Heaven Knows."

"The numbers will be Taylorized," he promised. "You just gotta put as much soul as you can into it."

So what did he think of this season's "Idol" competition and the champion, David Cook?

"I think he's got a great shot to be successful in the pop-rock genre," he said. "He's an accomplished instrumentalist and it was nice to see that on the show this year. I wasn't allowed to play harmonica or guitar."

Taylor's self-titled first album after winning "Idol" reached platinum status but was still considered a disappointment and he parted ways with his record company earlier this year.

I wondered if he felt more pressure to succeed as a former "Idol" champ?

"What's the measuring stick for an `Idol' winner? Is it sales? Everyone has their own opinion," he said. "I'm not worried about it at all. I'm just excited to be an entertainer.

"It is a wild ride (winning `Idol') and it still is. You have to just understand that you've been working as an entertainer for years and want to keep working and you have to re-invent yourself. Some of these things that I'm doing now, it's going to allow me to do that."

Whatever the sales of the upcoming album, Taylor is confident the effort will be better music than his first.

"This time around, I've just had the time to be able to write music," he said. "You're really under the gun to create an album in a short period of time post-`Idol.' With this next album, I'm going to be able to breathe."


Trixi said...

I read this earlier on a google alert. I left him a nice Thank you for writing positve about Taylor.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this will calm down some of the fans that are disappointed with the Grease show. Hopefully it will!

He sounds happy to me, happy to be an entertainer!! I'm happy he is an entertainer..LOL

Thanks for posting the interview. :)


juliegr said...

Interesting comments about the AI pressure -- must have been difficult to juggle all those requirements at one time -- the tour, the album, the after-tour. Bravo to Taylor for holding yhis own while adjusting to it all.