Exclusive: Lee DeWyze Talks Ellen DeGeneres' 'Idol' Departure
Lee Dewyze performs on "American Idol" Fox

“American Idol” season winner Lee DeWyze returned to the show last week to debut his new single, “Silver Lining." Following the recent performance, the Illinois-based rocker spoke to Billboard on what he's been up to since the 2012 release of his third post-"Idol" recording, "What Once Was."

DeWyze recently signed with Vanguard Records and said he’s in the process of wrapping-up a new album with collaborations from Jim Scott, Toby Gad, Drew Pearson and Rick Seibold. He tells Billboard he's "currently finishing up" the record with Phil Allen.

“Silver Lining” represents a new musical direction for DeWyze, who appears to be shifting gears from his rock-oriented material towards a folkier sound. “This is the kind of music I’ve been wanting to make for a long time,” says DeWyze, who cites “a difference in ideas” as the reasons for his split from RCA.

“We wanted to make an honest album,” he explains, “and that’s what this is.”

Lee DeWyze Dropped By RCA Records

DeWyze refers to his forthcoming album as “folk story telling anthem pop rock. It’s a new genre.” He explains that his newfound musical direction came together naturally in the studio. ‘We didn’t go in the studio and say, “We’re going to make this kind of album.’ We were like, ‘Let’s just make music. You play the banjo? OK go’.”

The album’s release date is not on the slate, but it should arrive in the next few months, according to DeWyze. It’ll feature a “super awesome surprise” appearance, he teases. “I think it will blow people’s minds when they see who it is. It was an incredible experience working with these gentleman.”

DeWyze insists that although he’ll always stand behind his past releases, he urges fans to look to his next album as the best representation of the sound he’s going for. “If you want to know who Lee DeWyze is as an artist -- this is the record, this is the single, this is what you’re going to get. This is who I am.”

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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