Crystal Bowersox hasn't been any less busy since "American Idol" wrapped up last month. The season nine runner-up has already started recording material for her debut album, and so far, at least one collaborator is highly impressed with what she's bringing to the table.
"She's the real deal," producer/songwriter Wayne Wilkins -- who hit the studio with Bowersox on Wednesday (June 16) -- tells Billboard.com. "I've only worked with a couple of 'Amerian Idol' contestants before, and in terms of songwriting, she's the most developed on that front. She literally could sit in a room with anybody, grab a guitar and start writing."
Wilkins, who has worked on hits with Jordin Sparks ("Battlefield"), Beyoncé ("Sweet Dreams"), David Archuleta and Natasha Bedingfield, says Bowersox arrived to the studio ready to work, with her guitar and lyrics in hand. (Unfortunately, the Ohio native's favorite mic stand from back home did not make it to the session.)
Along with fellow songwriter Priscilla Hamilton, Wilkins and Bowersox came up with "two pretty great ideas" for songs. "We did one song that I wouldn't say was totally pop, but it had slightly more of a commercial edge to it," says Wilkins, who adds that the "Idol" finalist already has "an album's worth" of material that boasts a more "folky" vibe in the Melissa Etheridge vein. "The other song was a bit darker and had a breakbeat on it. They were contrasting but still fit with her genre."
Wilkins hopes to get back into the studio with Bowersox soon to complete the songs, but he'll have to contend with her soon-to-be even busier schedule. Bowersox, "Idol" winner Lee DeWyze and the rest of this year's top 10 kick off their American Idols Live! tour on July 1 in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Bowersox, who signed a record deal with 19 Recordings and Jive Records almost immediately after the "Idol" finale, has been asking her fans for suggestions about her debut album. "Would you all hate it if I sang a pop song?" she asked aloud on Twitter.
No matter which musical direction she takes, Wilkins has no doubt that Bowersox will be successful. "To me, Crystal is potentially one of those people that will have a career way past the 'American Idol' thing," Wilkins says. In three or four years, she'll still be around and have a lot of fans supporting her."