“American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze says he wanted to be “dimensional” on his major label debut album, “Live It Up,” which comes out Nov. 16.
“This is why I even auditioned (for ‘Idol’) in the first place, to be able to put out an album and do all that,” DeWyze tells Billboard.com. “I didn’t want it to be the same song across the board, so for me it was a matter of just getting good songs on there and making them all connect…and that’s what we came away with. I’m really happy and really proud about it.”
DeWyze, who began working on the album during the summer’s American Idols Live! tour and finished afterwards in Los Angeles, says he went for “a pop/rock/folk kind of feel” for his third career release. He’s particularly pleased that he was able to co-write 10 of “Live It Up’s” 11 tracks.
“When I first started talking to (label) people, I told them, ‘I just think that it’s going to be more me and it’s gonna progress better if I have a hand in the writing process,” explains DeWyze, “and they were like, ‘Well, go write and let’s see what happens.’ And so we went into the studio and (the song) ‘Live It Up’ came about. I brought that to the table and they were very happy with it, so that’s what kick-started the whole thing.”
DeWyze also wound up collaborating with hitmakers such as John Shanks, Zac Maloy, Espionage, Toby Gad, Lindsey Robbins, Michael Busbee and others. He says, “They were all very receptive to what I was saying and writing and all very on-board wtih it. A lot of them actually were very pleased to have me writing and bringing something to the table as opposed to coming in and being like, ‘What do you got for me?'”
DeWyze is gearing up to promote “Live It Up” on TV, starting with a Nov. 9 appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” followed by a national anthem performance at the Nov. 14 Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants football game, and stops at “Today,” “Live! with Regis & Kelly” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” DeWyze also predicts that “we’re gonna be touring for hopefully most of next year. That’s my plan, so hopefully it all works out. I’m really proud of this album, and I’m really excited to play it live. It’s a good album to have fun and dance to and get into, so that’s the goal.”
That may not leave him much time to keep tabs on “Idol’s” next season and its new judges, but DeWyze says he’s happy with the season he had.
“I’m glad I went through it when I did and had the judges I had,” he explains. “It’s clearly going to be a different show, and whatever happens with the show I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’ll be cool. But I’m glad I went through with Simon and Kara and Ellen and Randy. It was cool being on Simon’s last year. They made that show what it is, and hopefully the others can do the same.”