INTERVIEW: American Idol 2008 winner David Cook talks about his 'dark, sinister love record' Chromance and his passion for Broadway
America first fell in love with David Cook in 2008 when he touched our collective hearts with his soulful singing and unique interpretations of songs we already knew and loved. He has come a very long in the ten years since, having released five albums – the latest EP being Chromance - and he credits it all to his hunger to chase after creativity.
From being a regionally touring musician to travelling the world and sharing his talent, David has been on a journey to stardom since his 'American Idol' win. The humble musician tells Meaww, "I’ve really just tried to continuously honor the creative process. Whether it be songwriting for myself or others, or touring, or acting, or anything else, whatever growth I’ve been able to access through the last 10 years has happened, largely, as a result of chasing that creativity."
However, it is not just David's popularity that has also evolved over the years. As an artist, his musicality and preferences have also evolved. Best known for his rock renditions at one point, he is now influenced by darker genres and cinematic pop. This influence is very evident in Chromance, the dark, sinister love record that he recently released.
"I still love rock music, and it’s certainly the foundation of what I do, but I’ve really enjoyed trying to sprinkle other influences over that. Especially with my latest release, Chromance," he says, adding, "I’ve gotten more into the darker, more cinematic pop sounds lately, which certainly influenced these new batch of songs."
Chromance was inspired by David's desire to depict love as the prickly, muddy emotion than it is, rather than the "rose-colored glasses' packaging most love songs tend to receive. He elaborates, "Lyrically and conceptually, I wanted to write a dark, sinister love record. More often than not, when I’m hearing a love song, it’s presented with this 'rose-colored glasses' vibe. I wanted to see if you could get the concept of love across while, at the same time, getting down in the mud with it."
The brilliant musician has no plans to limit his artistry with just music, though. Fans will get to see more of his acting and dancing skills on Broadway, because he has made his debut with the iconic 'Kinky Boots.' With a fervent love for acting and singing, this transition is a no-brainer for David, who says the conversations leading up to this started about three years ago.
"I love the character and the story. Charlie represented a challenge for me on multiple levels. The accent, the demeanor. He’s straight-laced, and for the majority of the play, at least, is deliberate and reserved with his words. Something I’m typically not," David elaborates on his love for 'Kinky Boots'. "The story and the message, to me, is so topical and needed right now. Love, acceptance, inclusion. In a climate where it feels very 'Red team versus Blue team', how awesome to have this show exist that can promote a better ideal to reach for?" Further, he adds, "Playing Charlie has been such a joy, I’m not sure why I would want to deny myself the opportunity to chase other characters and help tell other stories."
David who loves being part of the theater world says it has always been about it being a collaborative process. "Every night, you walk on stage, completely beholden to those around you. The decisions you make for your character could be different from show to show, but they all affect your cast mates and vice versa. There’s a beauty and an excitement in that. Every show is the same, but every show is different."
"It was always just about timing. I had close calls with other productions over the years, but at the time, it was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole," he reveals, adding, "Broadway is an amazing experience, and I really do love acting, but part of what I love about it is that it’s something different."
However, he promises us this is by no means any indication that he will not be doing music. In fact, doing both music and acting has always been a goal for him. "I get bored and burnt out if I’m doing one thing all the time."
After all, it is about striking balance, which he says he is consciously always working for. It also helps to be surrounded by the right kind of people. "I’m fortunate to have those amazing people in my life," he says.