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BurberryAiken's CDD | Home & News

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Birmingham News: Clay Aiken a "malleable singer"

The buzz around Clay is everywhere. Birmingham News' Mary Colurso interviewed Clay this week. The full interview can be found at - Birmingham News:


Most of the credit should go to Aiken's voice, of course -- the way his clean, clear tenor flowed through pop hits such as "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

Looks and personality do matter, however.

In the five years since he graduated from reality TV, Aiken has developed his balladeer voice through recordings, concerts and TV appearances. At the same time, he has polished his wholesome-yet-trendy style.


He's on the phone to spread the word about his new disc, which comes out May 6 on the RCA label. But in a series of brief chats with reporters, which are lined up like dominoes that morning, Aiken is willing to deviate from the script.


His time in "Spamalot," Aiken says, has been "phenomenal, without question," and has subtly changed his ideas about performing.

"Did I know how to be on stage? Sure. But this gives you a whole different perspective," he says. "It's just been a different experience for me. I'm sure I'll be slightly sentimental in a couple of weeks, when I have to leave. But I won't cry."

Aiken, after all, is likely to step right into a media blitz for "On My Way Here." It's his first album of freshly minted songs since 2003's "Measure of a Man" -- he released a Christmas CD and a covers disc in the meantime -- and Aiken says he selected its 12 tracks carefully.


For "Measure of a Man," Aiken says, producers tried to "fit a square peg in a round hole." They chose material for a radio niche and asked him to fit his voice and talents to it. That CD went double platinum, but its commercial success didn't bring him real artistic satisfaction.

"If I hear the term 'radio-friendly' one more time, I'm going to scream," Aiken says. "I did that on my first album, to my detriment."


He and executive producer Jaymes Foster convinced RCA to accept one simple goal, Aiken says: "To find songs I could do beautifully and do well."

No oldies. No dance tunes. No R&B crossover.

"Let's face it," he says. "I'm not right for something like 'SexyBack.' For Justin Timberlake, OK. For Clay Aiken, no."


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