Reigning American Idol champ Caleb Johnson, who just won Season 13 three months ago, has already released his debut album, Testify, which came out this week in the middle of the American Idols Live! concert tour. This is an unprecedented rush job for an Idol winner (most of them release their albums about six months after their respective seasons wrap up, and Season 12’s Candice Glover had to wait nine months for her debut to come out). But Caleb, visiting Yahoo Music with his old Elijah Hooker bandmates to play some acoustic songs on the day of Testify‘s release, insists that he’s happy with the result.
“I got to run rampant and really wild with the process, and really just put myself in everything,” Caleb says. “There’s this kind of, like, bad rap or mythology about Idol, where it’s like, ‘[The winners] don’t have control,’ blah blah blah, but I can attest I had 110 percent involvement and in every single aspect of the record. There was no ‘powers-that-be’ that was pulling the strings saying, ‘Oh, you need to do this,’ or whatever. It was me.”
As for whether Caleb is concerned about sustaining a career in an era where contestants from all singing shows seem to be struggling, he says with a shrug: “Not really. I think the music can just speak for itself. Idol and all these shows, they’re great platforms to put you in people’s homes, but now it’s about getting those fans that will stick with you… fans that love you not just for being on a TV show, but for the music you make and your artistry and your voice. That’s the goal now. But [Idol is] a great starting point. I’m a lot better off than I was a year ago!”
See Caleb testify here.