Kris Allen, other ‘American Idol’ singers, to perform at DeJoria Center
American Idol: Live! Hits Kamas at 7 p.m. on On Friday, Aug. 31, at the DeJoria Center, 970 N. S.R. 32, in Kamas. Tickets range from $55 to $85 and can be purchased by calling 467-TIXX or visiting www.smithstix.com.
Many things have happened in the life of Kris Allen since he won the eighth season of “American Idol” in 2009.
“I’ve moved a couple of times and have had a couple of kids,” he said. “And I have continued to make music.”
Allen, who has released five albums, unveiled a new single called “When All the Stars Have Died” a couple of months ago. He plans to sing it during his segment when “American Idol: Live!” hits Kamas at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, at the DeJoria Center, 970 N. S.R. 32.
The show will feature Allen as a special guest host and will include Idol alumni Jurnee Siani, Michael J. Woodard, Gabby Barrett, Maddie Poppe, Catie Turner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Cade Foehner.
“I’ll sing three songs in the middle of the show,” Allen, who topped charts with “Live Like We’re Dying” in 2009, said. “Most of my fans are the mothers and their daughters who watched my season, and I tried to put together a set that they will enjoy. So it should be a lot of fun.”
Allen is fond of his time on “American Idol.”
“I’m incredibly grateful for the people who found me through the show,” he said. “I love that I have a career because of the show.”
Before the reality show changed his life nine years ago, Allen was already interested in music.
“I grew up around a musical household,” he said. “My dad loved music. He played guitar and sang. He’d sometimes do it in church or in public.”
While Allen enjoyed watching his father perform, he didn’t think about doing it himself until he was in college, he said.
After playing a few gigs, he dropped out to write and produce his first album, called “Brand New Shoes” in 2007.
While he enjoyed the process, Allen struggled with songwriting.
“It’s been a learning process for me, and since I’ve had to work hard at it, I do take pride in my songwriting today,” he said. “I love a good story, and I love a great lyric and melody. And since I respect those things so much, I’ve tried to work so hard over the past nine years to become good.”
Inspiration for his songs come from various sources, Allen said.
“As a songwriter you’re always on the lookout for something to say, whether it’s a word or a phrase or an experience you have,” he said. “When you get the inspiration, no matter how big or how small, you start to expand on it.”
Sometimes inspiration can come from something as simple as eating a hamburger with his friends.
“You can write about the pickles,” he said with a laugh.
Allen considers his albums snapshots of his life.
“The (self-titled) album, though, is the least autobiographical,” he said. “It was basically me being new at this and throwing all the darts at the board and seeing where they stuck.”
His follow-up, “Thank You Camellia,” was more personal, Allen said.
“I was able to take more time on it and (I) figured out what I really wanted to say,” he said. “I also was able to think more about the vibe of the songs I wanted to put out.”
While all of Allen’s songs are personal, he does think his lyrics can get too specific.
“I think it can get that far, but then I start to think maybe someone needs to hear something like what I’m writing,” he said. “I’m sure you can get crazy specific, like the pickles on your hamburger to refer what I said before. For the record, I love pickles.”
Allen pointed to “In Time,” from his 2014 album “Horizons,” as one of his most personal songs.
The song is about the healing process that comes after a betrayal.
“I wrote the song because I needed what it said at that specific time,” he said. “I didn’t know if anyone would connect with it, but it became the one song that people come talk with me about the most.”
In addition to his songs and performances, Allen also enjoys reaching people through philanthropy. He’s served missions with the University of Central Arkansas Chi Alpha fraternity chapter to South Africa, Spain, Thailand and Myanmar. Allen has worked on earthquake relief efforts with the United Nations Foundation in Haiti. He is also a supporter of music education in underserved communities.
“It almost feels like this should be part of the job,” he said of his charitable ventures. “(As well-known singers) we have big platforms, although mine is smaller than many people’s, to do things like this. So I find things that I care about.”
Allen credits his parents for teaching him the value of service.
“They raised me to care about the people around me,” he said.
Summit County gardeners can purchase local-climate friendly plants and seeds to grow this season