As many people know, American Idol is a cultural sensation. I know this first hand because I worked on the show during seasons 6-9.
What I am wanting to do is share with you insight on how American Idol works. More than anything, I am sharing with you first hand factual information of how part of the American Idol machine is structured that very few people are aware of.
My employment on American Idol was working directly with the contestants producing, engineering and recording their vocals for the full length downloads. I was also responsible for producing, recording, editing and uploading the Idol performance show ring tones to the Fox/AT&T servers for seasons 6-9 that many of you probably purchased. Its hard to imagine, but during any given week of Idol I played an integral role in about ten Billboard & Itune hits every week and picked every ringtone download weekly for every contestant for 4 seasons straight.
Now, you probably won't find my name associated with any of the top ten hits or ringtones nor will you discover my name when they roll out the credits from the show. In television, film and music, there is what they refer to as above the line and below the line. The big name producers are above the line and guys like me fell below the line. Many others received credit for my individual professional endeavors. Not a big deal as that is just how the industry functions and I am accepting of that. I was comfortable to be part of the cultural phenomenon of this TV show called American Idol. Ill get in to the details more about Idol in later blogs but for this article I want to share with you my experience that lead me to Idol because it was from this path and the experiences as a major label recording artist & subsequent producer that equipped me to work with the contestants. At the core of my experiences, my back story isnt any different from plenty of of the contestants that audition for Idol.
Have I sold millions of records as an artist or a producer? No. Do you know my name? Probably not. But what I do have that very few of the people participating in Idol do not have is that I was a major label singer/artist, songwriter, and am a music producer, among other ventures. And, probably the most considerable part of this whole experience is that Ive spent many days on the other side of the glass. What that means is that I have excelled in the recording studio vocal booth recording vocals for many years. I have experienced what it feels like to agonize in the studio singing. I know. I sucked when I did my first recording sessions. Its difficult. I also know what it is like to get really good in the studio as, the more I sang on songs in the studio and recorded, the better I got. Many artists are either a good live singer or a reasonable studio singer. Very few are both. I was one of the rare few that was good at both.
So, my experience is through the trenches learning. I know what it takes to write a song, record a song, sing the song in the studio, perform that song live, tour, promote, do phoners, videos and interviews, etc. These are the reasons that I related so much to the contestants and why many of them could relate to me. With the exception of being on a TV show, almost everything they were experiencing or about to experience, I had experienced already.