Danny Gokey Talks ‘Soulful’ New Music, Connecting With Taylor Swift and His Thoughts on ‘American Idol’ Hopeful Scotty McCreery
Last time we heard from Danny Gokey, he broke the news about his acting debut in the movie 'Truth Be Told' and hinted at a March release date for his new single. While 'Truth Be Told' will air on Saturday, April 16 (at 8PM ET on FOX), Gokey won't be watching it just then. "I am going to be doing some other things," he admits, though he will "record it because I have to see how I look. I just don't want to come off as awkward." With Gokey on the mind as his cameo in this weekend's movie approaches, Taste of Country caught up with him about his plans for that single we have yet to hear, the latest scoop on his next album, whether or not he'd ever date summer tourmate Taylor Swift and his candid thoughts on country's representation on 'American Idol' this season.
Do you have a time frame of when the new single will be out?
We finished the single, and now they’re creating the battle plan to radio. Now it’s just all about how they’re gonna launch it and all those good things. What I personally want to do is have a charitable launch with the singlem with the cause being Sophia’s Heart [his charity]. I want to give some of the sales of those digital downloads to be put towards Sophia’s Heart to make it a cause driven single. I can’t divulge the title yet.
We [Sophia’s Heart] take in homeless families, and what if we sell a certain amount of records and it can help take in a couple more homeless families? What if it can support renovating a room for a family? The cause is one of the driving forces of the single.
What can you tell us about the new album you're working on?
I know this is going to be kind of disappointing to some fans, but we’ve only cut two songs so far for the next album, so we haven’t really fully discussed what it’s going to sound like. But I can tell you this: I do want to do some duets, I really do. I told my label and I told my producer that I want to add more soul, and they are letting me add more of my soulful vocals. That is one thing that this album is going to have: more soul to it.
As for duet partners, would you stay in the realm of country?
Initially I would stay in country because sometimes you can get a bad rap for going outside, but eventually I definitely want to branch out. I would like to do a duet with Kelly Clarkson. I just think she’s wonderful!
Last time we talked you had not seen 'American Idol' at all this season. Has that changed?
I’ve caught two episodes. I didn’t see Scotty [McCreery] sing, though. I must have caught a results show and the last half of another one and he had sang already. I heard he sounds like Josh Turner. Can I just say this: He might do well, especially if he wins the show, but I feel like since we do have a Josh Turner and you have someone like me who’s trying to break into the soul aspect of country ... I don’t think it helps my cause when someone like him [McCreery] gets into country. I am kind of on the other side of the spectrum.
My thing is, best of luck to him. [But] I like hearing country acts that sound different because it helps my cause. Some of the gatekeepers of country have turned my music down because I am soulful and maybe not "country enough," so when you get someone like Scotty in country and he sounds so country, it doesn’t help my cause. I really am not in competition with anyone, though, so I do wish him the best. I guess there is room for him because you have Easton Corbin who sounds so much like George Strait, so I guess it can work.
You're opening for Taylor Swift in July. Where were you when you got the news?
Man, where was I? I think I was driving in my car and my publicist called and he said, "I’ve got some good news for you, buddy. I just got a call from Taylor’s team. They like you, they love you, they want you on the tour." I was like, "All right," so the whole month of July we are on tour with them. I am very grateful for that! I’m gonna come out there and I’m gonna sing my heart out and make people believers. I really respect her. I will definitely pay respect to her on this tour.
Knowing Taylor likes to write songs about who she dates, would you ever take the chance and date her?
[Laughs] That’s a good question. There would have to be chemistry there. If there was chemistry there, I guess so.
If the chemistry is there, would you make her take her heels off, or would you be OK with being with a taller lady?
I’ve seen Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, and they’re a stunning couple even though she might be taller -- so that’s a great example. Usually, I would say no, but after thinking about that, I wouldn’t mind it.
Any secrets simmering that you can tell us about?
Hopefully this September is the launch of Danny Gokey eyewear, the national launch. We’ve been working on the contract for a little while now. I will have more details soon, but it’s on the works. I will definitely have a say in colors and styles but we haven’t got to that part yet. I will have a say so because it’s part of who I am, it’s my line and it is necessary that I’m involved.
Watch Danny Gokey's 'I Will Not Say Goodbye' Video