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Scotty McCreery Interview: Young Star Talks New Christmas Album and Balancing Fame With College

Scotty McCreery
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

(Continued From Part One)

When you said you were going to work it out where you could go to school, a lot of people kinda thought, ‘Well, what do you need school for? You’ve already got your career set.’

Oh yeah. Is it a necessity, do I need it? Not really. I could go and I could hopefully do this for the rest of my life. But I just think it’ll make me more of a lifelong learner, and help me understand everything around me better. I’m in a world now with people that all have college degrees, so I think it behooves me to go to college and get a better understanding of everything.

Do you think twice about some of the things that would be a normal part of the college experience, because of your position? For instance, maybe being photographed on somebody’s iPhone while people around you were drinking beers or something like that — do you think about that kind of thing as you’re negotiating your day?

It definitely has to be in the back of my mind. You know, that’s just part of my life now. If somebody else gets caught drinking a beer, they might get slapped on the hand by their parents. For me, it would be front page across the country. It’d be all over. So I have to be mindful, obviously. But I’m 19. Eventually, I’m gonna mess up, I’m gonna make a mistake, and I’ll have to own up to it. I mean, I’m human. But I’m definitely mindful and conscious of it.

Are we going to see another single from ‘Clear as Day?’

I don’t think so. That was in the talks for a while, and I just think with the Christmas album coming out, it would be good for us to really put our focus on that, really try to push that, and maybe even have a Christmas song come off of that for the holidays and go to radio. So we’ll see. But I think ‘Clear as Day,’ as far as single-wise, is done, unless something changes with the label.

But I’m having fun looking for new songs. I’ve been writing a little bit. By no means is my writing style a hundred percent perfect, or great yet, but it’s still fun to write a little something down and play it on guitar.

If you go for a single from the Christmas record, which one would it be if you had your choice?

In my eyes, it would be ‘Christmas in Heaven.’ It’s my favorite song. I think a lot of people can relate to that, and that’s what I think you really look for in a single, is something people can get and grab onto. I think that’s the kind of song that would be. But I think we’re gonna send a handful of ‘em, so whatever the radio wants to play is fine by me!

You’ve talked a little bit about an upcoming second record. Do you have any of the songs for it, or are you still just looking? Where are you in that process?

We’ve got a couple of holds on some songs, and there’s some songs that I really like, and some that I’m just kinda thinking, going back and forth between. I don’t think anything is a hundred percent locked in yet. For me it’s all about the songs for this next one. I think the album as a whole, it will mature as I mature. It will be cool for me when I’m older to look back and see my albums, listen to them and see how, when I was 17-18 I made ‘Clear as Day,’ and when I was 19-20 I made this next album, and kind of see how the songs and the albums matured as I matured. I’m looking forward to it.

You mentioned writing some of the songs for the next one. Are you going to subject your own songs to the same degree of scrutiny as outside songs, or will your own songs get automatic preference?

I want to push for the best songs. For me, it has to be the best song wins. I’m not gonna sit there and hear a possible No. 1 song that someone else wrote, and then say, ‘Yeah, but I wrote this one, and it’s still pretty good, it might do something.’ I’m definitely going to go with the best song, whether I write it or not.

It’s about being effective for me. It’s great if you can be original and effective, that’s incredible. But it’s about being effective with the platform I’ve got. It don’t matter where I get the songs from, they’ve just got to be the right ones.

What’s your goal going in with this second record as far as what you want to do differently and what you want to accomplish artistically?

For me, I think definitely I’ll have the chance to be more artistic with it, be more hands-on with it and really try to put my sound on it. I think in the first record — I’m still really proud of ‘Clear as Day,’ and the success that it had, I could have never even dreamed of. I think with this one I’ll take my time. I’m not gonna rush to get it done.

I remember when I was still on ‘Idol’ I told everybody, ‘I want to get this record out quick so we keep up with the momentum.’ This one is not so much about that. It’s about making sure each and every song is a hundred percent like I want it. So I’ll just be more hands-on with it. Whereas the last one, I was having to go record on an off day from the ‘Idol’ tour in Portland, Oregon.

It’ll be more fun, for sure.

Next: See 10 Things You Didn't Know About Scotty McCreery

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