American Idol winner Caleb Johnson plans to be in the studio two weeks from now, cutting his first album.
“I’m going to have it recorded and in the can before the tour,” which starts June 24 in Binghamton, N.Y., says the 23-year-old rock singer from Asheville, N.C., who became Idol‘s 13th champion Wednesday night. “It’s going to be really quick, so I’m going to buckle down and stay focused on making the songs I write and record represent me in the greatest possible way.”
Between now and then, Johnson will be talking to a lot of press, making a lot of television appearances and taking runner-up Jena Irene to her high school prom on May 28. “I’m flying to Detroit with Jena,” he says. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Johnson says he hasn’t yet begun sorting through possible material for his album. “I’m going to sit down with the people at the label, make sure that everybody’s on the same page with me and make sure we make a legendary rock and roll record.” The album, due Aug. 12, is already available for pre-order on iTunes.
If he had the luxury of time, he says, Johnson would keep as much of the album-making process as possible in-house, writing his own songs and recording with his own band. “Due to time constraints, they’re obviously going to bring in writers,” he says, “but I’m going to be with those writers 100 percent of the way and make sure that I get right into those songs that connect with me.”
Even though Johnson didn’t present himself as a songwriter this season the way Jena Irene, Alex Preston and Jessica Meuse did, he says he does have material he hopes will contend for a spot on his upcoming album.
“I released a record with my band back home, so that was the stuff I wrote with the guitar player in that band,” he says. “I’d be thrilled if some of those songs got re-cut and re-recorded and put on the record.”
Rock singers haven’t had a lot of radio success coming off Idol. Fifth-season finalist Chris Daughtry’s band Daughtry has…