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'American Idol' winner Nick Fradiani: I will put my input into everything going forward


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/19/2015 

Nick Fradiani won American Idol's fourteenth season after defeating Clark Beckham.

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Nick, a 29-year-old musician from Guilford, CT, closed out the finale with an encore of his new single "Beautiful Life." He beat out Clark, a 22-year-old street performer from Whitehouse, TN, for the win after receiving the majority of home viewer votes cast immediately following the season's last performance show.

Nick has been signed to Big Machine Records and is beginning his journey into stardom with the help of this season's mentor Scott Borchetta.

During a recent conference call with reporters, Nick talked about his experience on the show and what's next for him. Below is the concluding portion of his interview. Click here and here to read more.

Is that where you did your student teaching?

Nick Fradiani:  Yes, I student taught at East Haven High School.  I got my Master's at the University of New Haven, and I coached at North Haven High School and East Haven High School as well.

So the only thing you have left if you wanted to be a teacher is to do more student teaching?

Nick Fradiani:  Yes, I didn't actually student teach.  What it was, UNH had a program where I went to school at night and I interned at the high school for a year, and that paid for my schooling.  So, all I have left is the eight weeks or so of student teaching.  I still have to do that.

Other than being excited to sing your own music, which is really great, is there anything else that you've been thinking that you're looking forward to doing on tour, or part of it?

Nick Fradiani:  Yes, I'm looking to collaborate with some of these Top 5 people, because we're sitting around in the dressing rooms, we're always messing around with our guitars and pianos and whatnot, and so probably to do some duets with Jax, or whoever, Clark, [Rayvon Owen], [Tyanna Jones], I think that's going to be really cool.

Throughout your whole journey, what's the one piece of advice from the judges that you got that you'll take with you that you think helped you the most?

Nick Fradiani:  I think all of the judges said it at one point, just trying to get me to break out of my comfort zone and just let loose out there.  I just needed to get my confidence up, and once that happened it took off, so probably that, just let loose, man.  That's what they kept telling me, just break open.

Have you and Scott Borchetta actually sat down yet and had any discussions about your album?  In some interviews he said that he could see you maybe even going down a country route.

Nick Fradiani:  Yes, we had discussed that at one point.  I think that might be, maybe in a couple of years it could be an option.  But I think the direction that the single is, is the direction that I'm going to go into, which I'm happy. 

It's where I'm most comfortable at, but we haven't really sat down yet.  We're going to be doing that in the next couple days, where I'm going to really be able to put my input in on everything.  I'm really looking forward to it.  The artistic side of it and the songwriting aspect is what really excites me.  I can't wait.

You're hoping to bring along your band with you.  Would you maybe be fronting a band, or would your bandmates just come along and play?

Nick Fradiani: Yes.  Once you win American Idol, I'm going to be putting out an album as Nick Fradiani.  But the music I play needs a band, and it's not like I'm going to be singing to backtracks. 

Nick and Ryan, they've been with me for the last four years and we've been through a lot, and without them, I wouldn't have been in this situation at all, and they're ready.  We were ready as a band and it just so happened that this happened instead. 

I'm really hoping that those two could join me on this ride and the record label could maybe fill the bass and whatever else needs to be used, or piano, or whatever --although we have a bass player too that could maybe come with us.  But anyway, I'm just really hoping that they can play with me because they're my best buds and they're ready for it.

With all the advice and all the experience that you had on Idol, was there something new about yourself as an artist you learned that you didn't know before?

Nick Fradiani:  Yes, I guess overall I didn't know that I could perform at a high level.  I knew I could just sit behind a guitar and play with my band right next to me, but towards the end, I started to learn I could really move around, not that I could dance or anything, but that I could work a stage and get the crowd involved and feel really at home as a front man. 

It felt good to know that I could do that.  Scott was really working on getting that out of me, and it finally started happening towards the end there.

Well, now that you've had this experience and you have this amazing future ahead of you, how do you think this newfound success will impact your relationships and dating?

Nick Fradiani:  Being in music has always made it difficult to have relationships, especially when I'd be traveling a lot, so I'm sure it will make things more difficult, but I try not to look for those things.  Hopefully the right thing just happens, and that would be pretty cool.

I'm sure you'll probably put romantic relationships on hold to focus on your career.

Nick Fradiani:  Right.

But if you had to pick three important qualities in a partner, what would they be?

Nick Fradiani:  Three important qualities.  Humor, I like to laugh and have fun, so I'd say somebody that's funny, somebody I can trust, and somebody that I can just be myself around.

Family is so important, and you and your dad have such a unique relationship.  Tell us a little bit about that, and what did he say to you when you were crowned the "American Idol" this year?

Nick Fradiani:  Yes, me and my dad have a really cool relationship.  He's my buddy.  We had this music connection since I was a little kid, so it's been something really special.  It was really cool being able to see him after I won.  I don't even remember what he said.  He was crying.  It was an emotional moment there.  I'm just so happy that we got to share that together.

Scott Borchetta was an amazing addition to the show this year, such talent from him as a mentor.  He said at the beginning that Taylor Swift, whom he's connected with, has that double threat of a singer/songwriter and you have that same thing.  What kind of advice has he given you or one of the guest mentors throughout the season that you feel has been really valuable?

Nick Fradiani:  Yes, Scott was so helpful throughout the whole season with me.  We had a good rapport and we worked well together.  He just has given me non-stop advice that really helped me to win this season, for sure. 

In terms of one mentor, I think Florida Georgia Line actually helped a lot.  They wanted me to own who I am and just rock the stage, and that was when I thought I finally broke loose, was in their mentoring session -- when I sang a Katy Perry song, actually.  They were like, "Dude, you've just go to rock the stage, be yourself, and let loose," and that's what I did.  And ever since then it went well.

You mentioned earlier in the conversation that you wanted to be the regular guy with the guitar who sings songs.  I noticed that the wardrobe they gave you, almost every week and almost every song, you were wearing jeans and a T-shirt.  And I'm wondering, did you intentionally choose those kind of clothes to project that kind of image, or were the clothes chosen for you?

Nick Fradiani:  No, I got to pretty much choose what I wore.  They would just give me a rack with all stuff.  I just felt comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt, and that's all I wanted to do is feel comfortable up there.  And as long as the wardrobe signed off on it, I was good to go, so it all worked out.

Was it like that for every contestant, because everyone had this image they were projecting that was reflected in the clothes they wore?

Nick Fradiani:  Yes, we all got to pick what we wanted to wear.  They went out, and they looked at what we were wearing and they just kind of got nicer stuff, to be honest with you.  I would wear $10 T-shirts, and then they were giving me $100 T-shirts. 

Nick, any final remarks?

Nick Fradiani:  Yes, guys, I just want to, one, just thank you guys, all of you for taking the time to talk with me.  I really appreciate it.  Yes, hopefully I'll see some of you guys out on the tour, and to please check out the single, "Beautiful Life." 

I'm really proud of it, really excited for it, and I think if it could take off it could really help boost my career here.  I'm looking forward to you guys hearing this first album.  I hope you guys will end up liking it.  Thank you.

To read the rest of Nick's post-American Idol interview, click here and here.


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