Coffey Anderson talks about 'Nashville Star' and his future plans
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/30/2008
Despite what Nashville Star judge John Rich might think, Coffey Anderson feels country music is his cup of tea.
"I just tried to show them who I am and country music is what I love. It's the foundation of what I write and where I come from and country music has so many different faces," Anderson told Reality TV World during a Tuesday conference call.
"You have everything from Little Jimmy Dickens now to Jessica Simpson. I mean there's so many different faces with country music and the country/soul thing has been great. It's what I hear, it's what I make and it's been good to me thus far."
While Anderson might think country music is a "good spot" for him, home viewers sided with Rich as the 28-year-old from Bangs, TX who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA was booted from Nashville Star's sixth season during Monday night's live penultimate broadcast.
Following Anderson's performance on Monday night, Rich said he doubted Anderson was Nashville Star material.
"I heard it from him this season so my skin was a little bit thick and it's kind of like if you go back to the videotape I just breathed in a little bit as he started to talk," Anderson told Reality TV World about Rich's criticism.
"You just get used to it but I just wanted to kind of do me and that's kind of weird to say but I don't want to do anybody else. I wanted to do me this season and I think that was accomplished and so we'll see."
Anderson said he feels that the lines between country and pop music currently intersect in today's musical landscape.
"They really are blurred," he told reporters. "Taylor Swift is great. She came on the show, she's a sweetheart. She's now on Ryan Seacrest's show. She's in syndication on pop radio now. So there's a lot of things that cross over with what country music is doing. You look at Jessica Simpson. Look at Jewel. She's one of the [Nashville Star] judges, and my knock was not being country enough."
In addition, Anderson told reporters that "being black and country music" isn't exactly something the judges have had much exposure to.
"They haven't really seen too many people like me," said Anderson before giving the example of Nashville Star fifth-season host Troy "Cowboy Troy" Coleman. "Troy's not like me. Troy does hip-hop. He's a different type of artist and I combine everything."
Anderson explained that he feels culture surrounding "urban settings" -- from BET to Ebony magazine -- are guilty of showing "pop artists that are black and rap artists that are black more than they would show a country artist that's black."
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"I don't think it's anything to do with the media, I just think that we have to be more accepting of country music in the black market," he told reporters. "And so with me playing and singing, they say, 'Well you did a Rhianna song.' Well, I did a Rhianna song because these black kids that are in these urban settings, that is what they relate to."
Anderson said that "once I get in with the 'Umbrella,' I can introduce them to Waylon Jennings," and he thinks the African American culture will be better for it.
"I think that there's so much that country music can give to African Americans and that we can learn from, because it's about storytelling," he said. "And when you look at gospel music and how it has strengthened us from slavery up until now, country music can do the same thing."
In addition, Anderson reiterated a statement he made after his Nashville Star ouster that gospel music is something that's important in his life.
"I sing in churches and that's what I've been doing and I do that and I do country music and so it's kind of neat," he told reporters.
"It's kind of a good combination, similar to what Amy Grant, what Randy Travis has done, you know, what Josh Turner does, as well. Either way I'm still going to keep singing in the church and I think we have room for family-friendly artists. You know, every song doesn't have to be about drinking and about this and that and there's a lot of people that enjoy music, you know, from the grandmas to the kids. Everybody can come to my show and have a good time."
Most importantly, Anderson said he's trying to be a good role model for his 5-year-old daughter Savannah, whom he fathered when he and his ex-wife were still married.
"I think she's the best thing that's ever happened to me," he told reporters. "Being able to go to L.A., she wanted to get on stage so I actually pulled her up on stage at the concert with me and the crowd was chanting her name and she just smiled and we thanked the church for their support of me and how they've backed me and Savannah as a father and daughter."
In addition, Anderson credited Nashville Star for helping his career, which in turn will help him provide for Savannah.
"It really saved my career and it got me off the street hustling for Savannah," he said. "It put me in this type of setting so to be able to give the type of lifestyle that she deserves."
Anderson said he has already appeared in a few commercials and wouldn't be opposed to making the crossover from country musician to actor.
"It's about branding on an entertainment level. You look at Jennifer Lopez, she did great in music but she does really good in movies. One of my people that have really influenced my life is Will Smith and look at him and what he's done in music and then he went to movies and television, as well," he explained.
"So it's about doing all of them. My mother was a drama teacher and also did music, as well. So I'm just combining what she taught me and what I have in me and I want to give myself the chance to succeed in all fronts. I think that as you live you have to maximize your potential on every level. I don't think you should be just this one-trick-pony."