Clay Aiken Spills the Beans About Upcoming Album
Posted February 27, 2008 7:07 a.m. EST
Updated February 28, 2008 7:57 a.m. EST
NEW YORK — Raleigh native Clay Aiken is a busy man these days, performing at night on Broadway as Sir Robin in "Monty Python's Spamalot" and working on his upcoming studio album during the day.
It's been five years since Aiken put together an original album, or one that is, he says, at least 95 percent original.
"Some of it is, you know, a kind of half-way version of original," he said. "But it's all stuff that I'd imagine 90 percent of people have not heard."
The songs had to meet two qualifications.
"They have to be something I'll enjoy and that I can do well," Aiken said. "And at the same time, they have to kind of fit into this common theme of 'On my way here.'"
"On My Way Here" is one of the tracks and might end up being the album title.
Aiken was working on that song and another the day he invited WRAL's Lynda Loveland to the recording studio. The second is called "Ashes".
"Someone told me (that) what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger," he said. "(The song) talks about bad things that might happen to you. You know, there's been some stuff that's happened in the last five years that I would rather have not happened, but you learn from things like that."
For the first time, Aiken's album, which he hopes will be released sometime after May, is being produced by one person. He kept that person secret, until now.
Known only as Kipper, he is from the United Kingdom and might be best known for producing a Grammy award-winning album for Sting.
"We wanted to find someone who had a great reputation and had done stuff in the past that was kind of edgy and current," Aiken said.
Kipper is coming up with a new sound for Aiken and even wrote a song for him that's got a bit of an R&B vibe to it.
"We've captured some really great moments," Kipper said. "I'm very optimistic we're going to have a record where people will go, 'Is that Clay? Is that Clay Aiken?"
Aiken also hopes to include a song he's penned with producer David Foster, "Lover All Alone," which was available as an iTunes bonus track on a previous album.
"It was my first attempt at writing anything, and David Foster wrote the melody," Aiken said. "He said, 'Take it home and write some lyrics.'"
It was seven months later, however, when Aiken was inspired.
"And then one day, I was sitting in Los Angeles, and all of a sudden, I had this idea, and I wrote it in, maybe, 15 minutes," he said.