Here's another article/interview about our main man:
SunJournal.com - On tour, reigning 'Idol' champ is balancing the Fox franchise
By Sean Piccoli , South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Sunday, March 4, 2007 PHOTO GALLERY
At the moment, the reigning "American Idol" isn't ruler of the charts. Taylor Hicks' self-titled debut has slid down Billboard magazine's Top 200 albums list, to No. 87 after nine weeks in stores.
First efforts by a pair of Hicks' runner-ups, rock singer Chris Daughtry (No. 3, 12 weeks) and pop singer Katharine McPhee (No. 11, 2 weeks), are selling more briskly. Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts" (No. 19, 65 weeks) continues to fly off shelves, and Underwood preceded Hicks as the people's choice on the mother of all TV sing-offs.
So has Hicks' career gone as prematurely gray as his hair? Not according to the Birmingham, Ala., native. In an interview, Hicks said that to measure him against, say, Daughtry or Underwood is a case of apples and oranges.
"You know, it's funny: People want to try and compare us, and that's hard to do because I'm not singing rock and I'm not singing country," he said. "So to compare us - I find that interesting because we're in different genres."
Hicks said "interesting" with a droll air that suggested what he meant was "inappropriate" or "misinformed."
"If I was a rocker, I could see that (comparison)," he said. "But I'm a blue-eyed soul performer."
Hicks, 30, came to "American Idol" with more experience than most: He had already sung in clubs, opened for stars and put out independent albums. He was anything but an amateur. "Idol" gave a hard-working regional performer the kind of national name recognition that a candidate for president covets, and Hicks opened his campaign for life after television on a high note: "Taylor Hicks" (Arista/19) bowed at No. 2 in December.
Whatever the size of the audience for his brand of contemporary blue-eyed soul, Hicks called the album "definitely a step in the right direction," adding, "I worked very closely with that producer to capture who I am as an artist and who I was as an "American Idol."'
Taylor Hicks was produced by Matt Serletic, known for his studio work with rock acts including matchbox twenty, Collective Soul and Carlos Santana.
The album and the artist haven't disappeared from view. Hicks is on a U.S. tour underwritten by a major label and a high-profile management company. He just served as grand marshal for one of the Mardi Gras krewes in New Orleans and played a private gala at the Superdome. (Talking by telephone from New Orleans, he called the post-Katrina signs of life there "promising.")
But considering his success on a phenomenally popular television show, and considering the general scale of "Idol" stardom, Hicks' debut feels like it's come up short. The question is what that slippage in the rankings means for his prospects.
Hicks sees himself at the beginning of the curve, not the end. "You have to start out small and work your way towards a bigger goal," he said, "and that's what I am doing right now, playing the musical theaters and clubs all across the country. It's better to start out small."
He described his obligations as twofold: He's out there representing himself and the franchise that made him famous: "You have to work both ways, as an artist and as an "American Idol,"' he said.
At the moment he is more focused on the artistry. "You really have to work towards being ... your own voice and your own singer, and that's what I've done," he said. "My thinking right now is that I've done 2½-minute TV segments for the last six or seven months, whereas prior to the "American Idol' experience I was performing four hours a night. And that's something I look forward to getting back to."
Hicks said the live show is a mix of new songs, covers and material that he wrote and recorded before "American Idol." He called touring a "rekindling of the artist and the creative process, and it's my job to go out and perform the music that I wrote."
He joked about the boost his tour budget has gotten from "Idol": "It's interesting to compare minivan gas prices to tour bus gas prices." He also said he is keeping tabs on the show as it goes about picking his successor.
"I'm enjoying being a viewer this season," he said.