‘Amer­i­can Idol’ was just his be­gin­ning

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - By Al­li­son Stewart

Scary­pool­party had only been mak­ing mu­sic for a few years be­fore he ap­peared on the lat­est sea­son of “Amer­i­can Idol,” com­pet­ing un­der his real name, Ale­jan­dro Aranda.

The singer-song­writer, 25, was one of the only “Idol” fi­nal­ists to ever per­form songs he’d writ­ten him­self, which may be part of the rea­son he only came in sec­ond, and the judges were ful­some in their praise.

“I just feel like I’m in the pres­ence of great­ness,” said Luke Bryan.

Katy Perry asked if she could roadie for Aranda on his al­most in­stantly sold­out first head­lin­ing tour. Ste­vie Nicks said he made her cry (she wasn’t ac­tu­ally a judge, but still).

Af­ter “Idol,” things started hap­pen­ing quickly.

Aranda signed a deal with Hol­ly­wood Records and be­gan work on a de­but al­bum. He per­formed his first full-band show just a few months ago, at Lol­la­palooza. His home­town of Pomona, Cal­i­for­nia, where Aranda had re­cently toiled as a dish­washer, threw him a pa­rade. His friend Twin Shadow, who gave him an early break when he re­cruited Aranda for his tour­ing band, is now open­ing for him.

In a phone in­ter­view, Scary­pool­party broke down his al­most un­rec­og­niz­ably weird new life.

The fol­low­ing is an edited tran­script:

The show was “a good op­por­tu­nity for me to showcase my songs.”

Q: This feels fast. Does it feel fast to you?

A: Yeah, it feels ex­tremely fast. It feels kind of like a dream, in a sense.

Q: It must be a hard tran­si­tion, to be on the show and all these fa­mous judges are telling you how great you are and mil­lions of peo­ple are sup­port­ing you, and then the show ends and you’re just sort of cast out to fig­ure it out for your­self.

A: For me, it’s not re­ally a tran­si­tion. You’re just an artist. It mat­ters how you view your mu­sic and how you view your iden­tity.

It was a good op­por­tu­nity for me to showcase my songs, which they al­lowed me to (do). I’m still the same com­ing in and out. I don’t think I’ll ever change that men­tal­ity.

Q: Did “Idol” change how you ap­proach mak­ing mu­sic in any way?

A: Not re­ally. It kind of put me in this weird state where I wasn’t re­ally writ­ing songs be­cause you’re busy record­ing the show.

I wasn’t re­ally writ­ing, but I was try­ing to stay true to writ­ing ev­ery day, prac­tic­ing ev­ery day. It was ac­tu­ally kind of hard to be on that show and try to write mu­sic. Com­ing out of it was a breath of air.

Q: You’re do­ing some dates with Twin Shadow. You were re­cently work­ing for him.

A: We both have this re­la­tion­ship which is noth­ing but good­ness.

Oct. 27 birthdays: Ac­tor John Cleese is 80. Di­rec­tor Ivan Reit­man is 73. Au­thor Fran Le­bowitz is 69. Ac­tor-di­rec­tor Roberto Benigni is 67. Ac­tor Robert Pi­cardo is 66. Singer Si­mon LeBon is 61. Ac­tor Sean Hol­land is 51. TV per­son­al­ity Kelly Osbourne is 35.

AN­DREA EVENSON

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