Chikezie knew he could be eliminated, so he picked a song for Top 10 week he’d be proud to go out on. He has no regrets. Besides, it’s not goodbye. He’ll get to see “Cookie” and “Archie” on tour this summer!
- Was he surprised to be eliminated? “I knew I was in the bottom three. I knew I was going home. And that was OK with me. I followed my heart and knew throughout the entire competition that eventually I’d have to go home. So I was fine that it was at a point when I would be able to come back and do a tour.”
- What he was thinking during the results show, “I was glad that none of the other guys had to go. That’s probably the hardest part of the show, to say goodbye to your friends. And things couldn’t have gone better. I didn’t have to say goodbye to anyone, and honestly no one has to say goodbye to me, because you’ll be seeing me more.”
- Does he regret his song choice? “No, I’m very happy. If I got another chance to do it, I’d do it the exact same way, because that’s the only way that I could have gone home happy ‘ by following my heart. If I did something that wasn’t me, and then I’d gone home, I would have been so upset that I didn’t follow my heart. I would have been so upset and so distraught about it, but I’m so glad I did what I did.”
More after the Jump…
- About Simon’s reaction to his performance, “It’s kind of like running on a diving board. You know the diving board is eventually going to end, so you run even faster, you know? That’s the way I looked at it. … I knew that Simon would not like it, so it took a lot of the pressure off. I didn’t have that to worry about. [I was] just performing for the sake of performing, which is what I love to do.
- His second song choice for birth year, “Stevie Ray Vaughan’s ”Look at Little Sister.” It’s a great song. I’m not going to say it’s a bad song. But I’m no Stevie Ray Vaughan. I can’t pick up the guitar and jam out to it. I’d be stuck just singing the lyrics.”
- How did he pick his songs? “I would listen to a song, and first off would see if I could change a song. If I felt it had space for change ‘ because you have so many songs that are just so complete and so established that you feel you can’t even touch them ‘ but you have some that are insecure, like they didn’t get the fame like the other ones, and you think, ‘Oh, maybe I could do this or that.’ If I see that potential, then I’ll go for that. If it’s a complete song, you can’t touch that. And I have to make the most of it, so it has to touch me first.”
- Arranging songs with the band, “In most cases you give the idea to Ricky. He’s a genius and he can figure out what’s going on. With ”She’s a Woman” I said I needed a banjo and a fiddler, not a violinist. I gained a lot of inspiration from the fact that when Paul McCartney sang it, he said he was trying to channel Little Richard, but it ended up sounding like bluegrass to me.”
- What song did he pick out for Dolly Parton week? “”9 to 5.” I was pretty excited because…well, there’s no point in saying it now, but I was going to do something a little different. I was going to change up the arrangement like crazy and turn it into some rock/soul thing. It would have been insane…It would have been more like if Gnarls Barkley did it.”
- His best friend in the cast, “My boy, David Hernandez. We started this off together. We met in line in San Diego and we’ve been together throughout this whole thing.”
- What kind of music would he like to record? “I love the idea of fusion. I love the idea of bringing together several different styles to make something new, make something fresh, make something people have never heard before. Gnarls Barkley was willing to take risks with music, and they ended up on top because they were really dedicated to it.”
- Chikezie in 10 years, “In 10 years, I would like to see myself getting at least one Grammy. That’s for starters! [Laughs.] I really want to get started with my singing career and get to work with that. Start making albums, start making music that ultimately makes others feel good so that I feel good. Also, acting. I mean, who knows? Why not? I want to try everything. I’m the type of person that I like to see what I can do. I want to know what my boundaries are. I’m always testing myself to see what I can accomplish.