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Interview: Backstage with American Idol’s Stefano Langone

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Before the Top 11 contestants from the tenth season of American Idol took the stage at the HP Pavilion in San Jose on July 13, I had the opportunity to sit down for a one-on-one interview with Washington native, Stefano Langone.

Langone and I talked about the current tour, his post-tour plans, and his advice for the American Idol season 11 hopefuls.

How has the tour been going so far?

The tour’s been going great. We’re getting some great reviews. Just trying to establish myself as one of the top-notch performers. Everything’s been working out.

So you tried out for Idol initially in San Francisco, and now you’re performing tonight in the Bay Area, how does it feel to kind of come full circle?

All of my family’s from the Bay Area. I’m really, really pumped to perform tonight. There’s going to be a lot of Langones in the house.

Stefano Langone live in Oakland, CA - credit: Karen DatangelWhat has been the most fulfilling part of the tour so far for you?

Just getting to see the crowd’s reaction, and getting to see the fans after the show. My goal really is to make a name for myself, and really show people who they voted for and just making more fans, you know? Creating a buzz and making sure I establish what I want to do after the show. Unfortunately I didn’t get to pick the songs that I wanted to do, and I didn’t get to perform in the way I wanted to, but I’m taking what I’ve got and I’m making the best of it. I’m going out there and giving great performances and that’s number one.

Having to perform the same set every night on tour, how do you stay amped for each show?

It’s the crowd. The crowd keeps you hyped up; you can always count on that. You can’t get sucked into the, “Ugh, I’m doing this again.” You can’t get sucked into it; you’ve got to realize what you’re doing it for and why you’re here. It’s about the music and about your performances.

After the tour wraps up in September, what’s next for you?

It’s all about who you know. It’s about making real music. It’s all about the music for me. Keep on writing, collaborating, and make a real good album. I’ve made some great connections. I was one of the only Idols that stayed in L.A. to work. I’ve been workin’, and workin’, and workin’, and it’s been paying off. It’s about making that album, and getting a good sound out.

So after all that’s said and done, is the soulful pop sound the direction you want to take your music in?

Exactly.

Switching over to the show, what was something you weren’t expecting while you were on Idol this season?

You know what? I didn’t expect anything. I was a dreamer a year ago. I just had dreams and aspirations. There was nothing that I expected. I had no expectations, and a year ago from then I’m on a national tour. It’s unbelievable. From going to an apartment with no cable, no internet, sitting at my piano writing songs to going all over the country; it’s pretty amazing. I’m just blessed to be here.

Which one of your performances from this past season was your favorite?

Probably my very, very last performance on the show. I also enjoyed doing the Prince thing on the finale. That was fun.

What did you think about the judges feedback for you each week?

Each and every judge, they’re real American Idols, so I listened to what they had to say always. From a singing competition [standpoint], I kind of was upset. Sometimes it didn’t feel like it was about singing. There were weeks where I went in and I thought I had sang the song perfectly, but it wasn’t up to par in their eyes. Everything is subjective; the only unfortunate thing is that the American public is going to listen to what they say, and not what their hearts says. It’s tough, and it is what it is. I learned a lot on that show, and I’m sure to use what I learned to take it to the next level.

It seemed like the theme weeks kind of threw some of the contestants for a loop this season. Did you feel the theme weeks detracted from showing what kind of artist you are to the audience?

It wasn’t necessarilyy the theme weeks; it was the fact that you didn’t always really get to pick the song you sang. You didn’t. It was about 50/50. And there were Stefano Langone live in Oakland, CA - credit: Karen Datangelmany weeks I went in thinking a song that I didn’t get to sing. Or singing a song that I didn’t even know. It is what it is.

It’s all good now! You’re on tour!

I am on tour.

Is there a producer from the show that you might want to work with on your own album?

Oh yeah, there’s a few. I worked with one of the hottest record labels in the world right now, Interscope. I made some great connections, got some contacts, and I’m in touch with a lot of these guys. And that’s number one – timing and who you know. I’m lucky to have that and be able to work with them.

Last question: What advice do you have for the season 11 Idol hopefuls?

Stay confident, and be confident with what you have and what God gave you.

 

You can catch Stefano Langone along with the rest of the American Idol season 10 Top 11 in a city near you. Check out the official tour website for more information.

Photo credits: Karen Datangel


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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed a variety of people from across the entertainment spectrum, including singer-songwriter/Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, Andrew Dost from the Grammy Award-winning band fun., singer-songwriter Christina Perri, and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance.