Since winning the 10th season of “American Idol” two years ago, Scotty McCreery still feels a rush seeing someone else win the crown.
Calling last Friday before a concert in Indiana, the day after a visit to Los Angeles, where he saw Candice Glover of St. Helena Island edge out Kree Harrison for the Season 12 title, McCreery couldn’t help reliving his moment.
“It was definitely bringing back memories of being there,” he said, complimentary of both finalists and grateful to meet and catch up with other contestants from his season on the Fox-TV series.
McCreery brought up the energy spanning a few seconds of “just being on stage at the last moment,” before one of the two is accorded the title, as he and Lauren Alaina experienced.
When the words “And the winner is” are uttered, he said, “you feel like it takes 30 minutes just to say the winner.”
McCreery brings his “Weekend Road Trip Tour” to House of Blues at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
Excited about his new single out, “See You Tonight,” the Interscope Records artist said it’s one of 12 out of about 17 songs he expects to make up his third album.
“It’s looking like it’s going to be out in late September or early October,” McCreery said. “I’m just working hard on that right now.”
Promoting a new record, “it’s like starting fresh from the radio side of things,” he said.
His debut CD, “Clear As Day,” from 2011, included singles “I Love You This Big” and “The Trouble with Girls,” and he released a Christmas collection last year. He also has garnered such honors as New Artist of the Year at the 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards.
The native of Garner, N.C., in suburban Raleigh, described how vocal training, practice and performance as a working, academic-driven teen laid the groundwork for his focus on everything he pursues.
“That foundation is huge,” he said. “It definitely helped me throughout my childhood.”
McCreery said growing up and getting accustomed to performing for audiences groomed him, yet, “It’s really tough going from playing for nobody to 20 million people a night.”
Mound’s a stage
He spent many games on the mound during high school, and his faith and fortitude helped with that pressure as well, especially when giving up runs to the other team.
“Baseball and pitching equate to being on the stage and being in front of people,” he said. “When you’re in there pitching, you’re the guy in the spotlight, controlling the speed of the game.”
Although he hung up his glove from competitive play, McCreery continues his studies at N.C. State University for a major in communication, “with a focus on the media side.” Besides rooting for the Wolfpack, he follows the Boston Red Sox, because his father grew up in New England.
McCreery still likes to throw for fun, for a breather “now and then” from his “full-time career” underway in music, and he said he spent spring break last year in Myrtle Beach.
With an ice rink in his hometown, and others across Greater Raleigh, McCreery said skating provided a great “hangout spot back in the day.”
“I was never good at it,” he said, “but I’m always good for a few falls and bruises.”
Reacting to remarks about being a role model for youth, McCreery said, “That’s very flattering and very great to hear.”
It’s as routine as being himself, “to influence people’s lives positively,” he said, in contrast to “a crazy mess” the entertainment field can flash at times.
“That’s not me,” McCreery said. “I’m just trying to go out and sing some good music.”