Checking in on the Idol alum turned country princess
Since becoming a finalist on American Idol, Kellie Pickler has carved out a successful career as a country singer, releasing three albums and hitting the charts with singles like “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Best Days of Your Life.” Pickler performs two shows this week at The Orleans and shared thoughts with Josh Bell on songwriting, the current state of Idol and life on the road.
Q: What’s your songwriting approach?
A: I just write about life. I’m not very good at just making up a song, but I can go sit down and write about my life. Everything that I write is real, and it comes from a part of my life, a story from my life, my childhood or where I am now. It’s just very personal for me. I don’t need to make anything up, because my life is a country song. My approach is just honesty.
Q: What do you look for in songwriting collaborators?
A: I just like writing with great writers. I think it’s important to surround yourself (with) people that are better than you, so you can learn and you can get better. So I like to write with people better than me.
Q: How is it writing with your husband?
A: Oh my gosh, it’s so great writing with Kyle (Jacobs). We don’t do it all the time, but he’s such a great writer, and he just knows me better than anyone. It’s really intimate, and it’s really a nice thing that we share so much of the same passions. He’s my best friend, so I love writing with him. There’s a song on this current album called “Mother’s Day,” and we wrote it on Mother’s Day two years ago, the year before we got married. It’s such a personal song, and it was really special that I got to write that particular song with him.
Q: Any thoughts on the feud between American Idol judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj?
A: I don’t even know what the whole ordeal is. I’ve heard people talk about how they don’t get along, but doesn’t that happen every year? There’s always some kind of controversy.
Q: Do you have any favorites in Vegas?
A: I never get to come to Vegas and be a tourist. I’ve never been able to come there and just have a night out … on this trip maybe I will be able to spend some time there and really get to go to a show and whatnot. I go to all these places, but I never really get to see anything. All I see is the venue. I sing, and I hop on a bus and I go to the next place. I’m not there long enough to do anything.