When it comes to finding the right words, David Cook likes to let his music do the talking for him.
“One of the things I really love about playing music is being able to connect with people,” the 31-year-old singer-songwriter said. “It’s not always the easiest thing to just talk to somebody and make a connection and interact. Music kind of bridges that gap for me.”Cook, whose career was kick-started by winning the seventh season of “American Idol,” said he pulls inspiration from all parts of his life — everything from past experiences to the newspaper — when it comes to writing songs. Reflecting on past work he said: “I try to just absorb more and find inspiration in the peripherals.”
When asked about his favorite song he’d written, Cook found it difficult to choose:
“Man, it depends on which way the wind’s blowing,” he said. “Each of these songs, they come from a moment where you get excited or you get inspired. You’re inherently connected emotionally to these songs.
“Maybe I can tell you [my favorite song] on stage that day,” he joked.
Only a week after winning “Idol,” Cook’s first single, “The Time of My Life,” debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. That song and 10 of his singles were listed on the chart, breaking the previous record of six singles held by pop singer Miley Cyrus. It was the highest number of songs by a single artist since the start of the Nielsen SoundScan era, which began in 1991.
In 2008, he released his first studio album, the self-titled David Cook, that featured the hits “Light On,” which reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, and “Come Back to Me.”
Following his Declaration Tour, Cook began working on his second disc, This Loud Morning, which was released in 2011.
One year later, Cook announced his contract with RCA Records, which officially ended after his second album, was not going to be renewed.
Since then, the artist has put out several self-produced singles, including “Last Song I’ll Every Write for You” and “Lay Me Low.”
“It’s been really exciting to have more creative control and more freedom to push myself as an artist,” he said.
Cook is working on a new record without a label, but said that’s fine with him.
“I’m not married to the idea of needing [a record label],” he said. “With social media and technology available, it’s more viable to make that connection on your own. My fans so far, six years in, have been incredible and really been loyal. If I can maintain that relationship without a middle man it might be of more benefit.”
Many of the fans Cook is referring to are the same ones that cheered him on during his “American Idol” journey. When asked about his reality show experience, Cook said he had to completely rewire himself to adjust to his newfound fame.
“To go from acoustic gigs for five people at a time to all of a sudden what kind of sandwich you eat for lunch is being overanalyzed by the media is kind of strange,” he said. “But my time on ‘Idol,’ overall, I’d have to say was fantastic.”
Cook will appear at this year’s UT Music Fest Friday, Aug. 29. The free, public event will start at 3 p.m. at the concert’s new location in the Rocket Hall parking lot. He is scheduled to take the stage at 8 p.m.