Josh Krajcik is a romantic through and through.
Asked what inspired his new song "One Thing She'll Never Know,” which the X Factor season one runner-up performed on Thursday’s elimination show, the 31-year-old Wooster, Ohio native says, quite simply: love.
“I always remember being a child and feeling that first moment of love,” he told The Hollywood Reporter after the show. The song, which featured a lush string ensemble to accompany and compliment Krajcik’s soulful vocals, is from his just-released EP -- a four-song collection that serves as “a nice little taste” of what’s to come from a full-length, due out next year via publishing giant BMG. Consider it an amuse-bouche, of sorts.
“Creatively, this year has been amazing,” Krajcik added. “I've worked with some great producers” -- among them: ‘Eg’ White (Adele, Florence +The Machine), Julian Bennetta (Leona Lewis), Andrew Frampton (Natasha Beddingfield, The Script), Steve Kipner (Christina Aguilera, 98 Degrees) and Steve Robson (Rascal Flatts, Take That) -- “and everybody got my vision. We got to the place I wanted to be and I'm really excited about it.”
That place is one of authenticity, Krajcik continued: “The thing that's really important for me is that the music's got to feel real. I have to talk about things that I don't necessarily know about, but I feel. I like to write from an emotional standpoint -- less of a storyteller.”
Speaking of the visceral, how did it feel to be back on the stage that made him a household name (albeit, one that’s difficult to spell)? “It was great to see Simon [Cowell] and L.A. [Reid] with their little smiles and Demi [Lovato] and Britney [Spears] are beautiful,” said Krajcik (his season one mentor, Nicole Scherzinger, has moved on to judge X Factor UK). “It was really fun and also kind of a surreal in the sense that it was like a time warp. But it was different this time because it was less of a pressure cooker. I just got to go out there and do my thing.” In fact, Krajcik added, he would have welcomed feedback on his performance.
As for the season two finalists, some of whom (certainly Vino Alan) were likely inspired by Krajcik’s own ascent to the No. 2 spot. “They're all very talented and, in a sense I have empathy for them, since I've been there,” he said. “I think I like Tate [Stevens]. I kind of relate to him in the sense that he's a dad and a work-every-day kind of man.”
Kracjik met Tate and Vino backstage on Thursday, and said they were both “really nice and cool.” And while the latter was later eliminated, Krajcik sees a thriving career ahead, “If he gets in a kick-ass rock band.”
His advice for any and all contestants comes by way of Krajcik's own experience and hard-earned wisdom, and it goes a little something like this: “Remember, it's not just about winning this show. It's about everything that you do afterwards. The goal isn't to win. The goal is to have an amazing career.”
Spoken like a true pro.