IdolInterviews: Brian Lam [Season 7 Hollywood Hopeful]

Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 by MiKey in Labels: ,

IP: I know it’s been awhile since you’ve had to talk about your idol experience but can you tell me about what the audition process was like for you? I know each time I’ve gone to the “Cattle Call” audition it’s filled with over the top divas, people that like to scring (which is my combination of scream+sing) –lol, the gimmicks etc…

BL: Well, each time I have auditioned which has been Seasons 3,5,6,7 (made it to Hollywood),9 (made it past the first cattle call round), and this current one season 10 (made it past the first cattle call round) I have seen exactly what you just described above. There were so many people there that were over the top, “scring – ing” as you called it and the “jokes” as I like to call them. But I remember when I made it on season 7; I actually auditioned in San Diego at the cattle call and got cut. I was determined to not take no for an answer. So my best friend, Michelle Monica, and I flew to Atlanta, Georgia as my family is in Augusta GA and we both decided to give it our best shot. American Idol actually brought the two of us together my very first year in Atlanta when I was only 16 years old. It seemed very profound that she and I were returning to the exact stadium and almost same exact seats where we originally met but years upon years later. I remember being so very tired and being at the end of the line didn’t help a bit either. I was almost coming so close to just throwing in the towel as almost 90% of the 12,500 people who were there were being turned away. And from the looks of things the cattle call producers weren’t really letting anyone through throughout the later part of the day. At this point I had become a veteran at auditioning for American Idol. I knew not to over sing in the stadium (which many of the singers do and unfortunately lose their voices). I used to pay close attention to how others were singing and if they were singing my song, but I found out quickly that it should be ME and my version they see singing, not someone else or someone else's version. Michelle and I were literally like 200 people away from the end of the line and then it was our turn. As I walked into the grass of the GA dome I was processing all that I had seen and heard that day. There were so many voices, so loud I could barely hear myself think. I literally had my iPod on and just drowned out the noise. Throughout the entire day I could see people comparing themselves to others, but what really made all the difference in my audition is that I acknowledged and believed and still do believe that God really has given each of us a unique voice and gift. I view singing like my thumbprint. There will never be another identical one to that thumbprint, meaning in singing terms that there is no one that can do exactly what I can do and vice-versa and that paid off as Michelle and I became 2 out of 19 that ended up making it to Hollywood that season from Atlanta. There were definitely people there that were better singers than me for sure. But for me, I look at that point in my life at being exactly where God intended me to be.

IP: How did you remain focused through the process? From what I remember of Season 7 you got very little airtime what do you think we would have seen as a viewing audience if you had gotten more time to showcase your talent?

BL: You would have seen Michelle and me together a lot. She is my best friend. We both were glued to each other’s hip throughout Hollywood week. You would have seen us rehearsing together, giving feed back to one another. Ryan also was brought in behind the Hollywood stage to talk to me and Michelle as he does with some of the contestants. I was in such a zone that I remember him turning to Michelle and acknowledged to her that it seemed like a completely different dynamic between her and I as we both were just in our zones. (The last time he saw us was in Atlanta and our nerves were peaking and tears were coming out, tears of joy, so much that even when we busted out the door with our gold tickets, Ryan even said that he was getting choked up.) I sang Nat King Cole’s Smile for the judges in Hollywood week and got good feedback from what I felt. They all agreed that I was better than my Atlanta audition but they wanted to see me back the next day for “Save Your Life Day”. I sang Edwin McCain’s I’ll Be, which is on my YouTube Channel [here] but is not from the taping at American Idol that recording is one from another singing competition I was in after Idol but nonetheless it was the same version of how I sang it in Hollywood before Simon, Paula and Randy.

IP: What is your most notable memory of the audition process?

BL: That’s a hard one to answer, I mean, having my entire family with Michelle’s all in Atlanta waiting outside the door as we were singing for the judges and getting my golden ticket to Hollywood will forever go down as one of the Happiest memories in my life thus far. Such accomplishment, and to be able to celebrate it with my best friend, someone that God has blessed me with, Michelle Monica, and her making as well made it even better. I would also say that singing for the judges in Hollywood was another great memory, actually right before they called my name to come out on stage, I felt such peace. One of the most intense feelings I have ever felt. So those 3 would take the cake for sure.

IP: From just talking with other past contestants there are some that still stay in contact, do you still keep in contact with anyone you met throughout the audition process?

I do actually. Obviously Michelle Monica (my best friend and sister I never had) Brittany Starr James who made it to the top 50 of Season 9 and who Michelle and I originally met in Atlanta when we made it on season 7, Brooke Helvie aka Brooke Eden who was on our season as well, auditioned in Atlanta and made it with us to Hollywood.

IP: So I checked out your Official Site [] and your MySpace Music page [] you are crazy talented.

BL: Thank you so SO much. That means the world to me. Truly it really does. It makes me happy that you like my music as it is something I have devoted so much of myself to. I live and breathe it every day.

IP: Love the vocals on My Embrace and The Way I Am. Definitely like the acoustic singer-song writer vibe you have going on. The song called Lullaby is filled with such emotion it makes me wish that you made it further in the season 7 competition so the public could hear you sing. So with that’s said, do you have a favorite genre to sing/perform?

BL: Lullaby was such a blessing to me. I had a dream one night that I was in a swamp on an old row boat with a bunch of swans around me in the water. The sun had just set and the fireflies had just come out. I woke up and wrote the song and was finished within about 15 minutes. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before quite so quickly that is when writing songs. My Favorite genre to perform is the acoustic/pop/singer/songwriter stuff. The songs that are all sappy and full of tears. Those kinds of feelings usually get the creative juices flowing in my brain really quick. Almost like I don’t even think about writing a song and then after some time is spent with me on the piano just singing literally my feelings and thoughts a song is born.

IP: As an artist who do you look up to and how have they inspired your craft?

BL: I definitely look up to Gavin DeGraw as he just isn’t afraid of being perfect when he sings, he lets these sound just flow out and the really resonate within me. I also really like Rascal Flatts. Being born and raised in Georgia, country music and the church choir was where I learned it all. I love the stories Rascal Flatts tell in their songs and still keep it catchy and sincere all at the same time.

IP: Within the next couple months what can your current and potential fans expect from you?

BL: Well I have got one of my songs If I Fall from my first album My Embrace (currently available on iTunes, Amazon, and CD baby) placed in an independent feature film called “Judas Kiss” where my song plays a pivotal role in film involving all of the characters. I can’t say exactly how it’s being used as I don’t want to spoil the fun, but when I was approached about this project I was 100% behind it as the idea was really really cool, something that you don’t see in a lot of movies right now. I am working on a new album at the moment and compiling a list of songs every day that I feel will make the cut. I will also be performing out around Los Angeles to share my new material with everyday people so I can get a good read on how like able the song is. I have a few exciting auditions on the table for the near future so I guess we will see as time unfolds what God has in store for me. I am also in the pre-production stages of a music video for If I Fall.

IP: Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers/followers here at IdolPhenomena?

I would love to just say thank you to everyone who has extended support, prayers and kind words my way. I truly believe that each of us have a purpose in this world and I appreciate greatly everyone who has been a part of mine, being able to make music and share it. I guess ultimately I would say that I am still trying every day to “make it” out here in LA. My Faith and Music are what keep me going. So many people never know what they are capable of achieving because they have never tried. I was told no so many times with American Idol but finally made it to Hollywood. Never give up. Seriously never give up. All it takes is one yes in a sea of 1000 no’s to change your life.

For those of you that would like to follow Brian and see what Brian is up to here are some links I suggest you Check out....
Music MySpace] [Facebook] [Twitter] [YouTube][Official Site]

The following is one of my personal favs on Brian's YouTube Channel is his cover of Lady Gaga's Poker Face.