Casey James has been using Twitter since June to communicate with his many fans from around the globe. Today he tweeted that he was about to reach his 1,000th tweet and wanted to make it special. And he did. He tweeted “I will be working with Sony Nashville!!! Not sure the exact specifics, but there will be an official press release soon. Unreal. :) “A call placed this afternoon to Sony Nashville could not confirm this, as the news is not “officially” an announcement. It is, in effect, a pre-announcement announcement. But it was more than enough to get his devoted Twitter followers to re-tweet his message and send hundreds of congratulatory tweets.
Finishing American Idol in the Top Ten, even the Top Three, is not a guarantee of a record contract. Even more so this year that Sony Music has severed its nine-year relationship with American Idol. As reported earlier, Universal Music Group will have the exclusive rights to the American Idol contestants starting with Season 10. But this change-over put the fate of the unsigned contestants from Season 9 in some question.
At least with respect to Casey James, that question appears to have been put to rest. And it makes sense With most contestants of the Fox talent show, their biggest selling point is the fact that they were on our TV screens for weeks. Many, if not most, would not have been signed had they not be able to append “from American Idol” to their name. But, like Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry, Casey James is marketable and valuable even without the American Idol tie in.
Casey James is a workhorse of a musician who has played every type of music in every type of venue for over a decade. He is versatile, sounding as convincing singing tender ballads as rollicking, rocking songs. He has sung country, rock, blues, and pop and can fit in with each genre — as he showed during Idol going from impressing Shania Twain to Usher to Bret Michaels. He’s a phenom with the guitar and a dynamic performer on stage. He is a dream for a company to work with as his motto, from Day One, has been “I willing to do whatever I have to do.” He is no prima donna with outrageous demands, he’s just a true musician who only needs his guitars to be happy.
The fact that Sony still has faith in him, now that it no longer cares about the American Idol name, speaks volumes about their confidence in him to be a successful recording artist. This confidence is well-placed. Casey will likely be as lucrative a signing for them as Carrie was — maybe even more. With his Texas charm and good looks, the merchandising alone should be enough to buy Sony a new wing to their corporate headquarters.
American Idol has been maligned by some as a silly show that gives people a shortcut to fame. But when you hear the real story of one of its success stories like Casey James you know that’s not true. He’s been playing and singing for over a decade, had to relearn how to play the guitar after a serious motorcycle accident, and has never given up on his dream of becoming a full-time working musician. That’s all he’s ever wanted to be, that’s all he’s ever been. And now, after ten years, he’s taken this “short cut” to success. Instead of Casey James, journeyman musician, he’s now, Casey James, Sony recording artist.