Credit: The X Factor USA Photo: Josh Krajcik in a Holiday Scarf

After Melanie Amaro won the very first X Factor, millions of fans were left wondering what would happen to her runner-up Josh Krajcik. Well, no need to worry. Josh tells Wetpaint Entertainment that he has landed a record deal with Phonogenic Records, under Sony Music Entertainment, where he’s currently writing songs with Steve Kipner, Andrew Frampton and Julian Bunetta, the team behind some of Natasha Beddingfield’s hits.

We got a chance to chat with Josh about life after The X Factor, what we can expect from his new album and when he thinks it will be ready for release.

Wetpaint Entertainment: The X Factor ended on December 21. The next few weeks must have been very anticlimactic.

Josh Krajcik: Yeah. The industry pretty much shuts down, so it was a big different to go from “go, go, go” to nothing. To be honest, it was a little weird for me. I felt restless. So it was good to get back to work after the New Year.

What are you doing right now?

I've been doing a lot of writing. I've been meeting with a lot of different writers in LA. And I went to the UK and did some writing there, had some meetings with Sony. I’m just trying to amass the right kind of material to make a great record.

You’ve landed with Phonogenic Records. Is the record deal pretty much what's at the end of the rainbow for an aspiring musician?

Well, it’s the beginning of the end of the rainbow. You know what I mean? It's a means to be able to attain the ultimate dream. When you get the record deal, it's easy to say you've made it, but you have to work hard. So it's a great vehicle for me to show the world what I’m really capable of.

Are you able to look back at the whole X Factor experience and make more sense of it at this point?

Yeah. Some of it, no. I'd say overall, it was the best thing I've ever done. And there were moments that were not fun at the time, but are now happy memories.

Like what?

Like the ensemble numbers. I hated them, but looking back now, it’s kind of a bittersweet memory.

Come on, you were a choreography pro the way you tapped your leg.

I was the choreographers’ muse, for sure. (Laughs) They knew that I could pull off any moves that they threw my way. No, it was embarrassing, some of those. What was embarrassing about it was the rest of them could really move pretty well. And then you’d pan over to me, and I just don't ‑‑ I don't move. So, it was slightly embarrassing, but looking back on it, it was fun in hindsight.

What was it like for you to sing Rihanna songs?

Well, when dance week came around, I was like, really? What am I supposed to do? So I pushed to do the Rihanna song. I was like, “Well, if it's dance week, then I'm going to pick the number one dance track in the country right now.” I just wanted to change it up enough to make it seem not so out of place. And I think looking back on it, I'm proud of what I pulled off there. But I have not been rehearsing that song lately, no.

Are there plans for you to reunite with your band?

I would love to have that happen. It's just a question of getting all the pieces in order, and hopefully, we can make that happen. There's just a lot of logistics to it, but those guys are busy too with their own thing. We did have a little jam session. It was a lot of fun.

What can we expect from the album?

I'm just trying to put out an honest, soulful record, and so far the songs that I've been working on are on the right track. I think that people will like it because when you're just real with yourself, you don't try to be somebody you're not, I think it just comes across as more relatable. So I just want that to come across in the music, and I think it will.


Have you written music with people before?

A few times. Mostly I've written by myself. So it's been kind of a new experience, but I'm enjoying it a lot. It's good to have people there to kind of help guide your mess of thoughts and focus. Each one's really enjoyable to work with in their own way.

When do you think we'll see an album?

Well, I'd like to get it out by the end of the year. I think by Christmas time is my goal. Again, I want to be patient with it. It's got to be right when it comes up. So I'm trying to kind of keep it lax on the dates, in and out by Christmas would be perfect. If you rush it too much, you could sacrifice some quality to the product. I just want it to be right. I want it to be honest. I want it to be great. I want people to love it. Sometimes that takes time, at least for me.

What would you say to the people auditioning for X Factor now?

I would say be ready to be tired, don’t expect much comfort or rest. But I would also say just be yourself and be unpredictable. Don't sing the song that you're hearing everybody else singing. Pick something that represents who you would be as your own artists. That being said, Simon heard “At Last” probably like a gazillion times before I sang it, so I don't know if that advice is fully worth it. But I think they just need to prepare to be themselves and be tired.

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