A year ago this time, Casey James was about to embark on a journey he had little knowledge about and probably fewer expectations. He had made the top 24 of a hugely popular reality TV show that had launched many unknown artists to stardom. But, in interviews over the past year, he has said that he knew only that American Idol would be an opportunity for him to show what he could do and be seen by a bigger audience. He had no way of knowing just how dramatically it would change his life.
Today he has a record contract with BNA and is in Nashville working on his record where he has had the opportunity to write with some of his heroes. He has an official website, Facebook page, MySpace, iLike, YouTube and Twitter. He has attended awards shows. His every movement is tracked, his every utterance spreads like wildfire across the social media sites. A new picture of Casey elicits a reaction on a scale of a blurry image of Bigfoot. While his appearance in public does not yet reach Jonas Brothers’ levels of shriekdom, he can no longer go out unnoticed.
It must be a bit unsettling, especially for someone consistently described as humble — a good guy. But the dizzying changes of this year may pale in comparison to what 2011 could hold in store. The Casey James of 2010 — struggling yet talented Texas musician — will be the lead singer-guitarist of BNA recording artists Casey James Band in 2011. A new record, a concert tour, TV appearances all await.
Casey’s fans, some of whom pre-date American Idol, are waiting to unwrap the present that 2011 will provide. The vast majority became fans during American Idol, many more were added during the concert tour that followed, and others have come onboard as they learned of him through YouTube videos and plays on internet radio stations.
These fans, or I should say we fans, will fondly remember ’10 as the year where we each discovered Casey James. We went on the AI discussion forums and signed on for our Casey Crew number, or we started clubs, or Facebook sites, or blogs, or posted about him on message boards. We joined Twitter or Facebook for the sole purpose of spreading the word about Casey or meeting other fans or getting to ask him questions or read his tweets.
Even when there is no news, even when there are no tweets, we still keep him in our thoughts and continue to share his past performances. We rewatch old videos, reread old interviews, relisten to old songs. But we don’t just look back. We also look forward to the next year when he will reach an even wider audience with his music. When all of our faith and belief will be rewarded with new songs and new performances to enjoy. And when we can share this with our fellow fans, with whom we’ve shared this exhilarating ride, as well as new fans that we will welcome into the fold.
In the next couple of days, I’ll be posting about some of my top ten Casey James moments of the year. You might want to think about yours as well. Limiting them to just ten will be the tricky part.
Here’s to a very happy, healthly and successful 2011 to all!!