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Another Side of Corbin Bleu!

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album cover
(Photo: Courtesy Hollywood Records)

On May 1, 2007 Corbin Bleu, the star of High School Musical, Flight 29 Down, and Jump In! is going to show his fans something new—literally. It’s his debut CD, aptly called Another Side. Since Corbin has become a great friend to us at Scholastic News Online, he sat down with us and talked about working on the CD in the studio (bet you didn’t know he liked to slip his shoes off and go barefooted!), his musical inspirations, and lots more. Also check out our great pix of Corbin in the studio.

Q: Were there any songs you recorded for the Another Side that didn’t get used?
: There was one song called “Rush You” that I really loved, and everyone who heard it felt the same way. It was actually one of the tracks that were going to be on the final cut of the CD, but after a close review of all the songs it just didn’t seem to blend well with what I was trying to do with the rest of the album. I do hope to be able to revisit it for a future album, though.

Q: Did you write any of the songs?
: I cowrote 5 of the songs off of this album: “We Come To Party,” “Never Met A Girl Like You,” “Mixed Up,” “Homework,” and “If She Says Yeah” (which isn’t on the actual album, but it will probably end up being a bonus track).

Q: What producers did you work with?
: I had different producers, depending on the song. I actually got to work with Ne-Yo who wrote and produced my song, “I Get Lonely.” I also worked with David Kopatz, Stereo, Dan James and Leah Haywood, Matthew Gerrard, Damon Sharpe, and Greg Lawson, just to name a few.

Q: Do you have a favorite song on the CD? Why?
: “Mixed Up,” which is one of the songs I cowrote, is probably my favorite. I feel that the song really says a lot about who I am and explains how I feel about some things. I also really love the beat.

Corbin in the studio
Corbin Bleu at work in the recording studio. (Photo: Courtesy Corbin Bleu)

Q: What singer/musician/band most influenced you in your style of music?
: The artists I look up to the most are Prince, Michael Jackson, and Lenny Kravitz. When it comes to presence and feel, I try to model myself after them while still incorporating my own essence. When it comes to style of music, Justin Timberlake was a big influence.

Q: How long did it take to make the album? Describe a typical day in the studio.
: Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into making an album than just being in the recording studio. The whole process has been going on for a little less than a year now, but the bulk of the album took place within about 3 months time. A typical day in the studio consists of warming up for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on if I’m having a good day or not. Then I sing the song all the way through about 2 or 3 times. Then we break it down in sections. After that, they try to do a quick comp of what we just did to see if we still need to record some more. If so, we do. If not, we’re done! I also like to record barefoot, and I always have a Jamba Juice. It was like that very first time I recorded, so I just kept it up.

Q: Was working in a recording studio what you thought it would be like?
: No. I was so nervous the first time, and I had nothing to worry about. Everybody is always so nice and helpful, and they want you to do a good job just as much as you want to. I used to be a little self-conscious of my singing, but after creating the album and seeing how willing everyone is to work with you, I became a lot more confident and my singing even improved.

Q: Tell us about the title of your album—Another Side. Who picked it? What does it mean to you?
: I came up with it because I felt this is the first time everybody is really getting to see, or hear, this side of me. Aside from “Push It To The Limit,” which was really for the soundtrack of Jump In, nobody has heard me sing because I didn’t have any solo parts in High School Musical. Making an album is a little different then playing a character; you actually get to be yourself.

Corbin in the studio
(Photo: Courtesy Corbin Bleu)

Q: What do you hope people will learn about you when they listen to the CD?
: What I really hope people learn about me is my love for performing. I really wanted to make a fun, upbeat album that would make everyone want to get up and dance. In order to do that, I had to give out a lot of energy in my performance in order for it to be portrayed in the music. I hope people really feel that when they listen to the album.

Q: Do you think fame has changed you?
: I don’t think that fame has changed me as a person, but it has just allowed me to learn new ways to live well in my new life.

Q: When you have downtime, what do you like to do?
: Even though I love what I do with a passion, it is a lifestyle that can become very hectic. Due to my chaotic schedule, I like to use my downtime as a motive to relax. Whether it’s with family, friends, or just by myself, I do what I can to unwind and prepare myself for the next wave of craziness to arrive.

Q: Who is the person you confide in the most right now?
: Wow, that is a very tough question. I think mostly my parents, but I also have a select group of very close friends that I like to confide in.

Q: What performing skills and traits in general do you think you need to work on?
Corbin: All of them. I think that the moment you say to yourself, “I am as good as I can be,” you have lost. Everything in life can always use improvement. Everyday I find out new ways that I never knew existed to better my craft and myself. The greatest are never satisfied.

Q: What’s next for you? Another movie? CD? TV series?
Corbin: There are a lot of projects in the works right now that aren’t quite set in stone yet. What would be ideal for me would be to continue doing features, go work Broadway, and then go on a worldwide tour for another album. I want to do it all.

Interview by Marie Morreale

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