“X Factor” finalist Josh Krajcik said he enjoyed performing on a big stage with lots of glitz, glitter and backup when he competed during the first season of the Fox TV reality show in late 2011.
But he also said he’s just as comfortable sitting behind a piano or playing an acoustic guitar in a venue like Jammin’ Java in Vienna, where he will be performing solo on Monday.
Krajcik, who lives in Ohio, is on tour promoting “Blindly, Lonely, Lovely,” his first CD after his stretch on “X Factor” headed by former “American Idol” producer Simon Cowell.
“I’ll be singing some of those songs and some covers,” he said.
“I won’t have a set list, it’s [just] fun to let the night happen.”
Runner-up to winner Melanie Amaro, Krajcik also competed with Marcus Canty of Bowie, Md., and other singers by covering such songs as Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” the Beatles’ “Come Together” and the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses.”
Built around Krajcik’s husky but emotional voice, the CD has about a dozen tracks that he co-wrote with help from songwriters, backed by horns and strings,
In some cases, they tweaked some songs he had already written and arranged or in other cases, helped him finish tunes.
Among the songwriters was Adele’s producer, Eg White, who co-wrote “Nothing” and “Don’t Make Me Hopeful” on the CD.
“I was happy to have the creative feedback,” said Krajcik about making the record, which involved flights to California and London.
“I was gone a large part of the year,” he said.
But when he’s home in Ohio, Krajcik tries to get together with his band, which he’s been playing with for more than 10 years.
“It’s my first solo record without the guys,” he said. “I still play with them whenever I can. It’s a special treat.”
“Blindly, Lonely, Lovely,” with its tracks about romantic relationships and their complexities, is described on Krajcik’s website as “a blend of rock ’n’ roll, soul and R&B that’s instantly striking in its balance of raw emotionalism and sonic sophistication.”
“A lot of my songs come from a very emotional place,” he said. “Writing can be a lifesaver for dealing with [feelings of] turmoil. It begins to fix that feeling.”
Krajcik said he started playing in bars at age 15, later formed a band and performed regionally for many years.
“I signed up for ‘X Factor’ because I wanted to prove my versatility,” said the 31-year-old singer, adding that he believed that if he reached a larger audience, that audience would want to hear more from him.
“I want to promote the album to as many new fans as I can and entertain them,” he said.
When asked if “X Factor” changed his life, Krajcik answered both yes and no.
“I’d be on the same trajectory, but I might not have the same team and the same record,” he said. “‘X Factor’ was a great boost to my career, and I’m happy.”
But even without the national exposure on TV, he said he would still be performing, because he enjoys connecting with an audiences.
“I’d still be on stage somewhere playing anyway,” he said. “Being a musician is what I do and what I live for. There’s nothing like a stage, whether it’s for five [people], 5,000 or 50,000.”