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Richmond's Rayvon Owen returning with 'American Idol Live!' tour
Posted: Wednesday, July 15,
2015 10:15 pm
Rayvon Owen is coming home
to Richmond, and he is bringing his friends with him.
On Tuesday, the “American
Idol Live!” tour, featuring Owen and the other top-five finishers
from the 2015 season, comes to the Carpenter Theatre.
The 37-stop tour kicked off
July 7 in Florida, and Owen collaborated onstage with Clark Beckham,
Tyanna Jones, Jax, and season 14 Idol winner Nick Fradiani. Owen performed
his signature song, “Jealous,” a cover of the original by
Labrinth, and “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry.
On the eve of the tour’s
kickoff date, Owen talked about his “first big-boy tour”
with characteristic enthusiasm.
The tour is the culmination
of a whirlwind six-month journey for the Henrico County native. Despite
being an audience favorite who was saved twice by fans on Twitter, overriding
the judges, Owen was eliminated from the show May 6, coming in fourth
Owen said he wasted no time
getting into the studio to apply what he had learned. Songwriting sessions
led to Owen developing a new sound, and he has more songs in the works.
“I’ve become more of an honest writer,” he said.
“One of the best pieces
of advice I received was, ‘Chew the hay and spit out the sticks,’?”
he said, meaning that when criticized, look for helpful feedback and
ignore negativity. He also said Perry, who mentored him throughout the
season, helped him learn how to handle the hectic schedule and lifestyle
that came with “Idol” success.
The tour brings with it a
welcome change of pace for Owen, who said the live shows will be a return
to what he loves to do the most: interact with the crowd, crack jokes,
and perform “without knowing that millions of people are watching
Owen has mixed emotions about
the local concert.
“You would think it
would be easier, playing in front of family and friends, but it makes
me more nervous,” he said. “But I’m excited to show
them what I’ve been working on all my life.”
He described the tour as
“a victory lap,” not only for him, but also for his mother
and for all of his hometown supporters who voted for him and encouraged
him along the way.
Fame has brought challenges
to Owen, who is forthright about his Christianity. He said having faith
is easier when faced with adversity, but once you have achieved success
and “have a few bucks in your pocket,” it can be more difficult
to remain grounded.
“You have to humble
yourself and remind yourself who you are and whose you are,” he
In the midst of dealing with
the pressures of fame, recording new songs and preparing for the tour,
Owen has also worked on developing his brand. He has contacted a hat
designer to discuss creating a line of hats, and reached out to contacts
in Los Angeles about acting opportunities. Owen is looking for a role
where he could act and sing, saying that a role on Fox’s hit hip-hop
drama, “Empire,” would be ideal. He laughed and said he
is not thinking of expanding into rap but would rather keep his own
sound with whatever role he lands.
Owen said wherever his newfound
fame leads him, he will not forget his roots.
“I’m just extremely
grateful for Richmond’s support,” he said. “Even though
I didn’t bring back the title, it’s been an incredible journey.”
Owen will have a day off
while in Richmond and is planning to spend time with some students from
his alma mater, the Henrico High School Center for the Arts; relaxing
with family; and exposing his fellow “Idol” contestants
to his favorite local treat: fried Twinkies at Galaxy Diner in Carytown.
“It’s so unhealthy, but I love it,” he said. “So bad, but so good.”