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American Idol' winner David Cook starts anew with 'Chromance' EP

When it comes to making new music, singer-songwriter David Cook says he’s always up for a challenge. That’s what fueled “Chromance,” his new EP that’s set for release Friday.

It’s the follow-up to “Digital Vein” (2015), which Cook considers the perfect bookend to an era of his career. He’s starting anew with “Chromance.”

Cook, who won Season 7 of “American Idol,” performs Friday at Delmar Hall.

He says he’s always been that “guitar player in a rock band guy,” and it was time for a change.

“I wanted to paint with different colors,” says Cook, who started my his first band in Kansas City at age 13. He’s a native of Blue Springs, Mo. “I said, ‘Let’s attack this from a different angle.’ The good thing about this career is that at no point do you reach the top of the mountain. You just keep climbing.”

He listened to acts including Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack and Halsey before making “Chromance,” which leans toward an indie, alt-pop feel, a sound coming from “a mixture of age, experience and resources.”

“This EP represents a different creative direction,” he says. “I really wanted there to feel like a shift. It’s a pretty obvious shift. I played with more cinematic pop elements, more layered vocals, trying to push the envelope for myself and try new things.”

The EP, which includes “Gimme Heartbreak,” also features his take on Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise,” which he tested on the road and selected over the more obvious “In the Air Tonight.”

“I don’t always gravitate toward the radio hits,” he says. “I guess I like the deep cuts.

“To me, that song speaks to the idea of adhering to our better nature, acceptance, inclusion and love and all of those things. What a cool message to have on this project with the current state of things.”

The “Light On” singer used a PledgeMusic campaign to help fund the project.

“I was a little iffy about it,” he says. “I do my fair share of charity work, and I’m always cognizant of how I go to fans and say, ‘Hey, give your time and money to this.’ I tried it with the last record, and they enjoyed it.

“It brings fans along for the ride of making the record. The end result was great. It gave the record a shot in the arm right out the gate, and it was a cool way to go directly to the customer.”

Cook’s fans will see him in some form this spring on the reboot of “American Idol,” which launches in March on ABC. He filmed some footage for the show at the Nashville, Tenn., auditions.

At its best, he says, “Idol” is an incredible way to find new artists.

“The show did that for a long time and then seemed to back away from that, and I don’t know why,” he says. “I hope they give the public the opportunity to invest in the artists. I really benefited from being on the show, and there was ample opportunity for the public to figure out if they wanted to invest time in me and the music I was putting out. I hope they get back to that.”