A Conversation with Dalton Rapattoni

"American Idol" alum Dalton Rapattoni will bring the School of Rock Gives Back Tour to Knuckleheads this Sunday. (Photo by Brianna Rehkemper & courtesy of Konnect PR.)

“American Idol” alum Dalton Rapattoni will bring the School of Rock Gives Back Tour to Knuckleheads this Sunday. (Photo by Brianna Rehkemper & courtesy of Konnect PR.)


By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Two months ago, I received the opportunity to cover one of American Idol’s final live shows and interview the remaining Top Five finalists at CBS Television City in Los Angeles.

One finalist that had the pleasure of meeting was Dalton Rapattoni. From his first audition of an acoustic cover “Phantom of the Opera” to his brilliant cover of Sia’s “Bird Set Free,” the Sunnyvale, Texas native captured the hearts and attention of the nation during his time on American Idol’s farewell season.

After placing third in the competition, Dalton has been hard at work trying to find a way to thank his fans for getting him to the pinnacle point of Idol’s final season.  Through the School of Rock Gives Back Tour, Dalton hopes that he can be able to thank every single person that supported him on his American Idol journey.

In this edition of A Conversation, Dalton opened up about how both American Idol and the School of Rock helped him grow as an artist and revealed which Idol winner gave him the piece of advice that he will use as his next chapter of his music career begins.

Jacob Elyachar: How have you grown as an artist since we last spoke?

Dalton Rapattoni: I have been writing a lot of music for this upcoming album. Right now, I am deciding how this album should sound. I have grown a lot musically, and I am very excited to show my fans the music that my team and I produced.

JE: You made it to the final “American Idol” Top 3.  As you prepared to perform your single: “Strike A Match,” were you worried that the “Idol” team would throw a curve ball by inviting original “Idol” judge Simon Cowell to join Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban at the Judges’ Desk and critique you during the Top 3 performance show?

DR: That had crossed my mind. Earlier in the competition, rumors were going around about past alums and judges that were going to return to American Idol and critique the finalists. I worried almost every episode that someone like Simon would come on and be the guest judge for that episode. By the time, Idol reached the finale I thought, “Ok! This is the very last episode, if he is going to judge a final time on Idol…he was going to do that night.” When you go on a show like American Idol, you have to prepare for the unexpected.

JE: What were some of the lessons that you learned from the past “Idol” judges and alumni that you are going to take on the next chapter in your career?

DR: When Idol was in the Top 24 round, I caught both the flu and a sinus infection. While was at the doctors’ office, and Jordin Sparks came by to visit. She talked to me for a while and told me that these things happened and added: “If you want to make a career in music, you have to anticipate something terrible happening all the time.” Jordin’s piece of advice stuck with me throughout the show and I will remember it as I go on.

JE: Let’s leave “American Idol” and talk about your involvement with the School of Rock Gives Back Tour. How did you get involved with this concert series?

DR: During Idol, I did several interviews where I mentioned that I wanted to go out and shake the hands of everybody that voted for me. But, I could not think of a way to viably do it. Luckily, the School of Rock came along and offered to put on this tour. I will be traveling across the country shaking hands, meeting my fans and performing several songs with each city’s house bands. I am very excited to start this incredible tour.

JE: How big of an artistic impact did the School of Rock make on your life?

DR: School of Rock has always played an important part of my life. I joined the program when I was 12-years-old, and the program championed self-expression. The School of Rock gave me the environment that I could find myself as a musician.

JE: The School of Rock Gives Back Tour will stop in Kansas City on May 22 at Knuckleheads. What can fans expect from the show?

DR: I am very excited to meet and thank them for all of their support, and I am also looking forward to giving back to the School of Rock Kansas City community.

JE: If you had the opportunity to meet with aspiring singer-songwriters who want a career in the music industry, what advice would you share with them?

DR: A lot of people make songs that listeners want to hear, I always tell them to make music that they want to hear and play. If the music is not genuine, real or coming from them, people will not believe it. I have also noticed that musicians spent their entire lives chasing record labels. If you make music that you believe in, I honestly think that the labels will come to you.

For more information on Dalton, visit his website!

You can connect with Dalton on social media by visiting his Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube channels.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar