James Durbin, who rose to fame as a finalist on the tenth season of American Idol, just released his new album today, "Celebrate," which is now available on iTunes. James was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and Tourette Syndrome when he was 10 years old at Stanford Medical Center. We previously sat down with James when his single on his new album "Parachute" was released last November. A portion of the proceeds from his new album "Celebrate," which comes out on April 8, 2014, will benefit Autism Speaks.
Autism Speaks Staffer Kerry Magro had a chance to discuss the release of James album and what he is doing today in the autism community.
Kerry Magro: So James the last time we talked your single “Parachute” had just came out. Now you have your album “Celebrate” coming out on the 8th! How does it feel to have accomplished everything you have?
James Durbin: It's all a dream come true. Any chance I get to share my art (with as many people as possible) is a "pinch me" moment.
KM: What would you say were some of your biggest challenges growing up with Aspergers?
JD: Coping with a world that doesn't understand. A world that's quick to judge anyone who doesn't fit the norm. It was also difficult not having someone to look up to. Someone that I could say "They're just like me & yet they're fully functioning, showing the world that their destiny is their own choice.
KM: Last year you came out to our Blue Jean Ball Event and this weekend we heard you attended our Light Up The Blues Concert in Los Angeles. What have these events meant to you in terms of spreading autism awareness?
JD: It makes me really proud. Proud to have Autism. Proud to be overcoming this obstacle. And especially proud to be showing the world that regardless of what label you're given, regardless of what diagnosis you have, you are not fully disabled of your dreams. It is up to us to be that difference. Spread the word & make it known that we are just as capable as everyone else. More so I think. We just need a little more time, a little extra help.
KM: You’ve had the opportunity to perform with some pretty amazing singers. Any favorites or ones that have stood out to you?
JD: Everyone's a stand out. It's those "pinch me" moments again. Zakk Wylde, Sheryl Crow, Bob Babbitt, Don Was, Tom Jones. Definitely opening for Rick Springfield & Dave Grohl at last years Blue Jean Ball. The list will hopefully continue to grow. Regardless, I'm stunned, honored, & truly grateful to play with each & every one of them, respectively.
KM: What’s next for you after “Celebrate” comes out on April 8th?
JD: I'll continue my radio promotional tour. Then go rock a real full band tour. Sky's the limit. As long as I have my family & my art, I'll have everything I'll ever need.