Sanjaya Malakar, best known for his hair-raising run to the top 10 on the sixth season of “American Idol,” is back – and he has a tale to tell.
“I realized that I had a story that no other past contestant has said,” the former contestant told Access Hollywood.
VIEW THE PHOTOS: 'American Idol's' Sanjaya
The “Idol” alumnus has penned an autobiography, “Dancing To The Music In My Head,” and is releasing a new CD of original music with the same title.
Written with co-writer Alan Goldsher and centered around his time on the reality competition, the book includes everything from his “grueling” auditions to taking the stage in the “Idol” top 10.
VIEW THE PHOTOS: Sanjaya Visits Access Hollywood!
Among the insider info is a look at how contestants make it to the judges’ table. Potential contestants go through three auditions before they ever get in front of the cameras.
“Then they get on the show and they’re beat down,” Sanjaya said.
Still, he said, he found Simon Cowell’s criticisms fair – even if the snarky Brit didn’t seem to be a Sanjaya fan.
VIEW THE PHOTOS: Sanjaya Malakar
“His job is to really just tell exactly what he thinks,” Sanjaya said. “Whether that’s brutal or not.”
And after all, it was “Idol” that rocketed the singer and his ever-changing hair to fame.
“The show… really helped and formed who I am as an artist,” he said. “I basically grew up in front of everyone on the show. I was about to turn 17 when I first auditioned.”
While it was “American Idol” that gave him his start, when it came to recording his new album, Sanjaya looked to global influences.
“[It’s] world pop, like fusion. I have lot of different kinds of influences, I love jazz music, I love funk, I love R&B, hip-hop. I’m trying to comfortably fuse them with like a base of world beats,” he said.
And if things don’t pan out with his singing career?
“I have always been interested in math and the sciences, biological sciences,” he said, adding that he’s interested in being “a public figure” and pursuing acting and modeling as well as music.
But till then, he’s still got his “Fanjayas” – not to mention a steady girlfriend.
“I’ve actually been dating my girlfriend for a year this Halloween,” he said. “She’s in Seattle, she’s finishing her senior year [of high school].”
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PLAY IT NOW: Access Extended: Sanjaya Malakar Talks Autobiography & New Album
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