I recently had the pleasure of interviewing American Idol Alum, Josh Gracin. The country singer shares what’s next for him with his music, some of his favorite memories and lessons he’s learned thus far.

What is your backstory?

I was born and raised in Michigan with four sisters and no brothers. I left Michigan when I was 19, and I joined the Marine Corps. After boot camp at Paris Island, I was stationed at Camp Pendleton California. Out of all the places I could have be stationed, Camp Pendleton was only an hour and a half away from where American Idol was being taped. After placing 4th on American Idol, I was blessed with an on-going career in country music.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that has happened to you thus far in your music career?

I wish I could give the details – but it’s not PG! It was a practical joke played on my road manager. It involved a non-PG item, a metal screw driver in a packed Denver airport, which caused him to set off security. Let’s just say his bag was searched in front of a packed Denver airport, and the item was held up for confirmation and recheck.

What are some of the most exciting projects you’re currently working on?

I am currently working on the 2nd half of my record, and it’s just about finished. Everyone working on the project is very excited about what we have put together. I have also been working on a new stage setup; for the first time since I began touring, I will have have a set with lights and screens to work with on select tour dates.

Who are the most famous people you’ve interacted with? What was that like?

When I first started out, I met Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Elton John and countless others. It was and always will be a surreal moment for me, anytime I meet someone I look up to and admire.

Who inspires you?

Everyday, someone new inspires me. From my children, to someone’s random words, or act, or kindness that you see on the news. I really try to keep my eyes open constantly; you truly never know what will inspire you next.

Who do you aspire to be like?

I aspire to be all that God has given us the opportunity to be, through Jesus. I will never be perfect and my mistakes, many; but I will always strive to do for others as God has done for me.

How have you used your success to bring goodness into the world?

I would like to think I have, but I also know there is far more work to be done. I pray God continues to give me the opportunity to spread goodness, even if it’s one life at a time.

What are 5 things you wish someone had told you when you first started, and why?

Honestly, my answer to this question is simple. I’m glad no one gave me advice — as hard as my journey has been since coming to Nashville, everything I’ve gone through (good and bad) has made me who I am today. My mistakes have lead me to the person I am supposed to become, more so than the few right choices I have made.

You can check out Josh Gracin’s latest single, “Nothin’ Like Us” here, and keep up with him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.