When David Cook won “American Idol” in 2008, he was saddled with the coronation song “Time of My Life.” For quite a while, Cook didn’t want to sing the track live.
“My relationship with that song has been historically conflicted,” Cook says via Zoom.
“I acknowledged what that song represented and always appreciated what that song represented. But, as far as being able to internalize it and feel like I truly had ownership of that song, that was where I struggled.”
Things changed, however, when he was asked to perform the song during the wedding of “Bachelor in Paradise” stars Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon.
“It opened up my view of it quite a bit,” he says. “I really enjoy the romanticism behind it.”
Cook will perform a slew of his songs during three upcoming livestream events — 9 p.m. Sunday, April 18; 9 p.m. Sunday, May 2, a fundraiser for the National Brain Tumor Society; and 9 p.m. Sunday, May 16, an extended set from his catalog.
The April 18 show is a release party for his new EP, “The Looking Glass,” which is set for release on April 16. “The Looking Glass” EP is a six-song set recorded in Nashville with producer Andy Skib. The most recent single from “The Looking Glass” is a song called “Fire.”
In 2020, Cook released two singles from the EP. The first, “Reds Turn Blue,” is a nod to the manic highs (reds) and lows (blues) of anxiety, something with which has struggled to overcome since his season seven win on “American Idol.”
And the second, “Strange World,” is an homage to 2020. He may call it “strange,” but he has positive feelings about the year, even though he planned to head out with fellow former “Idol” Kris Allen on a European acoustic tour.
“I’ve been able to enjoy some of the silver linings to this giant cloud,” he says. “I was able to be home more. My wife and I were talking the other day, this is the longest I’ve been home since we’ve known each other.
“Everything slowed down, and it was a little easier to focus on the creative pursuits associated with my job, which was nice.”
Cook says without the “external stimuli” of performing and being out on the road, writing the album was a “unique exercise.”
“I had to put that puzzle together a little differently,” he adds. “It was fun for me, really. A song like ‘Strange World’ is a prime example. I was sitting at home watching TV and I happened to glance out a window.
“I was like, ‘Man, it’s been a while since I left the house.’ I think, at that point, it had been a week or something, which was rare up to that point. When I got into the songwriting, I realized it was a hopeful song.”
The simplicity of “Strange World” is effective. Cook agrees and says he wanted the music to inform the lyrics as much as possible. When he was sitting in his home studio, he just shared what he was feeling in that moment.
“A song like ‘Strange World’ was really built around that — the pulsing synth pattern, which I found on accident,” Cook says. “I was just messing around. I love things like this little happy accident that sent me in a new direction.”
Cook has become a favorite of the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix, having sold out numerous shows there. He recalls when he really understood the magnitude of a facility like this.
“I readily admit, the first time we played there, I wasn’t really up to snuff on what it was all about,” Cook says. “The name certainly implied what it was about. My favorite little piece there was this plexiglass case on a pedestal, and there was nothing in it.
“I thought it was a little odd until I saw the plaque next to it. It says it was the guitar from the winner of the air guitar contest. I died on that one. I was like, ‘OK, I appreciate this place on a whole new level.’”
David Cook Livestreams
9 p.m. Sunday, April 18, to celebrate his new EP, “The Looking Glass”
9 p.m. Sunday, May 2, a fundraiser for the National Brain Tumor Society
9 p.m. Sunday, May 16, an extended set from his catalog