Even before he trounced the competition on Star Search, vocalist Jake Simpson probably could have gotten anything he wanted. For Pete's sake, the guy looks like a mischievous altar boy and sings like an angel! So now that he has in hand his prize money, he ought to be buying Jags! Mansions! Towns! But, he tells TV Guide Online, "I haven't bought anything yet. I really want a mountain bike, though."
At least the blue-eyed soul man has a good excuse for not doing his part to boost the economy: He's been too darn busy to go on any spending sprees. First, he has to settle on a musical genre, then — hello?! — he has an album to make. "I'm in between two styles right now — one is very urban, and one is very not," he explains. "I'm having a hard time with it, because I love so many different styles." Fortuitously, as soon as he gets back into, as he puts it, his "hippie brain," one of his nearest and dearest will be able to help him come up with verses and refrains. "My little brother is turning out to be an amazing songwriter. And he works for free — so far!"
Whether the white Stevie Wonder opts to stick with R&B or attempts to popularize polka music, he has made a promise to himself that all of his songs will be written in the key of life. "Gosh, hopefully, I'll have a good enough song here and a good enough song there for people to still remember them in 20 years. That's what I want to be. I don't want to just be the guy who goes out for the quick money," he says, adding with a laugh, "I mean, that would be great, too, but I want to be able to [keep performing] in 20 years, because I'm going to be doing it in 20 years whether or not I'm being laughed off the stage."
Naturally, Simpson also wants his CD's packaging to reflect his determination to keep it real. In other words, unlike his sterling debut, the new platter's title will not include the words "Star Search Winner." "There will be no more of that," he chuckles. "Not if I have anything to say about it. I hate to be negative, but I fought that for two weeks last year, and I don't mind saying so. Luckily, that's all over with, and it's on to bigger, better and, hopefully, more fun things." Odds are, he can safely bet his mountain bike on it.