A Danville vocalist is continuing his run on Fox's "American Idol" this week, hoping to advance beyond the top 24 in the final season of the singing competition show.
"I've learned a lot, including to never give up and that every opportunity is a learning experience," local singer Adam Lasher said during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.
Lasher, 28, attended San Ramon Valley High School in Danville and later studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
He said he taught himself how to sing his freshman year of high school, but at the time, he was more focused on playing guitar. "I was in the upper-level jazz ensemble, and I started shouting on the microphone and taught myself how to sing," he recalled.
Although Lasher didn't grow up as an avid "American Idol" fan watching every episode, he was in the audience during the show's season 8 finale.
"I was in the audience when Kris Allen won, but I never would have thought I would've been on the 'American Idol' stage," he said.
Lasher was in the audience primarily to see his uncle, Carlos Santana, perform with the "Idol" contestants on stage. While Lasher has musical talent in his genes, he is determined to succeed in the musical industry on his own.
"Me and Carlos would jam with his band when I was younger, he inspired my blues guitar playing. I take his advice into account to a certain extent, but I don't always seek for his approval because then I can't grow on my own," Lasher said.
Lasher said he does not consider himself as belonging to a certain genre and prefers to sing different than the original singers of the songs he covers.
"I hate genres; I don't believe in them. I like singing soul, rock, blues and alternative," he said. "I'm not purposely going to do a song that sounds like me. I don't try to sound like what I listen to."
The Danville native first auditioned for "American Idol" last season where he sang an original song he composed titled "These Shoes." He made it to the end of Hollywood week then got eliminated.
"After I was eliminated from 'Idol' last season, I performed last June at the Village Theatre in Danville," he said. "I also performed in downtown Petaluma with Miles Schon -- son of Neil Schon from the band Journey."
Lasher plans on performing in the Bay Area in the future with Schon -- either at high school grad nights, the Village Theatre, the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek or in Schon's hometown of Novato.
"I've played a lot with Miles Schon in the past, I'd love to get up to the Bay Area and play with him again," he said.
So far, Lasher said he has learned and grown immensely as a performer and as a person by being involved in the competition show.
"Most people think that contestants on the show are competitive and only think about the competition, but in reality, all of us are supportive of each other and we have become a family," he added.
"American Idol" airs on Fox and viewers can stay tuned to find out if Lasher made it past the top 24. He is set to appear on Wednesday and Thursday evening's episodes at 8 p.m.