“Glee” ended nearly a year ago, but many of the series’ alumni are still looking to find their footing again. Among them: Alex Newell, who landed the role of transgender teen Unique Adams after appearing on the first season of “The Glee Project.” The 23-year-old Lynn, Mass. native is now pursuing a music career of his own. After lending his dynamic vocals to dance tracks from The Knocks ("Collect My Love") and Clean Bandit ("Stronger"), his debut EP, “POWER” is due out Feb. 19, and he’ll be hitting the road later this month to open for Adam Lambert’s Original High Tour through April.
Newell catches up with us the morning after the Super Bowl from his home in Los Angeles where he’s “missing” Boston snow. He laughs, “I miss the city shutting down and me not going anywhere.”
First things first —did you watch the Super Bowl Halftime show?
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Of course. It was brilliant. She’s a genius in general, and I forgot that Coldplay even opened for her. (laughs)
You mean Beyonce?
Yes, I didn’t know someone could top their own Super Bowl performance and nail it with a powerful statement at the end.
Who would perform with you if you headlined the Super Bowl?
Clearly not Beyonce because she makes people forget you were even there. I’m obsessed with Jessie J. I love her voice and she has a great look and aesthetic. I think she could run with some pyro and it’d be epic.
It’s been about a year now, so how has your life changed post-“Glee”?
Sometimes I’ll drive by the Paramount lot and I’m like, “Why am I not there?” It’s so different because my entire life has been scheduled out for me since I was kid up until last year. And now I’m working on the [music] side of my career and have free range on my life and being an adult is crazy. It’s been a great learning experience.
The single is called “This Ain’t Over,” but does that mean to you?
It’s ending that chapter of “Glee,” and for anyone thinking that any of us can’t have a viable music career. The message is that “I’m still here, and I’m thriving.” It’s as much a career song as it is a relationship song.
And the EP is “POWER,” which is also a pretty strong statement.
Well, it was almost “Shade.” But they were like, “That’s a little too shady,” and I was like, “That’s the point.” But one night I was sleeping and just repeating, “power house, power vocal, power, power.” And I just like the word power. It means so much, and it could be something that’s empowering or power being that energy you get when you listen to a song, or the concept of being a power house when you’re talking about vocals.
Who gives you power?
Beyonce is empowerment. She’s just a force. But then I listen to a lot of gospel because of my church background. And then I’ll listen to something that’ll just give me a good ol’ cry so I can get through my day.
What’s it like knowing you’ll be touring with Adam Lambert?
We met privately on set when he was on [“Glee”], but he’s definitely influenced me because there are so few male singers who can sing that high and belt out songs and be that carefree. He has such an energy and a statement. He tweeted at me a couple years ago before we met and it was one of the biggest compliments. It was like, this someone I voted for on “[American] Idol,” and for him to even acknowledge me really meant a lot.
If you go:
Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.
House of Blues
15 Landsowne St., Boston
March 3 at 7 p.m.
610 West 56th St., New York