Singer Josh Scholl has been relegated to the "friend zone" so many times that he decided to make that the theme of his first single.
The Lake in the Hills native won ABC's "Karaoke Battle USA" in September, and his prize was a one-song recording contract with Hollywood Records.
"City Lights," released Tuesday on Amazon, also is an ode to Chicago, where he lived until he decided to save money by splitting his time between Los Angeles and Lake in the Hills, where his parents live.
"I'm putting everything into the tour and publicity and marketing. I'm just saving as much as I can. I am dedicating everything in my life to this career opportunity," the 29-year-old graduate of Algonquin's Jacobs High School said. "It's my one shot, my one dream."
After the competition, Scholl worked with several producers and songwriters in Los Angeles to find his sound as a recording artist, he said.
"I'm going with the melodic soundscape of Coldplay and OneRepulic, mixed with the power of U2 and Journey," he said. "It's a mix of what's hot and what used to be. It's definitely a very current vibe with the power of '80s rock."
"City Lights" is about a woman from Lake in the Hills whose identity Scholl won't reveal. As for his current romantic situation, Scholl says he needs to be single to focus on his career, but recently "met a couple of people." "Great timing, right?" he quipped.
The song is being played on Star 105.5 FM, Scholl said. "I need people around here to push it. It takes everybody to make it happen."