No matter the outcome of the final American Idol season, which will air in 2016, Adam Lambert will forever stand as the series' most memorable showman. Still, six years removed from the show and with two albums under his belt, he's finally ready to let the pressure of that impressive distinction go.

In an interview with Next, for which Lambert appears on the June cover, the multi-octave belter mapped out the journey to his upcoming third album, The Original High, and, at 33, says he's exactly where he wants to be.

"I wanted to take away a lot of the theatrics that I’m known for and just be a little bit more real—not so much of a character," he told the magazine of his forthcoming collection of songs. "Coming off of a show like Idol, I ended up being put in the category of the 'rock ’n’ roll' guy, so I was doing a lot of rock music. Then the second album I did kind of reflected this funk pop thing I was feeling at the time...[this time] I wanted it to feel authentic to my social life. It’s also nostalgic, in a way, for the ’90s."

Lambert admitted that a new label and new co-workers have certainly changed his sound ("The people around you are the ones that make all these ideas come to life," he noted), and added that he's thrilled to see a certain collaborator—Tove Lo—making waves on charts.

"She’s the most down-to-earth, chill, fun-loving girl next door," he said. "We wrote ["Rumors"] before “Habits” became a big hit, so getting to watch it climb the charts and her become a star is really exciting...She’s not trying to be P.C. about it. She’s just being honest and forthright. I really clicked with her on that."

Check out the full interview, and be sure to pick up The Original High on June 12!

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