By Rebecca White

The American Idol season 14 runner-up Clark Beckham first started singing in a gospel trio with his parents when he was 8 years old. Now, the 22-year-old finishes the reality TV competition with a platform large enough to become as famous as season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken…or as forgotten as previous contestants who have had no luck gaining fame after the show. In our celebrity interview, Beckham says he wants to model his career after singers like Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke, and John Mayer, although he plans to take his own approach to balancing his career and relationship and love life.

American Idol Runner-Up Talks Relationships and Love

Beckham leaves the reality TV show with fond memories of being a finalist in one of the top vocal competitions in the country. On Tuesday night, the singer had one of his best performances with “Ain’t No Sunshine,” leaving the judges and America very impressed. Jennifer Lopez commented on the song by asking who Beckham was singing to because of the passionate performance. “I remember her asking that, and I was like, ‘Oh Lord, do not ask me that,'” he shares.

But don’t worry, ladies: The blushing Tennessee native is single and not in a committed relationship and love. “The song is about the person being gone, so maybe it is appropriate because there is no one,” the star says with a laugh. “I think I was really able to get into that heartbreak, but there was no one specific that I was thinking of.”

Related Link: ‘American Idol’ Eliminated Finalist Rayvon Owen Says Love “Is the Most Universal Thing”

In terms of how being a musician has impacted his dating life, Beckham says that sometimes it’s helpful because of the initial attraction people feel towards musicians. However, it’s not always easy. “In the past, when I’ve been dating someone, she was worried that I would choose music over her, and that’s an interesting balance,” the singer reveals in our celebrity interview. “Right now, it’s like I’m in a relationship with music. I really am in love with her, and I can’t imagine a life without her.”

He adds, “Sometimes, being a musician can get in the way of my relationships, but I believe that, when it is right, it won’t be conflicting. Instead, it will elevate and help the relationship.”

Clark Beckham Reveals What He Learned on American Idol

During season 14 of American Idol, the runner-up has faced many critiques from the judges and Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta. The mentors and judges have often stated that Beckham’s musical style isn’t modern, and they’ve told him to perform for the audience instead of himself. However, the singer disagrees. “I think the most modern is when an artist can understand and play music that is coming right now and is just on the brink and is right around the bend,” he explains. “I really believe the music I put out is what’s going to come around the bend.”

Related Link: ‘American Idol’ Eliminated Contestant Tyanna Jones Takes Us Through Her Emotional Journey

While the performer stayed true to himself and his music, he did learn a lot from the judges and mentors. “Keith Urban said, ‘Don’t sing and play what you can; play and sing what you must.’ That’s the best advice from the judges that I got,” Beckham shares. Now that the show is over, the musician says that he’s learned to be more conscious of pitch and that he’s transformed as an artist from this experience: “I’m able to get more into the song emotionally and get into the music and get into character.”

You can keep up with Clark Beckham on Twitter @ClarkBeckham and on his website, http://clarkbeckham.com/!