"I think in one sense everything's changed but in another sense nothing has," says the reigning Idol champ. "There's all these different things around me that I didn't have a year ago. I was able to furnish a home and get a nice car and be able to treat my family to some of the things that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to do."
But, says the singer, 25, "I'm still a goober from the Midwest. Now I've just got a few more resources. I don't feel like the show changed me at all."
Cook spoke with PEOPLE after recording a performance video with his band for Walmart's Soundcheck, which can be viewed online and in Walmart stores. (Watch a preview video below.)
The singer, who will release his self-titled debut album Nov. 18, describes his music as "eclectic rock" with some songs featuring lots of riffs and others that are "very piano driven and delicate."
"I got to show some different aspects of who I am as a person," he says about the upcoming album.
Cook's next gig: performing on this week's Saturday Night Live hosted by Ben Affleck. "I grew up watching it like everybody else so to be apart of it in any capacity is obviously a huge honor," he says, before adding that he's "really nervous."
"I'm going to make sure my shoelaces are tied so I don’t trip and fall on the floor!"
See David's sexy and sensitive photo shoot!
David's Idol moment