Monday, December 1, 2008

Blake Lewis Marches To The Beatbox Of A Different Drummer

It's funny how millions dream of auditioning for American Idol. Season 6 runner up Blake Lewis wasn't even going to audition because he did not find the show very appealing. A friend suggested to him to audition and he did so with a beatbox version of Seal's "Crazy" and then did an offscreen version of Maroon 5 "Sunday Morning" and wowed the judges.

Blakes's originality and his beat box skills were a breath of fresh air to the shows rather formulated and calculated format.His version of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name" showcased his gift for taking an classic tune and reworking it into a new, revitalized version. Bon Jovi, who was their mentor the week he did the song, said that Blake was quote "rolling the dice" on his risky performance. It was a risk that payed off as he floored the judges and the viewing audience alike.

Blake was runner up that season to winner Jordan Sparks and he began to work on his debut Cd release. He already had many songs ready for the Cd even before the season had ended. He was signed to Arista and released his debut entitled "A.D.D. Audio Day Dream" in December 2007. The bad news was that he was dropped just 6 months later in June of 2008. I asked Blake about the reasons behind the split. "I think I got a bum rap. I didn't have as much creative control over the Cd as I had wished. I love to produce and I probably did 50% to 70% of my debut, but i think it was just the wrong label to sign with."

The Cd is a mix of Blake's diversity. It seems to have an 80s vibes to it, along with funk, techno and dance. The Cd begins with a track called "Silence is Golden" and concludes with another entitled "But I Choose Noise." The surprising part is that there is not alot of beat boxing on it, his signature style that got him noticed on Idol. One of the stand out tracks is called "Know My Name" which is about a crush of his on Natalie Portman.

I asked Blake how he felt about all of the changes in the music industry and if they were a part of the early release from his contract like alot of other Idol contestants. " I think that I-tunes has ruined the industry. Whoever came up with the concept of I-tunes obviously has never been a musician who had to promote their own shows and make their own fliers and stuff like that. The price point is too low on each song. The artist does not make alot off of each Cd that is sold. They should have set it a little higher. The whole downloading aspect has taken the human element out of it. The little indie stores are becoming a things of the past and I hate that. I miss going into record stores and looking through bins of music."

"I really love creating new music and pushing the envelope. On Idol, I was thankful to be able to experiment and show that to so many people at one time, but they were controlling. I wasn't allowed to do as much creative arranging as I would have liked to. I love being out on the road and touring. It is alot of hard work. I like to stay after the shows and see all of the fans that stick around. I usually get on my bus afterwards and work on my Facebook or MySpace pages. It takes a while for me to unwind and I usually watch one or two movies before I go to sleep. I'm a big movie buff," stated Blake.

Blake has been writing a ton of material and actually has enough for two otr three Cd's. He is shooting for a March or April of 2009 release for his next cd. he recently did a cover of A Flock Of Seagulls "I Ran" which raced up the I-tunes chart to number 4. Blake seems to harbor a little bit of resentment towards the industry. He is such a creative person with so much passion towards to creations, it is easy to see why he gets frustrated with the industry trying to control him. It's like an artist creating a picture on canvas and someone coming by and saying it needs more yellow or you have too much red. Music is art and Blake is a very talented and gifted artist. I hope the industry with all of its regulation does not snuff out his creative fire or discourage him.

No comments: