Somewhere between stealing the show on the American Idol tour and spending hours in the studio, season 6 runner-up Blake Lewis — who recently signed with 19 Recordings/Arista Records — had the time to phone EW for a quick chat about his in-the-works album, tentatively titled ADD (Audio Day Dream). Lewis describes the disc, which is set to drop in late fall, as ”my Michael Jackson Bad album,” with each pop track featuring a completely different sound. And then, of course, there’s that whole beat-boxing thing, to tie it all together. Read on for deets about his beats.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So where are you with the album? Are you currently in the planning and writing stages, or are you in already the studio?
BLAKE LEWIS: All of the above. I’ve been writing and recording. Every day I have off [from the tour], I’m in the studio somewhere. By the time the tour ends Sept. 23, I’m going back to Seattle, and the producers I’ve been working with are going to come out to Seattle. We’re gonna start recording.
What kind of album are you going to create?
The album is going to be called ADD (Audio Day Dream). I like to call it the two-thousand-’80s, because all my musical influences have come from the ’80s, like new wave, Michael Jackson, Prince, Sting, U2, New Order — all this great electro-pop. I’m heavily influenced by electronic music because I’ve been listening to it from about ‘93 to now.
How much beat-boxing can we expect?
It’ll have a hip-hop overtone…. Beat-boxing will be throughout the whole album, as kind of a journey. When you start the album and you finish it, it’ll be like an electronic or hip-hop mixtape. I call it my Michael Jackson Bad album, in the sense that every track on that album is pop music but every single track is totally different than the next. He has his ”Dirty Diana” and then he has his ”Smooth Criminal,” you know. The album’s organic, but very mechanic at the same time — that’s where the Audio Day Dream comes in.
Are you looking at collaborating with anyone on any of the tracks?
Yeah, I would love to. Me and Doug E. Fresh are gonna try to work on something. I really want to do a total freestyle track — just beat-boxing with MCs. I’m trying to get Chali 2na [of Jurassic 5], Mos Def, and my boy RA Scion from Common Market.
Do you have singles done now?
I’ve got a lot of tracks with rough mixes done. I feel that I have two singles already, maybe three. I definitely know which ones I want to come out first, but it’s all up to the powers that be. I’ve been working on music for a long time — I’d already started writing all this music a while ago.
NEXT PAGE: Blake on filming a documentary DVD, writing with Chris Richardson — and why he’s skipping a Bon Jovi reprise