In late December 2007, I caught up with American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis who was eager to talk about his music and the primary producers who worked on his debut album.
Bill: One of the main things I was interested in about your album is that the main producer is Ryan Tedder who is suddenly huge, and I wondered how you got hooked up to work with him?
Blake: I got hooked up through my a&r guy Pete Ganbarg, actually, and the first meetings I had about my record - how I wanted it to be - how the ideas would come to fruition. I sent out a mixtape to all the producers I wanted to work with and why. Basically, Pete set me up with meetings with a bunch of people, and I met Ryan in a little studio in the Burbank area. Within like 20 minutes it was like wow! I don't know...we were like really good friends already. We just kind of come from the same background and from the same place musically as far as pop music is concerned. His ideas are great, and my ideas came out, and, basically, I found a brother and a great musical partner in crime. It was great. We need to do a lot of records together. We did a lot of records on this album. The first one we did was "Know My Name," and another one called "Love or Torture." We did another song that will be coming out, hopefully, on the European release. Yeah, we did about 8, 9, 10 songs together. He's one of the most talented people I know. He's just multi-talented. His band is amazing. He's a great performer, and he can make a song in any genre with any artist.
Bill: Beyond the beatboxing that everyone watching 'American Idol' knew, it seems there are a lot of 80's influences on your music. Is that true?
Blake: Definitely. A lot of my influences, again melodically, are 80's...like "How Many Words," and "Here's My Hello," "1,000 Miles, "She's Makin' Me Lose It." I'm very influenced by music in the world and everything I hear, so I always soak that in, and it comes out in my music.
Bill: Is there anyone else in the music industry right now that you know you would like to work with but you haven't had the opportunity?
Blake: There are thousands of artists. I love collaborating with people and communicating with people. You could probably throw out 10 names, and I would say yes to at least 8 of them. I would love to work with Prince and Michael Jackson and Sting and Stevie Wonder, Imogen Heap, and Bjork. There are names I could throw out for days. I'm down to make and create anything at anytime. I'm game for anything.