Sunday, June 22, 2008
Blake Lewis announced recently that he was dropped from Arista. From what I understand in talking with him at the finale this year is that 19E is still on board and are very loyal to him and his career...so I doubt you've heard the last of Blake Lewis.
Blake, in my opinion, made a record that was just enough left of center that it didn't quite work in the mainstream, though I still think this record could've and should've been one of the bigger records of this year. If "Know My Name" had been the first single, I believe it would've been a smash and then "How Many Words" could've been the hit it deserved to be. But Clive, in his omniscience decided that "Break Anotha", my least favorite song on the record, should be the first single. The moment I heard the song, I had a feeling that A.D.D. probably wouldn't recover - bad first single usually leads to the album not doing great...and unfortunately, I ended up being right.
However, let's put it in perspective. He has sold close to 300k. In today's music culture, that is fantastic for a new artist. I think he'll end up with an indie label, making great records for years to come. And from what I've heard Blake saying, it's where he'll be more comfortable. If he can put together a hit for his genre, I think it's gonna be great!
I'm excited and disappointed at the same time for Blake. Blake is a good friend who got screwed by the major label system. Say what you will about the guy, he's a talented musician and is remarkably creative. If anyone deserves to have a career in music, it's Blake.
So, rest in peace, Audio Day Dream. Blake, here's to the future! It's looking good!
ETA: By the way: the way that record deals work, is that every album is an option. A normal record deal is 1 option + 4. Each option is the label's choice. An option can be a year. An option, if an album is ultra successful can be 3 or 4 years. Most of the time, an option on a new artist comes up right at a year from when they first signed, which was the case for Blake, when the artist and the label decide on if they're going to make another album. It was also the case for Katherine last year, as well as Taylor. Though news didn't filter down until later in the summer, Kat knew in May last year when I saw her that she was going to be leaving her label and going elsewhere...in fact in May of last year, she already had an idea of where she was going to end up. It wasn't announced until August-September that she had been officially dropped. Blake signed in June of last year. It wasn't announced until September. You'll notice you haven't heard an official announcement from Arista yet. Why? Because it takes a while for a record label to get around to that stuff. So...to make clear...Blake did NOT get dropped sooner than any other Idol ever.