Blake Lewis wants to be known as an artist and not just an "Idol" -- or, more accurately, an "American Idol" runner-up.

Blake Lewis wants to be known as an artist and not just an "Idol" -- or, more accurately, an "American Idol" runner-up.

The 26-year-old Washington state native, who finished second to Jordin Sparks on the "Idol" sixth-season finale in May, takes great pride in being able to say, "I'm the first person, really, to have creative control coming off of 'American Idol' and making his own album." That includes co-writing 12 of the 13 tracks for his debut, "Audio Day Dream," due this week on 19 Entertainment/Arista.

The album, he says, was "a blast" that allowed him to work with a "dream team." It included good pal Ryan "Alias" Tedder of red hot band OneRepublic, who worked on eight of the tracks, as well as J.R. Rotem, BT, Mike Elizondo, David Hodges and S*A*M & Sluggo. Fellow "Idol" finalist Chris Richardson co-wrote the song "What'cha Got 2 Lose?" with Lewis and Rotem, and Lupe Fiasco guests on "Know My Name."

"I don't want to be put in a box," Lewis says. "If there's any box I could be put in, it's pop music. The surprise is that hopefully, it's an album you've never head before, but it's very pop and mainstream. I just go with my gut feeling and my instincts and intuition. I did that on the show, and that's how I approached [the album], too."