Blake Lewis Takes Creative Control

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 Dec. 4 on 19 Entertainment/Arista.

Lewis worked on the set's first single, "Break Anotha," and "Gots to Get Her," which is based on Irving Berlin's "Puttin' on the Ritz." He also created specialized intros and outros for the songs.

"Being on 'American Idol' was the lottery ticket," Lewis says. "It's one of the most amazing experiences I'll never have again ever in my life. I'm not a big fan of television at all, but it's an amazing way of communicating with people. I tell people that all I was put on this earth to do is communicate my art to people, and what better way to do that [than] on 'American Idol.' "

The label is planning to release special editions of "Audio Day Dream" for iTunes and Wal-Mart - the latter of which will feature a 17-minute video special about Lewis' career and the making of "Audio Day Dream." "He's all about sharing the process with his fans," says RCA Music Group senior VP Aaron Borns.

Lewis, meanwhile, says the most fun he has is making the music. "Audio Day Dream," 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."