Well spoken. Open. Generous. Just a few of the adjectives I would use to describe the extremely talented singer/songwriter Glenn Lewis. You will remember him from his highly anticipated and well received début album, World Outside My Window, which featured the hit single “Don’t You Forget It” I had the privilege of meeting with Mr. Lewis last Friday here in Philadelphia at Come Kleen Production’s “Philly LivePod”, and he humbly agreed to answer my music movie thought inquiries.
Me: What is the inspiration for the new music?
Glenn: “It’s been a long time coming. For anybody that knows me or knows my music, I’m grateful and appreciative that people held out for it. What kept me going is the passion and love for (my music)”…
Okay, so the pause came when we were interrupted by stage staff, who were assisting a videography crew and interviewer (shout out Michelle Snow!) that was preparing to meet with Glenn. But oh was it worth the wait, as me and said staff were treated to an impromptu piano solo with his beautiful vocals to boot. Okay, enough gushing. Back to the questioning :).
Me: …so you were in the middle of that first question and giving me the inspiration and concept behind your new project.
Glenn: “Really, it’s been a combination of life experiences, (and) the accumulation of everything I’ve been going through, not to make it all sound deep,” he says with a smile. “(But) the moments we move through are all we have. Those moments take shape and become conversations, that become songs, that become life translated into music. And the biggest thing for me is I really wanted to let go, have fun and (let) people see a different side of me this go around.”
Me: What is the name of the first single?
Glenn: “It actually hasn’t been decided yet. There are a couple of joints that I like, but it hasn’t been decided.”
Me: …and when can we expect to hear that (in rotation)?
Glenn: “Probably within the next month.”
Me: Who has been most influential to you as far as songwriting?
Glenn: “Inspiration derives from a lot of different sources, (and) anyone who has the freedom of expression and is so in tune and comfortable with their craft. It will range from a Joni Mitchell, to The Beatles, to Stevie Wonder. It could be anyone; it could be hip hop artists. Because B.I.G. in his own way is inspirational and (Tu) Pac is inspirational, but I’m not about to drop 16 (bars) anytime soon!”
Glenn: ” Most people pick up on Stevie Wonder, but I look to a variety of artists that have affected my vocal craft. Michael Jackson, as a kid there was a sincerity to his voice that was just beautiful to me. Charlie Wilson, Donny Hathaway, Maurice White and even some of my peers they motivate me. You hear somebody do something, and you’re like I can do that. It’s a healthy competition.”
Me: I gotta put something in there for my movie fans. Favorite movie of all time?
Glenn: “Too hard. I’m such a movie buff and I love film. But if we’re talking genres…”
Glenn: “The Wiz. As far as something dramatic or intense, there’s Cinderella Man, Love Jones, everything Spike Lee did is amazing and anything Will Farrell does as far as comedy.”
Me: Last question. A lot of musicians and vocal artists have transitioned into movies. If you could play any role, what could you see yourself doing?
Glenn: “If I had the opportunity, I would love to challenge myself by doing something comical or really serious, dark. Because I’m somewhere in the middle of that, so to be able to go to whatever extreme would be really fun.”
I don’t know about you, but I am really excited to hear what Mr. Lewis has in store with this new project. When I asked him about how his spiritual background influences his music, he shared “(one) particular thing I’ve learned in God’s patience with me is the understanding that we’re flawed creatures, but really it’s grace that sees us through. So whatever purpose God has for our lives is founded in Him. I try to keep it simple and try not to over think things. I’ve learned to let go, not take things too serious, enjoy my life and the blessings I’ve been given.” I personally am looking forward to witnessing the blessings that are in store for Glenn Lewis and being blessed by his new project. And if I might suggest, I could see him in a Donny Hathaway biopic (but that’s my wishful thinking :)).
I’ll be sure to keep you posted with the album release information. In the meantime, share a comment below and help me welcome Glenn back. And check out the link below to his video for the hit “Don’t You Forget It.”
Until next thought family, Thomasena
Don’t You Forget It, Glenn Lewis (Sony, © 2002): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc4mRi7W2Ls&ob=av2e
5/25/12 UPDATE: Glenn Lewis’ first single is now expected to be released sometime in July 2012. Will keep you updated as more info is released 😉