Elise Trouw / Blake Lewis

Elise Trouw / Blake Lewis

Fri · November 24, 2017

8:00 pm

$10.00

This event is all ages

Elise Trouw
Elise Trouw
I was born in Southern California to a South African father and a mother from New York in the very last year of the millennium. Raised on The Carpenters, Green Day, and 80s New Wave, I always looked forward to rides in my mom’s car where she played her “ mixtapes", whether it was on a compilation CD or an ancient iPod. Inspiration struck when my six-year-old self first heard the haunting piano melody in “My Immortal” by Evanescence. I distinctly remember a five hour plane ride that consisted of that one song blasting repeatedly into my ears. So I begged my parents for piano lessons, and after they finally relented, they were then begging me to not practice at five in the morning every day. I did it anyway, and my love for piano just grew stronger.

Life changed when my family bought the game Rockband for Xbox. After mastering the drums to "Dani California” on Expert Mode, I thought I was ready to rock (thank you, Chad Smith). It took a lot more to convince my parents I needed drum lessons, but I managed to wear them down with my obsessive talk and relentless requests. Luckily, at that time we were living on a 2-acre former chicken farm in the middle of nowhere, so the decibel change from piano to drums was irrelevant.

A few months after finding my way around an actual drum kit, my parents realized that I was serious about drumming, so they supported my cause and enrolled me in School of Rock, where I learned how to play and perform with other young musicians. Being one of the youngest only pushed me harder to keep up with the older kids. From Mitch Mitchell's jazz-rock waltz on Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression" to the syncopated groove of Richard Bailey on Jeff Beck’s “Blow by Blow" to the funky feel of Tower of Power’s David Garibaldi, I wanted to learn it all.

During my high school years, I started reading charts in band, and jazz became another component of my musicality. At the same time, I began writing both on piano and guitar, spending hours before, after, and even during school to fulfill my creative desires. Because of my dedication to music and growing following on social media, I graduated early to commit fully to music and the creation of my first album. The decision to perform all of the instrumental and vocal tracks on the recordings stemmed from my desire to learn more about recording and to push myself beyond my own limits.

People ask me "What genre is your music?” With songs in 5/4 and 7/4, chords that you'd normally find in The Real Book next to "Take Five,” and influences like Radiohead, The Police, and Steely Dan, I’m really not sure what box I fit into- I’ll leave that up to you.
Blake Lewis
Blake Lewis
"Blake Lewis is such an amazing talent, and Portrait of a Chameleon really delivers on showcasing all his skill and artistry." — Ken Jordan, The Crystal Method

"Blake is a super-soulful and creative dude. We had a lot of fun writing 'She Gives Me Her Love.' Great vocal and beats." — Nick Hexum, 311

Blake Lewis first came to national attention as one of the most unique contestants ever to compete on American Idol, and long before that, as a teenager, he was well-known as "Bshorty" in Seattle's a cappella, hip-hop, and rave scenes. But with the release of his ambitious and completely independent third album, Portrait of a Chameleon, Blake is taking things to a whole new level.

The follow-up to the critically acclaimed Audio Day Dream (which sold 350,000 copies and spawned the top 40 single "Break Anotha") and Heartbreak on Vinyl (the title track of which went to #1 twice on Billboard's dance charts), Portrait of a Chameleon is "fun, sexy, and positive. I'd call it 'future pop,'" says Blake. "Across the album, I juxtapose so many different kinds of music. It's very anthemic, and there's an epic feel. The album metaphor has to do with finding our colors, as we are all chameleons. I'm standing out on the cover because I've found mine. I will always continue to stretch the boundaries of the human voice and create the music that colors my life."

Using Blake's own painstakingly handcrafted library of sampled mouth sounds ("beatboxing, sound effects, vocal scratching, the works") as its foundation, Portrait of a Chameleon runs the gamut from the reggae-tinged Nick Hexum co-write "She Gives Me Her Love" to the horn-laden funky-freshness of "Disco in Space," from the sexy slow-jam "Lost in Heaven" to the poignant life-on-the-fringe cautionary tale "Not Today," the latter inspired by Blake's mother, whom he considers his main inspiration. The album also features the hard-hitting, bass-in-your-face "Your Touch," the soundtrack to 2013's Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 campaign — which starred Blake, played on more than 19,000 theater screens across the U.S., received more than 1.2 billion impressions, and has already sold 130,000 copies worldwide.

But perhaps the centerpiece of Portrait is the '80s-tastic pop epic "Retro Romance." A sonic sequel of sorts to "Heartbreak on Vinyl," the frothy, feelgood ode to a Jordache-clad dreamgirl with "Suzanne Somers thighs" sounds like a final-love-scene song on a John Hughes soundtrack — meaning, of course, that it sounds totally awesome. "Duran Duran, the Cure, Depeche Mode, Prince, and Michael Jackson were always playing when I was growing up, on CD or on vinyl," Blake says fondly of his proud '80s influences.

However, Portrait of a Chameleon — out on Blake's on Audio Day Dream Records and distributed through InGrooves — still has a hypermodern feel, and Blake is looking ahead, hoping that his "future pop" will connect with fans of all ages. "So here we go/A chance to start again/The melody is calling me/There's no time to pretend," he boldly declares in the album's opening track.

"I never wanted to stick to one style or stay in one place," Blake stresses. "And I haven't been more proud of anything in my life than this album."
Venue Information:
Moroccan Lounge
901 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA, 90012
http://www.themoroccan.com/