[Photo Credit: Dominic Episcopo]
I was excited to interview Glenn Lewis for several reasons. Mostly however, I wanted answers — as in why he made us fall in love with him and his music with the 2002 release World Outside My Window, only to have us wait a painstaking 11 years for a satisfying dose of “the voice” and his unique take on life and love that hooked us all in the first damn place. And I’m not even gonna front, I wanted to see those signature dimples up close and personal.
Not 10 minutes into my talk with the Lewis, I realized that he is much more that a fine face and a fierce vocalist. He is an observer, a thinker, a student of life and love. All of these attributes have served Lewis well in the creation of his second album, Moment of Truth. In our hour-long chat Lewis shared that each song is a moment of truth captured, that lends itself to what he’s trying to offer through the music—truthful and real moments, the big and the small. In a world where you’re only as good as your last big hit, and given that it’s been over a decade since his last release, I couldn’t help but wonder just a little to what degree Lewis felt pressure to sell records. But it became crystal clear during my interview that Lewis is right where he should be at this point in time, on track to make his indelible mark on music as only he knows how, all the while striking the perfect balance between achieving success and savoring life’s sweet moments.
[Photo Credit: Whitney Thomas]
VH1: A bit of time has passed since your first album dropped and we all want to know what happened? What took you so long to release another album?
Glenn Lewis: Really, it was inadvertent. I didn’t want to be sitting on the sidelines. But I guess it was a matter of timing. There were a lot of shifts and changes in the business and as a result, with all the success I had at Sony with World Outside My Window, I got around to ’04 and getting ready to put out a new album, the album was completed, it was titled Back for More, but all the people who were instrumental in spearheading the first project — all the key people were gone. So, amicably, Sony and I parted ways in ’04. I’ve been in and out of deals since then, but for one reason or another it was just timing issues, there was a lot of things going on in the business. The downloading thing really affected the game, all this consolidating and downsizing was going on, so it’s a trickle down effect. From what was going on within the labels to even how the labels were doing their business. And so it was one of those things where if you weren’t out the gate a platinum seller from before it was difficult for people to – not that they didn’t show interest – but just to spend that money. They weren’t necessarily able to see their return, and the game is pretty unforgiving. No one really asks much questions of who dropped the ball where, it’s just one of those things where they assume that oh well if it didn’t do this, then what am I supposed to do with that? They just look for the next thing. So it was a little bit of all of those factors but you know, fortunately is the case, I was able to stay busy, people were always interested. And as of 2013 I ran into the co-founder of Ruffhouse Records while I was recording in Philadelphia, and recently reconnected with my longtime fam, brother and one of the producers that worked on my first album, Vidal Davis, we were just cutting records and Chris [Schwartz] was in and out every now and again and he inquired about what I was doing and said we should be working on an album and basically we started talking about the possibilities of working together, and here I am now.