Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis Get to Work on Albums
As they see the end of this year's American Idols Live tour, Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis are hard at work on their debut albums.
Both singers told Billboard.com they've been using off-days for recording, and both hope to have their efforts out before Thanksgiving. Sparks' is untitled so far, while Lewis' has dubbed his "Audio Daydream (ADD)."
She's recorded four songs so far - including one with the production team Stargate - in Los Angeles, Omaha, Neb., and Chicago, with a session scheduled for this week in Pittsburgh. She plans to do the bulk of the recording back in Los Angeles after the Idols Live! tour finishes on Sept. 22.
"It'd kind of Kelly Clarkson's pop edge, a little bit," Sparks said, "and I recorded a ballad-y type song, like a power vocal song, and then I recorded just a really fun, fast one. I'm trying to mix everything together. I'm loving all the songs I'm recording, so hopefully that will come off the album when you listen to it and you'll be able to feel the emotion."
Idols Live! tour mate Chris Richardson has been writing songs with both Sparks and Lewis for their albums, which wukk be submitted for consideration. Lewis says he's recorded eight songs so far, working with producers such as Sam Hollander, Mike Elizondo and J.R. Rottem.
"It's your favorite '80s mix tape," Lewis said, "very inspired by Michael Jackson, Prince, Erasure, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, the Cure. It's all over the map, really - very influenced by '80s hip-hop, old school breaks, whatever."
"They're letting me down the album I've always wanted to make," said Blake, who's written 11 of his own songs for the set.
Sparks and Lewis are both signed with Sony BMG by virtue of their Idol finishes, but the rest of the crew is awaiting word on whether they'll receive an offer later this month.
Richardson, meanwhile, is also planning a "rock and soul" album he says will be "a mixture of Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz." He's also writing for Phil Stacey who, like Haley Scarnato, plans to make a country album.
Gina Glocksen hopes to record "something pop/rock, like ... Pink," while LaKisha Jones has her eye on a gospel/spiritual album.