*R&B is in the midst of a bit of resurgence; maybe not at the top of the mainstream, but with recent releases by Raheem DeVaughn, Tamar Braxton, Lyfe Jennings, K. Michelle and John Legend, there’s been an influx of albums focused on the feeling the music gives and the stories songs tell. Adding his name to that list is an artist who blew into the R&B field during the early 2000’s and seemingly disappeared not too long after, but emerged this year with a new single and today, a new album. Toronto’s Glenn Lewis has reconnected with some of Philadelphia finest producers to put out an album that rekindles the magic many of us felt with 2001’s “Don’t You Forget It” and have been missing lately.
EURweb associate Al-Lateef Farmer recently sat down to chat with him about where he’s been, but more importantly, what he’s up to now.
EURweb: The first question, is probably the most asked question, where has Glenn Lewis been?
Glenn Lewis: I’ve been working on music, performing overseas and I’ve been in and out of different situations since World Outside My Window. There have been a lot of changes in the game; when I was over at Sony, Napster came along, then the downloading era began and changed a lot of things. Many of the executives I was working with moved on to other situations or were just let go. A whole new regime was brought in and the people that came in had their own visions and were breaking new artists and I kinda got lost in the sauce, before mutually parting ways.
EUR: What was the period like?
GL: To keep it all the way real, it was tough. I was in and out of different situations, things would happen, deals would fall through, but I had to keep it going. Fortunately, the fans were very supportive. There would be a timely e-mail saying, “Hey man we miss you, we miss the music”, that always kept me encouraged. Fortunately, I ended up with Ruffhouse/Caroline/Capitol Records and I feel blessed and appreciative to be back with this new music.
EUR: Does the timing feel right for you now?
GL: Absolutely! I feel like folks need to be reminded that R&B is a timeless genre, with a quality of music that’s the soundtrack to our lives in a lot of ways. I think people have just missed it. Timing wise, myself and others dropping artists now are doing something great for music lovers and the music community. It feels good to let the fans know I’m back and allowing new listeners to get familiar with me.
It’s so wide open now with the internet and people having so much access to you and your music; I think even though the market can be saturated, the really good projects and artists can really be heard and sort of rise to the top. So, it feels good to be in the mix.
EUR: As you mentioned earlier, there’s been many changes in the industry, how do you plan to go about introducing yourself to a new audience and marketplace?
GL: It starts with the music. You have to put in the work. The music has to move people; you have to write and tell the kind of stories that people can feel and connect with what you do. That’s what made me a fan. There’s a whole new scope, the internet has created so many opportunities to share your music. I’m still getting comfortable allowing people to see me in another light and that’s what social media does. So, allowing people to connect with me during real moments is important, through the music and social media.
EUR: What was it like when you started receiving the response to “Can’t Say Love”?
GL: Incredible. Amazing. Exciting. I feel blessed. It’s about making this impression and continuing to make more, while not leaving that void again. It’s important to let folks know that I’m not going anywhere. The way that song was embraced was amazing and the comments were like, “Love the song, love the fact that you’re back even more”. and I feel like that support I’ve been receiving has been mostly based on sincere enthusiasm that I’m back. The reaction is the same everywhere I’ve been on my promo run and it makes it all worthwhile.
EUR: What’s the plan for working the album?
GL: Basically, we’re putting a lot of show dates and tours into place, so I’m looking forward to getting on the road and getting out touching the fans. There’s nothing like that live experience, getting out with the people that support you and getting comfortable, like we’re chilling at my house. That’s the atmosphere that I like to create. That’s the main focus, getting on the road and being able to really connect with my folks.
EUR: Tell me about the atmosphere Moment of Truth creates?
GL: The title, Moment of Truth, stems from a conversation with Vidal Davis (friend and producer); we operated at a certain pace with this album and making each song special in its own right. We talked about each song being the kind of conversation people have in life. It’s not trying to make it sound deep; it’s being able to share from a genuine place, where they make a personal connection with the songs.
Each song is a moment, capturing an honest truthful moment. Be it, expressing my desire for a woman or having been in a relationship for some time and expression my appreciation or being on the outside of a situation and expressing my vulnerabilities and anxieties, about being in a relationship. This album in many ways is inspired by my appreciation for women; I’ve learned through many mistakes and at the expense of a few women over time and I wanted to make an album that really showcased their strength and beauty from my point of view.
EUR: Who were some of the people you worked with on the album?
GL: Vidal Davis and Andre Harris, as well as Carvin Haggins and Ivan Barias. I had the opportunity to work with some up-and-comers out of Philadelphia, The Matrax and another crew CertiFYD and Latif, who produced and wrote “Can’t Say Love” respectfully. I have a certain kind of vibe with Philly musicians; there’s a connection and chemistry that really makes for good music and allows me to tell my stories and that’s where I’m at.
EUR: What songs should we look for on the album?
GL: “All I See is You” is a song that different people can relate to, it’s one of my favorites. “Better With Time” has a real cool vibe, a throwback vibe, speaking from the aspect of being in a relationship and being able to say, this, no you, are really getting better with time.
The current single, “All My Love” with Melanie Fiona, is really special for me. She’s from my people. We’re both from Toronto and seeing her become so successful was great for me and to come together in the studio was great. We had a lot of fun making the record.
EUR: Is there anything else that you want to leave with the people?
GL: I think this is a need album. It’s been a long time coming and I put my heart into this album, my soul, and I want people to enjoy it! Also, I want people to really take a step back, regardless of what’s going on and appreciate what it is to be alive. No matter what’s going on, there’s hope for something better at any moment.
Glenn Lewis’ Moment of Truth is now available and can be purchased here. Also, stay current with Glenn Lewis by visiting www.glennlewisofficial.com or following him on Twitter (@beingglennlewis) and Instagram (@beingglennlewis). Or, stop by his Facebook page (Facebook.com/GlennLewis4Real).