Friday, January 12

Center Stage - Jon Peter Lewis

Meet Jon Peter Lewis, our latest Center Stage pick and recent grand prize winner of the 2017 Radio Airplay Holiday Song Contest!
Lewis is a celebrated singer-songwriter who gained national attention on American Idol as a finalist for the show's third season. Following his run on Idol, Lewis released two solo albums and three EP's; Stories From Hollywood, Break The Silence, self-titled Jon Peter Lewis, Roughcuts and Two Thousand Ten. Lewis also released two original Christmas singles, "It's Christmas" and "California Christmas." 
In 2013, Lewis appeared on The Voice with pal Ryan Hayes as the folk duo Midas Whale. The duo received the coveted 4-chair turn by all of the coaches who praised Lewis and Hayes for their "brilliant vocals" and "incredible charisma." In 2014, the duo released it's debut album,Sugar House, funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign that generated over $35,000 in less than 4 weeks. 
When Lewis first met Hayes in 2010 they began to collaborate on a rock opera written by Hayes and good friend Garrett Sherwood. Enlisted as co-producer, Lewis helped develop the musical, entitled Deep Love , for the stage. The theatrical event grew from 25 people in a living room to thousands of devoted fans filling theaters across the country. The production is presented entirely through haunting rock and folk music. Lewis, who also stars in the rock opera co-wrote the book and directs the production.
In 2015, Deep Love was selected from hundreds of candidates by a grand jury of Tony Award-winning directors and producers to be one of ten featured musicals produced for the News Link Project of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. The festival is the largest annual musical theatre festival in the United States and has been an incubator for hit Broadway shows.  Deep Love had it's successful New York debut on July 27, 2015, followed by a sold out tour throughout the Western region. After the New York Debut, Deep Love's writing team was invited to attend the prestigious Johnny Mercer's writers colony as artists in residence. The critically praised stage show will open it's sixth season in October 2016.
Get to know Lewis a bit better, where he draws inspiration and learn what he's got planned for his music career in the latest artist Q&A

Can you describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence?
Singer songwriter folk western electro-pop.

What's your earliest music-related memory growing up?
At four years old singing Beach Boy songs along with my dad at the piano.

If you were to cover another band/artist's album, which would you pick and why?
Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys because it means a lot to me.

Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process
I do write my own songs.  I don’t have any specific songwriting process.  I often start with a melodic hook, but sometimes I think of a lyric first and go from there.

What was the highlight for you in 2017? Either personally or for your music career?

What have you been working on recently? Can you give us a hint for what’s to come in 2018?
I have been tinkering with electronic music. I’d like to release some of that music soon.

What do you like more: Performing live or recording in the studio?
Recording in the studio.  The creation of music is what really interests me.

What are some artists/bands that you're into at the moment? Or any particular song you find yourself listening to over and over?
I am into Perfume Genius and Heatmaps at the moment.  The song that’s in my head these days is titled Beth by Heatmaps.

Any embarrassing on stage moments you'd like to share? C’mon, don’t be shy.
I forgot the lyrics to the National Anthem live on ESPN.

What's one thing people should know about you?
I will never be in the NBA.

What do you enjoy doing outside of music? Does your hobby rejuvenate your creativity?
I enjoy all aspects of nature, especially hiking and being near the beach.  It definitely rejuvenates my creativity. I feel at peace and it helps me focus.

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay.
I like to listen and be heard.

Check out this awesome video of Jon's duo, Midas Whale