Jeff Lewis Biography
Hailing from the Dallas suburb of Coppell, Texas, this multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, vocalist and dancer grew up amidst a gumbo of musical influences worthy of his Louisiana roots. J. goes so far as to say "without Louisiana, I don't know where I would be. Truly a magical place" As a child, he counts Michael Jackson as his number one inspiration, along with Stevie Wonder, Prince, Steely Dan and the Beatles. As he grew, his tastes diversified. "I just really started listening to Hip Hop and R&B pretty much exclusively. I was a huge Craig David fan," says Lewis. "And also just growing up, when I first started playing, definitely John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson." J. Lewis started singing at age six and was involved in local productions until his aspirations took him higher. "I auditioned for a major Broadway show," recalls Lewis. "They brought in a choreographer and… I just had no clue what I was doing." Then an athlete in High School, at that point he traded the locker-room for the hardwood floors and mirrors of an urban dance studio. "I started taking a lot of classes and was in a company in Dallas," says Lewis. "I told my coaches and they laughed about it and gave me a hard time, but it was all in fun." At age 17, J. Lewis left home and headed west to stake his claim on the goldfields of Hollywood's entertainment industry. There, the reformed jock set his sights on the urban-pop dance scene. "I thought dance would be my avenue into music, but I just didn't really dig the dance industry out here," says Lewis. "You cannot step on your own foot. Just kind of keep your integrity but find a way to also give people what they want." It was this thinking that led him to drop out of a promising tour engagement with Pop sensation Britney Spears. "That was the last audition I ever went on," says Lewis. J. Lewis then shifted the gears of his career. "I just didn't want to be auditioning for other people's videos," says Lewis. "I wanted to be making the video." Pursuing this path included waiting tables as he paid dues, honing his songwriting craft, taking vocal coaching and learning new instruments. "I did the Hollywood scene for a while," says Lewis, citing venues such as The Viper Room, The Roxy and the Hotel Cafe. "We did the Hollywood thing for three years and I was waiting tables the whole time.”
Two years ago, one of his showcases led to a production deal and signing with (Blackground/Interscope) Records under the auspices of the label's legendary founder, Barry Hankerson. "It's an absolute honor. Barry is a great dude. He saw it from the get-go," says Lewis. "It's so good to have a label that has a plan… not the cookie-cutter mold of a plan that the rest of the industry is using: a plan that’s extremely effective.” That plan is coming to fruition with the release of his single, “Dancing for Me” featuring Flo Rida. An exhilarating entrée of riveting rhythms, "Dancing for Me" offers a refreshing repose from radio's regularity. "Dancing for Me" places J. Lewis amongst a vanguard of multi-talented young musicians composing collages of cross-genre, forward-facing music. "With the iPod generation that we've all become, there's just so much room for an album to branch out and stretch the boundaries of the genres we're doing." The accompanying video showcases these slightly left of center sensibilities, a futuristic fashion flair above and "Beyond Thunderdome," and the agility of an athlete who has honed himself into a highly expressive body instrument. J. Lewis has moved past the training montage of life's movie and is now prepared for his showdown with stardom and success. "This is literally square one," says Lewis," just really getting a good foundation on hopefully the rest of an extremely long career." His album was shelved and is no longer with a major label.
Lewis, identified by his full name Jeff Lewis, was a contestant on Season 4 of The Voice, which aired in the spring TV season of 2013. In the show Lewis sang "U Got It Bad" by Usher for his Blind Audition. Shakira, Usher & Blake turned their chairs and Lewis selected to join team Usher. Lewis was eliminated in the next "Battle" round after a face-off duet with contestant Josiah Hawley, where they sang "Roxanne" by The Police.