Glenn Lewis' silky voice may be winning acclaim and earning him comparisons to Stevie Wonder, but the Toronto native says that if he hadn't been seriously doubting himself when he penned the hit "Don't You Forget It," his success might not have ever come about.
"I decided to write about a woman in a situation where she may have left home to come to the big city for the purposes of opportunity or job advantage and finds herself intimidated or overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle and survival-of-the-fittest mentality," he explained. "The plot is based around a woman, but in fact I was actually going through it myself.
"After I'd written it, I discovered that I was writing about what I was feeling at the time. Being intimidated by being in the company of so many phenomenally talented people. Being in the company of [my album's producers] Andre Harris and Vidal Davis, who produced Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild and Michael Jackson. And [hanging out with] Musiq Soulchild. Everybody was so talented, I had to question my place in being here. I had to back up and keep in mind the things I had gone through to get to that point."
Lewis is literally going to be rolling with another highly touted music aficionado, Alicia Keys. The singer was so touched by Lewis' song that she added him as an opening act on her tour that kicks off January 22 in Connecticut. Until a few weeks ago, Keys had no plans to bring anybody with her.
"To my understanding, it was her intention to go out on her own," Lewis said. "Apparently she heard 'Don't You Forget It' ... and said, 'Let's see what this dude is about as an artist.' By the grace of God it all came together. It's a huge blessing to be able to go out with her. She's such an amazing talent and incredible songwriter. We met while I was in New York not too long ago, She was doing a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden. She was really gracious, hellafide nice, down-to-earth and cool. It looks like its gonna be a fun tour."
Although his debut LP, World Outside My Window, doesn't drop until March, Lewis said he's hoping audiences will be able to bond with him and find him a familiar soul.
"Honesty, sincerity I consider my show to be a one-on-one thing," he said. "Hanging out with friends [is what it's going to feel like]. Hopefully people will walk away [saying,] 'Glenn is sort of that dude from down the street that we all know.' I hope people enjoy it."