Blake Lewis' "Heartbreak on Vinyl" is burning up the Billboard dance charts.
Add another accolade to Seattle’s “City of Music” status. Blake Lewis’ latest single, “Heartbreak on Vinyl,” has hit Number 1 on two Billboard charts: last month the Dance/Club Play Chart and, this week, the Hot Dance Airplay Chart. Lewis, an “American Idol” finalist who cut his teeth singing and beatboxing at Tost Lounge in Fremont, is the first native son — and first “Idol” contestant — to achieve the double honor.
“I’ve been working my tail off, grinding away on the album,” Lewis says, referring to his second record, also called “Heartbreak on Vinyl,” released on Tommy Boy Entertainment in October of last year. “I’m an independent artist on an independent label getting a lot of love from DJs and producers.”
Indeed, the Club Play Chart is especially auspicious, a ranking based on a weekly poll of tastemaking dance-club DJs across the country. It has a heavy influence on the Airplay Chart, which tallies radio plays from five stations monitored around the clock.
“Heartbreak on Vinyl” is Lewis’ love letter to the vinyl records he loves and a lament of the loss of independent record stores. It opens with lines alluding to his hometown and its record shops: “The Easy Street is empty/The silence of the sound.”
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“It’s completely about Seattle,” Lewis says, “the silence of Puget Sound, all these great record stores, Sonic Boom, Easy Street, Platinum. All these places I shopped at my whole life.”
He wrote the song in a half-hour during a trip to New York last June, he says, the week the Virgin Megastore closed down. While his favorite Northwest shops are still alive and well, he’s worried about the fate of record stores in general. Fittingly, Tommy Boy released “Heartbreak on Vinyl” on vinyl as well as CD and MP3.
After living in and around Seattle his whole life, Lewis, 28, is soon leaving for Los Angeles to pursue his music career. His farewell party is Saturday night at the Last Supper Club in Pioneer Square, where he’ll be singing, beatboxing, and, naturally, spinning records.
Jonathan Zwickel: email@example.com