The season six runner-up has signed a new record deal with Tommy Boy Entertainment, the seminal dance/hip hop/electronic label whose catalog includes albums by Africa Bambaataa, Biz Markie and De La Soul. “I’m doing an electro-pop slash real-hip hop-influenced album, ” he told Billboard. “It’s a great record already and we’re only five songs into it. We’re hoping to have it out for April, so I’m working my butt off.”
Blake says there will be a “ton of guests” on the record, mostly Seattle vocalists, but he also has his sights on someone we didn’t quite expect: Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie. Turns out, Blake’s got a connection. “My manager Leslie Lewis is Jenny Lewis’ sister, so it’s all a community thing, ” he said. “I’m hoping to talk to him about it at the Grammys.”
The Ben Gibbard collaboration is totally unexpected–considering that Blake the electronica guy has never shown any indie rock inclinations–but totally cool, if you ask me.
Blake, who parted ways with RCA/Arista and 19 Management last year, is commenting on Idol as a special FOX correspondent for his local Seattle affiliate.
“It’s comedy to me, ” he said. “Because with the audition episodes, I was there for 12 hours, and to see how they cut it into two cities in a one-hour show, I just laugh about it.”