HOMETOWN: Chicago, Ill.
INFLUENCES: Cat Stevens, Kris Kristofferson,   Simon and Garfunkel
ALBUM: Frames, out now
WEBSITE: leedewyzeofficial.com

Lee DeWyze, winner of 2010’s American Idol, recorded his new album, Frames, with one goal in mind. “I wanted to take it back to what I’m really about, which is writing emotionally charged, meaningful songs,” he says. “It feels really good to get back to the grass roots of what I’m about.” Building off his reality-show success, DeWyze, 27, has been able to establish himself as a writer and multi-instrumentalist who has no interest following trends. “It’s like that lane is open now,” he says. “I’m finally in the lane I belong in, and I feel like I can just go.” In fact, DeWyze played piano, guitar, banjo, mandolin and drums during the recording sessions. “I’ve never felt a connection with my music more than I do right now,” he says. “I’m excited for people to hear it because I know what I’m doing is honest and authentic. There may be pressure, but there are definitely no regrets.”


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