By: Sarah Fahey, guest blogger
Dashing good looks, manners, charm, wit and a huge amount of talent… oh! and letâ€™s not forget a Classical Brit Award for their debut album!
Blake, a classical crossover group, comprising of Stephen Bowman, Jules Knight, Dominic Tighe and Ollie Baines, first appeared on the scene in 2007 after forming on Facebook.
Whoa. Social media in action, anyone?
Initially compared to G4 and Il Divo, but soon growing into their own for their unique style of harmonies, Blake take well-known classical and pop songs, and together with their Musical Director, Mark Williams, create arrangements which are truly breathtaking.
In early 2009, Dominic Tighe left the group to return to an acting career. The others, still wanting to continue with their music, recruited new member Humphrey Berney using an appeal on Twitter.
Humphrey, or “Barney” as he is known in the group, has an equally impressive musical background, and fits into the group perfectly both on a personal and musical level.
Blake are now set to release their third album â€œTogetherâ€ in October. What makes this album different is that it has been produced under their own label â€œBlake Recordsâ€ and will be distributed through EMI label services. By recording under their own label, they are able to have greater creative freedom and choose the songs they want to sing and in a way they want to sing them.
Stephen Bowman, the bass-baritone of the group feels that this album is by far the best of their work to date and is excited to be working with a company as great as EMI.
“”Together” is a hybrid of the first two albums. We’ve taken the best parts of our previous work, to create something which is right at the heart of where we feel Classical Crossover should be.”
He explained that this genre of music has such a wide spectrum with classical at one extreme and pop at the other that finding a delightful middle ground is often tricky, and could be a complete success or a complete failure.
But if Blake’s Brit Award has anything to say about that, it’s safe to say, they’re found that “middle ground.”
With “Together,” Blake has challenged the rules of popera by performing songs from both ends of the spectrum, opera and pop. However, keeping in their style, for example, their version of the U2 hit, “With or Without You,” sounds like a pop song, recorded with electric guitars etc, whereas “Nessun Dorma,” sounds like an operatic piece, recorded with an orchestra.
“This way, our listeners and fans get to experience listening to the album as if listening to your iPod on shuffle. It’s a good mixture from both ends of the spectrum; a truly eclectic mix.”
Although the new album is not released until October 12th, if the sample tracks on their official website are anything to go by then fans are in for a real treat.
Blake are bringing their music to the United States in October when they appear at The Angel Ball in New York, an event created by Denise Rich, who has written â€œUnsung Hero” from the album, “Together.”
The guys hope that this trip to the USA will be the first of many and are greatly looking forward to it. If you want Blake to come and perform in your area, head over to their official website and click on the link to â€œBring Blake to Your City!â€ As part of their tradition in connecting with fans, Blake encourages their audience to connect with them on the Internet and tell them what you really think.
Blake happily take the time with chat with their fans on both Facebook and Twitter, and have even been known to “hang around” after their live performances to meet and greet. Incidentally, a lot of the band’s song choices from “Together” were all chosen as a result of messages and suggestions from their fans. Check out the video below fore a glimpse:-
The coming months look to set a busy schedule for Blake as they prepare for numerous engagements promoting the new album both in the UK and the USA. But rest assured, should you ask, they’ll answer.
That’s the power of interaction, that’s the power of engagement, that’s the power of Blake!
Click here to get a free copy of their song “La Califfa” from “Together”
** Special thanks to Stephen from Blake for sitting with Sarah Fahey for the interview.Â — Best wishes, Sarah (and Sasha) xx. **
P.S Pink Book Readers:-
Sarah Fahey was born in London, England. She has a B.A. English, Philosophy and History from Open University in the UK. She enjoys traveling, reading, theatre, opera and all genres of music.