by David Cohen
Good looking, sexy, smart, intelligent and charming are just a few words that describe the talented young gay singer and songwriter, Levi Kreis who recently released his sixth album just in time for gay pride.
Since we both live in Chicago, I have decided to meet Levi in-person. I wanted to get a sense of the person he is. I was curious to learn more about his gospel and R&B infused modern music and his views on life.
The new album Imagine Paradise carries a new strong personal message of sexual liberation, freedom, and the expectancy of being an openly gay man, and a proud member of the LGBT community.
Three years in the making, the new album reflects Levi’s personal preference, staying true to his own feelings and identity. Levi delivers the music he loves most a mix of R&B and disco that comes directly from his heart. His new music emerges from his soul just like the “Queen of Disco” Donna Summer did in the seventies, as she ruled the dance floors all over the world.
With his commanding voice and presence, fiery beat and rhythm, Levi fearlessly delivers his best work and vocals to-date. To me, this album is so much better than ever before.
One song in the new album Imagine Paradise addresses the right to love who we choose. It was inspired by one of Levi’s friends who is in the military, and it addresses the issue of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act. “I’ve never done anything harder, and I’ve never done anything more rewarding” said Levi. His ability to use his voice as a tool to present other people issues is a gift from heaven, and he hopes it will articulate our day-to-day issues in the only way he knows how––with his music.
You may know Levi as the 2010 Tony Award Winner for his role as Jerry Lee Lewis in the musical Million Dollar Quartet. Now he returns to his roots in Imagine Paradise by setting a new tone for his future, embracing our history and his identity. "My music captures a period of time where R&B and dance music emerged from the black and gay communities as vital anthems of freedom. It’s sort of new-disco, it is a sound that celebrates our history and takes pride in our accomplishments."
Levi’s music has been featured on many major network TV shows such as The Vampire Diaries, Sons of Anarchy, The Apprentice, The View, David Letterman, and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Levi was featured as one of Out Magazine “Out100” alums, a ‘number-one’ Logo TV artist, and a winner of OUTMusic Awards.
The song “Love Revolution” will lead the album release, following up the radio success of the debut single "So Much Better" which was released last March. Imagine Paradise will be released on June 20, 2013, and will be available on iTunes.
For more information on Levi Kries visit his website www.levikreis.com.