Mainstream pop with a country lyrical twist is a good way to sum up the musical style of up-and-coming recording artist Blake Breithaupt. His love for pop melodies and production mixed with his appreciation of a great song lyric that really touches the audience creates a style that is a blend of where he comes from both personally and literally. It’s a style that is best summed up as L.A. meets Nashville.
Having grown up in the St. Louis area in nearby O’Fallon, IL, Blake was exposed to all different styles of music since a very early age. He was raised on everything from Michael Jackson, REO Speedwagon, and Celine Dion to Garth Brooks, Alabama and Shania Twain. As he entered his teen years, he found himself listening a lot to artists like Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, Michelle Branch, Missy Elliot, Brian McKnight and Rascal Flatts. He also was introduced to jazz by his high school choir director and the highly-respected jazz program she directed at the school. It was at this point that he began to appreciate the artistry and talents of such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. “My parents listened to a lot of different styles of music as I was growing up. So, by the time I was in high school, it would not be uncommon for me to go from listening to the new hip-hop tracks on Top 40 radio or the newest pop hit to some 90’s country music or an old jazz standard,” Blake says. He also has been singing, acting and dancing since he was very young and has performed in many musicals including lead roles in “West Side Story” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Through these musicals and as part of many different performing groups, Blake has developed dance technique in various styles including hip hop/urban, jazz and swing among others.
After high school, Blake left home in IL and headed to “Music City U.S.A.” Nashville, TN to pursue a Bachelor of Music degree in Commercial Music at the prestigious School of Music at Belmont University. During his time at Belmont, he interned for Echomusic on Nashville’s famed Music Row, and also worked at the world-renowned Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, which is one of the top recording studios in the world. He also accepted a summer position working for The William Morris Agency (now William Morris Endeavor Entertainment). The agency is the oldest talent agency in the world and represents talent in various entertainment fields including movies, music, television, personal appearances, etc. Many of music and film’s biggest stars have been represented by the agency over the last 115 years.
As part of his senior Belmont Honors Thesis, he interviewed around 20 people in the entertainment industry about their careers to gain insight and knowledge about many aspects of the business. These included people in many different parts of the industry including Paul Moore (Co-head of The William Morris Agency’s Nashville offices), multi-award-winning hit songwriter/record executive/producer/former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, Chris Gero (Vice President of A&R for Yamaha Corp.), hit songwriter/former Evanescence member David Hodges, Ernie Woody (manager of Ocean Way Recording Studios Hollywood, CA) and many others. “Getting to interview music industry people of this caliber was such an honor. I learned a lot about songwriting from Kara and David. They have written hundreds of Top-40 hits across multiple genres and have such a huge understanding of what makes a song great. Paul is still one of my closest mentors, and many of the people I interviewed, I still call upon when I need guidance, which is a great thing to have,” Blake says. As a performer at Belmont, Blake was a member of the 12-singer (plus full band) vocal jazz group “Jazzmin” and was the tenor for a 6-person a cappella group named “Soul’d Out”. Soul’d Out was personally invited to participate in NBC’s hit-show “The Sing Off” multiple times, but because of the conflicting solo schedules of the members, the group was ultimately unable to participate. Blake graduated from Belmont University Magna cum laude and a Belmont Honors Program Graduate with a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) Degree with a mixed emphasis in composition/arranging and performance.
Blake has since relocated to Los Angeles, CA and spends his time back and forth between L.A. and Nashville, TN performing and working on his music. During his career so far, Blake has performed in numerous states including Illinois, Hawaii, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, Texas and North Carolina. He was the opening act for major recording artist/”One Tree Hill” television show and film actor Tyler Hilton at a show in Wilmington, NC, where The CW Network’s hit television show “One Tree Hill” was filmed. “Opening for Tyler Hilton was a great experience. The show was packed, and we met a lot of great people in the audience that night who really enjoyed my set. Many of them have become fans of my music and continue to follow me in my musical journey,” Blake says. While in Wilmington, Blake worked as a background actor on the series finale episode of “One Tree Hill.” Blake can also be seen as an actor in the music video for Rascal Flatts’s hit song “Easy” (featuring Natasha Bedingfield), and he’s worked on NBC’s hit show “Parenthood”.
Recently, Blake completed recording his debut EP with multi-Grammy-winning engineer/producer Bill Whittington (Jordin Sparks, Brian McKnight, 98 Degrees, Faith Hill, Jessica Simpson, CeCe Winans, Amy Grant, etc.) The album features a blend of Blake’s own songwriting style and songs by some of today’s top songwriters in Nashville and Los Angeles. The sound will be a blend of pop, rock, R&B and country. Blake says, “I’m really excited with the record Bill and I have created. I’ve been blessed to work with some great songwriters and musicians on this project, and it’s nice to get to show more of who I am in the songs I have written as well. Some of Nashville and LA’s heaviest hitters are a part of this album, which has been such a blessing, and I can’t wait for it to be released soon, so I can share it with the world and the great people I’m honored to call my fans.”