American Idol Finalist Teams Up with Pendulum Drummer. - The Private Language: Afterglow
posted 06 Mar 2022 by Krister Axel
An enticing mix of elevated songcraft, buttery electronic grooves, and edgy pop modernism.

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The Private Language is made up of celebrated pop singer Blake Lewis, along with electronic music’s most accomplished drummer and producer: KJ Sawka of Pendulum. Their immersive collaboration is perfect for fans of Rufus Du Sol and Toro Y Moi, fusing gorgeous melody with intricate rhythms and bit of highly polished future funk.

Lewis rose to fame as one of the most distinctive and memorable finalists on American Idol, winning over the world with his charismatic singing, beatboxing and scat-singing. He went to collaborate with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, releasing a top 10 US album and a #1 Billboard dance track. He originally crossed paths with Sawka amid the vibrant Seattle hip hop and rave scene, as they became fast friends and fellow musical travelers.

KJ Sawka has been playing drums and producing for over 28 years, working with artists such as Illenium, BT, and Amon Tobin. He is most known as the incendiary drummer for drum n’ bass legends Pendulum. Together, KJ Sawka and Blake Lewis craft unique and mesmerizing electro-pop. "Afterglow" is a complex showcase of their musical chemistry, as the undeniable vocal talents of Blake Lewis shine against the backdrop of Sawka's percussive magic. The result is an enticing mix of elevated songcraft, buttery electronic grooves, and edgy pop modernism.

The music video for "Afterglow" gives fans a look into the live performance that the guys have been working hard on—the duo performs with Blake on vocals, keyboards and programming, and KJ on drums, percussion and bass, of course with their signature eye and face adornments.

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About the Author


Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.

Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist