Levi’s gospel-rich vocals have found their way forward in previous recordings, along with his church-inspired piano style, and has defined some of his best known songs. An East Tennessee native, Levi spent his youth mimicking the piano style of southern gospel music and idolizing men like Ray Charles who brought that sound to the mainstream. But Kreis (pronounced krice) confesses that everything he knows, he learned from one of Ray’s younger peers, Little Miss Dynamite, Brenda Lee. Traveling on her tour bus and studying her genius on stage and off, Kreis adopted Lee’s strong work ethic and classy reputation. But it was Brenda’s ability to have an audience in the palm of her hand that Kreis sought to make his own. By all accounts, Kreis succeeded. To this day Lee confesses, “I taught him everything he knows!”
Every stage of Levi’s life has been chronicled through his albums. Each one reveals a new side to this singer/songwriter, taking you through a myriad of genres – piano pop, gospel, country, r&b and jazz. Levi’s music has been featured in film and television shows including The Vampire Diaries, Sons of Anarchy, and So You Think You Can Dance. Seven albums have afforded Kreis impressive accolades – top ten positions on various charts, #1 music videos, national tours, TV appearances on The View, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and a Tony Award for originating the role of Jerry Lee Lewis in Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet. With a multi-talent like Kreis, it’s no wonder his impact has been broad and varied.
But Kreis is now settling in to what he knows best – southern soul. His newest project Bad Habit takes us on a slightly more urban journey. Recorded in Los Angeles at Angelhouse Studios, produced by Drew Kapner, we get a grittier, more honest perspective of Kreis. The first single Three Words drops September 20th.