Blake Lewis by Michael Becker/Fox
Just one week before the American Idols Live tour kicks off in Sunrise, Florida, Blake Lewis is already hard at work laying down tracks for his upcoming album. "I just recorded my first track last night," the Idol runner-up told TV Guide in an exclusive interview. "I've already written seven songs."

Lewis, who is in the midst of rehearsals for American Idols Live, began recording in Los Angeles on June 18. Electronic musician BT has signed on to produce and rapper Doug E. Fresh, who performed with Lewis on the Season 6 finale, is in talks to beatbox on a song.

"There's a couple of emcees I'd like to work with," he says. "I'm going to have four or five people beatbox between tracks."

Asked to describe the disc's sound, Lewis says, "I'd classify it as electro-funk-soul-pop if you need to label it. I really love the sounds of the '80s so I hope to ring some of that back. I'm really inspired by electronic music."

Fans can expect to hear the new tunes by the end of the year. "It's on the chopping block because they want it out by Thanksgiving or Christmas," he reveals. But the Seattle native promises that listeners won't be disappointed.

"I've been working for such a long time writing a lot of songs in different genres," says Lewis. "The first album is really a testament of who you are." - Reporting by Dana Meltzer Zepeda