We had the good fortune of connecting with Vel Lewis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vel, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In the late 70’s, I worked for quite a few corporations in the capacities of data entry clerk, special projects facilitator, Credit Administrator, Accounting Manager, Director of Credit, on up to my last position as Chief Financial Officer for a retail chain of six stores that sold computer parts and built computers, while performing frequently and continuing to write my own music as a songwriter. I knew in 1974 when the first song I composed was featured on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand’ TV show, that I could write hit songs and that I would eventually start my own business in the music industry. I also hoped that I would have the opportunity some day to help some young musicians become successful, just as someone helped me when I was young.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am best known for my music found on the TV shows “The Sopranos”, “Mad About You”, “Friends” and others, and my published Groove Jazz recordings and videos found on YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and Yahoo Music, and many other online music retail channels. What sets me apart from others is that I am the originator of “Groove Jazz” music. I coined the term with my “All Wound Up” CD/DVD, released on the Universal Music Group’s Bungalo Records label in 2005, One of the songs from my All Wound Up CD called “Let It Ride” was released on a compilation CD in 2007, and it became the #1 Most Played Single in the U.K. I got to where I am today professionally by staying focused on completing my music projects and making them the best recordings I could, with God’s help along the way. No, it was not easy. There were many long days and nights planning, following up with my music team, doing what had to be done to accomplish tasks on time. I still work the same way – get up early every day, exercise, eat right, keep a task calendar daily and make sure I accomplish what I have planned to do, and rest properly. I’ve learned never to take anything for granted, and that God is always in control of everything in life. Rely on Him and involve Him in everything I do to be successful. I want the world to know about my accomplishments so that I can be an example for anyone to be the best they can be. Enjoy life for today, and be happy. Know that tomorrow is not promised to any of us, so do the best you can today in everything you do!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take him to visit my favorite BBQ place (Spring Creek BBQ). We would visit my favorite places for drinks and live music (B’s Wine Bar and Sugar’s Cajun Cuisine & Bar), and maybe grab some Asian food from Akashi restaurant or some take-out food from NY Chinese Cafe. We would take a trip to Sugar Land Town Square and visit my favorite Cajun restaurant The Rouxpour, and maybe do some shopping at the Mall. For an exciting time at a Brazilian churrascaria, we would go to Emporio Brazilian Cafe (live music here, too), Texas De Brazil, or Chama Gaucha churrascaria. On the weekend, we would take a drive to Galveston and Seaside to enjoy the beach, visit a nice seafood restaurant, check out the luxury cruise ships that dock there, and maybe enjoy the amusements and boardwalk. A visit to Kemah Boardwalk would be fun, too!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are two people I must acknowledge: My mother, Mrs. Rosalie Lewis, who told me to learn how to play an instrument and supported me during my early years in music before her passing. The other person is Mr. Ira Tucker, Jr., who selected me to do a TV show and subsequent recording sessions while I was in high school. This opportunity launched my career as a professional musician and recording artist.
Website: https://www.vellewis.com: https://www.f2fmusicfoundation.org
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vellewismusic; https://www.instagram.com/f2fmusic
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/vellewismusic; https://www.twitter.com/musicf2f
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vellewismusic; https://www.facebook.com/F2FMusicFoundation/
Youtube: F2F: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd_3b4N-MZNN5Bb0_wYYT0Q; Vel Lewis: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpiPkMvD770bprlm7w9WUGw
Other: Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/vellewis Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/vel-lewis-music Bandcamp: https://vellewismusic.bandcamp.com Bandsintown: https://www.bandsintown.com/a/10558086-vel-lewis-music
Lena Ringstad Photography Heidi Powell-Prera/HPP Foto