Lea Michele ready to launch first solo tour

‘This is re­ally just me do­ing it all on my own’

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - KATIE ANASTAS Seat­tle Times

Lea Michele is used to be­ing part of an ensem­ble. So ven­tur­ing out on her first solo tour has been a nerver­ack­ing part of pro­mot­ing her new album.

On tour with a group, Michele said, per­form­ers get to take breaks be­tween their songs and rely on other peo­ple to make the show suc­cess­ful.

“This is re­ally just me do­ing it all on my own,” she said in a re­cent phone in­ter­view. “That makes it a lot more scary, but it’s def­i­nitely some­thing that I feel ready for.”

The for­mer “Glee” and “Scream Queens” star re­leased her sec­ond album, “Places,” on April 28.

Michele’s first album, “Louder,” was re­leased in 2014 while she was still a cast mem­ber on “Glee.” The album’s first sin­gle, “Can­non­ball,” de­buted at No. 75 on the Bill­board Hot 100, mak­ing Michele the first “Glee” cast mem­ber to make the Hot 100 list as a lead solo artist.

“I had the most in­cred­i­ble time record­ing my first record,” Michele said. “But it was dur­ing such a busy time for me, work­ing on ‘Glee’ and record­ing an album at the same time. I had per­son­ally a lot hap­pen­ing and pro­fes­sion­ally a lot hap­pen­ing.”

Michele said work­ing on “Places” gave her an op­por­tu­nity to write mu­sic with­out be­ing in­flu­enced by “Glee.” She drew in­spi­ra­tion from artists such as Ce­line Dion and Bar­bra Streisand, as well as her time on Broad­way.

“I wanted it to sound like me,” Michele said. “The album has a lit­tle bit more the­atri­cal­ity to it than my last, and it’s much more of a vo­cal record.”

“Love Is Alive,” the album’s first sin­gle, is an emo­tional bal­lad, which Michele de­scribed as “the um­brella of the en­tire record.”

“It re­ally rep­re­sented the sound that I wanted to cre­ate and the mes­sage I wanted to re­lay,” Michele said. “Ev­ery song that came after that on the album re­ally just grew from ‘Love Is Alive.’”

An­other song on the new album, “Any­thing’s Pos­si­ble,” is a more up­beat tune about em­pow­er­ment. Michele wrote “Any­thing’s Pos­si­ble” know­ing that many fans have viewed her as a role model since she starred on “Glee.”

“A lot of peo­ple might con­sider that to be an over­whelm­ing task, but I find it to be quite an hon­our,” she said. “We have a lot hap­pen­ing in our world right now, and I think it’s im­por­tant to have songs that have this mes­sage. That’s what mu­sic is for.”

De­spite the pres­sure of per­form­ing solo, Michele said she’s ex­cited to start her tour.

Since she was un­able to go on tour for “Louder,” per­form­ing live for fans be­came a pri­or­ity the sec­ond time around.

“One of my big­gest goals for re­leas­ing the sec­ond record was to jump im­me­di­ately into tour­ing and per­form­ing,” she said. “It’s where I come from and where I feel the most com­fort­able. I wanted to have the op­por­tu­nity to go around and thank my fans for be­ing so sup­port­ive.”

BIRDIE THOMP­SON, TNS

Lea Michele is tour­ing her new album, “Places.” She plays Toronto’s Massey Hall tonight.

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