What’s the next best thing to having extraordinary offspring to call your children? If you’re Grammy award-winning musician, Ramsey Lewis—the next best thing is to have smart and talented grandchildren.
Unlike his famous grandfather, 19-year-old Frayne Lewis, Jr. aka Frayne Vibez has thrown his musical hat in the arena. The youngest Lewis to follow after his father; musician, producer, and songwriter, Frayne Lewis whose produced a plethora of R&B and Jazz albums over nearly three decades. The Loyola University student-produced wrote and rapped on his first EP, “Good Vibez Only” with the first single, “Flowin’” featuring Nia Kay.
In between his studies, while attending high school, Lewis would work on music without letting his father know until he felt he nurtured his own individual style. He said it was more of an escape than a chore.
“For me, music is always something I can go to, especially in high school, which was tough. I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing there except for getting the grades and going to college. I would listen to music and hear how the artist would speak to me, and that would help me. They would say things, and I think ‘that’s what I’m going through, how did they know that?’ ”, he explains. “I wanted to recreate that feeling for others because I feel that’s so moving. So, I decided to start pursuing it. I started making beats because I wanted to create for my own. When my dad listened to it and said, ‘hey, that sounds good, you should start writing to it,’ I started writing and eventually got in the recording studio to make some songs,” he says.
The project blends hip hop with live instrumentation and showcases his ear to live arrangements.
“The piano is one of the biggest influences for me. If you want to get into music, try touching a keyboard—it helps so much. It helped me with chord production and finding a melody. What drives the melody, rhythms, and harmonization? It’s what you feel in music. With percussions, it helped me with the drums, the high hats, and finding the right tempos. All of these things in my life helped me with producing. I want to thank all of my teachers because I look back and see all the stuff I’ve done. What I’m doing now, I think ‘Wow, I couldn’t have done this if I didn’t take this class,” Lewis says.
While creating a signature sound for the project, he wasn’t too proud to ask for his father’s input in the studio.
He says, “I went to my dad for production, but I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something more modern in my time, not to say his thing was old. I wanted to take a fresh look–a new approach. My dad has helped me so much with my music. His musical ear and his opinion are so strong, and I take it so well because he knows so much.”
Regardless of his new role as a young music mogul-in-the-making, his commitment to his studies in his freshman year landed him on the Dean’s List for the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University. He is not wavering from his commitment to acquiring his college degree.
“It was challenging —my main goal and objective right now in school. Right now, music is a hobby that I want to turn into a career. If there’s a decision between going to the library or working on a beat, I choose the library and studying for that test coming up. I owe that to my parents,” says Frayne.
The single, “Flowin” sits on nearly several Spotify playlists including Summer Hits 2019. The song is about focusing on what is essential in a person’s life and not putting your priorities on the shelf to make your love interest happy.
“They’re there but not on the career path with you—they aren’t motivating you. With “Good Vibez Only,” it’s about being as relatable as possible. I want people to feel, ‘Oh my God, that’s me. I relate with that so much’,” he reiterates.
Being part of a musical legacy such as the Lewis family, we asked him the meaning behind his stage name, Frayne Vibez?
“Everything with music gives off a vibe and surrounds people. No matter what kind of vibe, it can be sad, it can be happy, it can be angry—it can be any vibe. Whenever you’re listening to music, you’re giving off a vibe. I want to surround people with music, so when you listen to my music; you’re getting a vibe—every time. I want to be at the forefront of that.”
The fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree.