The 5 Question Challenge with Andrew De Leon

Andrew De Leon talked about his debut album, "Black Lights," for the latest edition of "The 5 Question Challenge." (Album cover property of Andrew De Leon)

Andrew De Leon talked about his debut album, “Black Lights,” for the latest edition of “The 5 Question Challenge.” (Album cover property of Andrew De Leon)

By: Jacob Elyachar

Jake’s Take is very happy to welcome back Andrew De Leon!  He will be taking on The 5 Question Challenge!

Singer Andrew De Leon gained notoriety after his surprising audition on America’s Got Talent last year.

Recently, Andrew released his debut album: Black Lights on iTunes.  This 12-track CD features a diverse selection of songs that range from classic opera arias including “Ave Maria” and “O Mio Babbino Caro” to dance tracks that include the title track.

Andrew talked about which song that he performed on America’s Got Talent did not make the cut and his mission to showcase his range as a singer for his recording debut.

Jacob Elyachar: How did you organize “Black Lights”?

Andrew De Leon: Organizing Black Lights was not easy. At first, we were going in trying to make a dance album, I don’t know why but at that time it felt like a good idea.  As I was writing more and more for the album I realized that some of my lyrics were not very dance but more rock.  On top of that, we (producer J.R. Rey) of course included opera music as much as possible because that is just who I am.  I did not go into the project expecting to have so many styles in one album. It kind of just happened. It really worked as a concept though because the title Black Lights could mean many things.  To me, it’s about the things we don’t usually see in a normal light, and because we don’t see them we can never appreciate them. We all have our inner black light switch that needs to be flipped on so we can show who we really are and what we can do and be proud of it.

JE: What were some of the challenges that you faced when recording “Black Lights” and how did you overcome them?

ADL: My biggest challenge in recording Black Lights was that I was still trying to find confidence in myself to do it at all.  I knew that many people were expecting a pure classical album but I didn’t want to do just that.  Knowing that this album could upset or disappoint many fans really stressed me out but I stuck to it because I along with friends and family believed in the project. So I have to say it was support that got me through that doubtful mentality.

JE: You have two songs that you performed on “America’s Got Talent”: “O Mio Babbino Caro” and “Ave Maria.”  While a lot of fans will be happy for their inclusion, many fans might be disappointed with “Regresa A Mi’s” exclusion from the album.  Why was that song not included?

ADL: Quite a bit of fans were not too thrilled to see that “Regresa A Mi” was not on the album.  I love that song very much and I have so much fun performing it, so I really would have loved to see it on the album.  But, after listening to the album in the studio, we realized it did not really fit in there.  Plus, there were other complications as well but in the end we looked at the album as a whole and did not think it could do that song justice.  Maybe on a future album, we can hope!

JE: “Black Lights” also featured you singing multiple genres of music.  How important was it to showcase your diversity as a singer?

ADL: I know it was a huge risk changing up vocal and musical styles but I am a huge risk taker anyway, not just in music.  I really wanted to be able to write my own music and have a say in what goes onto the album.  I have always been that way whether it was a small movie I was directing in high school or make-up I was doing for low-budget films here in Austin.  I love being creative and I felt that limiting myself to one genre wouldn’t allow me to do that. I really wanted to put myself into this album especially after I was on AGT I got to really speak to my fans that all had a story to tell.  They were not just drawn to my voice but me as a person and all the things a stood for. I really wanted to make something that could speak to them.

I know a lot of other fans wanted me to sell out and just go into pure opera but I’m never someone to just go ahead and do something just because everyone wants me to. In the end my real musical roots are in rock music that speaks to me but of course people don’t want to hear that because they saw me for a few minutes on TV doing something else making them think they know exactly whom I am, they have no idea. Music is about raising emotions and facing them. We are human and humans feel more than one emotion that is why there’s so many styles and sounds on Black Lights.  Experimenting with different vocal sounds was very fun and interesting. I am still discovering things about my voice that I did not know before.

JE: How will you be promoting “Black Lights?” Have you thought about a tour?

ADL: Well there’s my album release party 9/21/13 at the Austin Mooselodge which I am very excited for.  We are definitely looking into possibly touring. Maybe as an opening act or just on our own. Not sure yet but I know I would love to tour. I’m excited to see where our hard work and dedication takes us and my music.  Black Lights is already speaking to so many people and inspiring them to be themselves and express themselves in a healthy way. That is all I ever wanted.

For more information about Andrew De Leon, visit his website:

You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google +.




  1. Svetlana Baltic says

    Songs on Andrew،s “Black lights” album are awesome! This young man has such various music style. He is playing with his voice and we like it! And it is unique just like he is. I will always support him!

  2. Aimee K Cope says

    But of course! Andrew lives to sing for us! It was my birthday yesterday, and since I’m unable to attend at the event this Saturday, I’ve decided to download the album from iTunes instead! And the music was like ooh, la, la! That Andrew has a lot going on! He’s got such a hauntingly pure talent, and we love him for who he is! <3

  3. What I love so much about #BLACKLIGHTS is that it’s so diverse. Feels like am listening to multiple artists. Andrew’s voice is so versatile it can tackle any genre. The originals are very impressive. Lyrics are exceptionally meaningful and unique you never heard it before. I believe we’re only experiencing a part of Andrew’s real talents. There’s still more to this AGT alumni and this we can’t wait to see and hear.


  1. […] has been a minute since we have heard from longtime Jake’s Take friend Andrew de Leon. The America’s Got Talent alum released a new single: “I Need You Here,” on […]

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