The Grammy-nominated singer is back with a new music after an 11-year absence. But don't call his new album Moment of Truth (out tomorrow) a comeback. "I was always working on music," says Lewis. "I amicably separated from my record company and I've been in and out of different deals but for one reason or another I guess the timing wasn't right. The stars didn't align. But now seems like a good time."
The Toronto native says his hiatus helped him respect the business side of music more. "Not to say I was totally green the last time around, but I just wanted my music to be heard. Now I'm a lot more focused," he tells ESSENCE.com.
After a successful debut in 2002 was followed with obstacle after obstacle as he tried to record a sophomore album, Lewis recalls many moments when he wanted to throw the towel in. "I had moments where I was like, 'Really, why me?' he says. "I couldn't even watch awards shows. I'm not a hater or anything but it was difficult because I always felt like I should be there. There were a couple of times where I kinda felt like this wasn't for me. Fortunately, I had people placed around me, from family to friends and fans, who would encourage me."
Lewis describes his new abum as his most personal body of work. "Each song on this album is a conversation piece about my life—a moment of truth," he says.
Above, watch Lewis perform an acoustic version of his first single off his new album "Can't Say Love."
Moment of Truth is out tomorrow.