Singer/songwriter Bleu – aka William James McAuley III – independently released his ambitious debut album, "Headroom" in 2000. His major label followup, "Redhead", came out on Columbia/Aware Records in 2003, earning a spot on NPR's Top Ten Records of the Year and landing one of its songs on the Spider-man soundtrack. In an all-too-familiar tale, Bleu's next album, the critically admired "A Watched Pot" fell victim to music-industry politics and was finally sneaked out in 2009 after suffering, promotionally, from major-label implosions out of Bleu's control.

Fortunately for Bleu, the songs he's penned with, and for, the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez, Hanson, Jon McLaughlin, Kate Voegele and other pop-radio mainstays, and their gold and platinum successes, allow him to forget the purely commerical aspects in his solo material and focus on following his muse....

"People ask me all the time, 'Don't you feel like having cuts with these mass-appeal artists might make people take you less seriously?' That's never been a concern of mine, and frankly, I don't even understand the question - I really enjoy mass-appeal pop. But in any case, being able to do that allows me to do my own stuff my own way." What's more, he places bubblegum icon Britney Spears at the top of the list of artists he'd like to work with. "I just love her, especially her last few records," he says. "Not that I wouldn't be thrilled to work with bands like The Arcade Fire and My Morning Jacket, if the opportunity came along. But writing for Britney would be fantastic."

In addition to his solo work, production projects (Drake Bell, TV/TV, Air Traffic Controller, Chris Mann) and commercial tunesmithery, Bleu has organised and/or lent his voice and playing to inventive side projects like the rock band The Major Labels (with his pals and fellow pop geeks Mike Viola and Ducky Carlisle); the one-off ELO tribute L.E.O. (featuring Andy Sturmer of legendary power-pop band Jellyfish, Hanson, Matt Mahaffey of Self, and countless other aficionados of Jeff Lynne's musical confections); LoudLion (with Taylor Locke of Rooney); and numerous others.

He's also toured widely, sharing stages of late with Rooney, The Posies, Katie Herzig, Graham Colton, Creed Bratton of The Office, John Doe, Mike Viola, Derek Webb and Drake Bell, joining Tracy Bonham for a string of dates in 2010, and performing intimate shows on his own - usually with just his acoustic guitar and an impressively large-sounding collection of loops and effects, but also sometimes as a duo with drummer Joe Seiders.

But what about that name? "I had blue hair from the end of high school through was just a dorm room nickname that stuck...the "eu" spelling was because naturally i thought it was a little cheesy (ya the cheese..uh?)..". Well, that explains that.

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