Lewis was born in Redmond, Washington to Dallas and Dinah Lewis. Dinah is a former rocker who still sings and plays guitar. He is an only child and is of Welsh, German and Irish descent. He attended Kenmore Junior High and later Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington. In high school, Lewis participated in many high school state competitions. He also took part in numerous musicals, as well as comedy and rap videos with his friends. In many of these videos, for instance, "The Chuck Norris Rap", "The Harry Potter Rap" and "The Snakes On a Plane Rap", he portrayed his alter ego, Jimmie Walker Blue, the character he introduced during the semi-final round of American Idol.
Lewis started beatboxing at seventeen. He picked up this talent purely by ear, listening to CDs of beatboxing, after he was inspired by Matthew Selby, a former member of the Los Angeles-based a cappella group M-Pact, of which fellow American Idol semi-finalist Rudy Cárdenas was a member. Aside from singing and beatboxing, Lewis plays the guitar, keyboard, drums and has written many songs such as "She Loves the Way", "Emotional Waterfalls", "Dumpty Humpty" and "Jealousy". He describes himself as an improv musician and often uses devices such as loop pedals and the Kaoss Pad to layer beatboxing, instruments, vocals and effects to create a song live on stage.
Being a member of the a cappella group KickShaw for four years after graduating from high school in 1998, Lewis worked with the group on a 10-track album titled Put It In the Microphone but he quit the group in 2002 to become a solo musician going by the stage name Bshorty, "doing drum and bass shows, and conscious hip hop shows, singer-songwriter stuff, and electronica and hip hop". He made connections with various musicians by performing regularly in many venues in Seattle such as Nectar Lounge in Fremont, SeaMonster Lounge, Lo-Fi Performance Gallery, Jet Deck in Everett (now in Mill Creek) and hosted shows like The Digital Lounge shows at ToST. Before Idol, he was working on a solo album with a number of tracks finished. - wikipedia