Last updated: May 28. 2014 12:08AM - 4127 Views
By Ralphie Aversa Weekender Correspondent



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If you were someone who thought that “Dancing with the Stars” winners Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis were dating, you were wrong. At least, according to Mark Ballas.


“Max and Meryl aren’t dating either,” Ballas told “Ralphie Tonight” in studio last week. “Here’s the thing, this is what happens: you get sucked into the performances and the passion and, ‘Oh, they almost kissed.’”


You also probably have read (if you enjoy keeping up on such things) that for the better part of this past season, Chmerkovskiy and Davis have played coy when asked about the subject matter. Dare we say they, well, danced around it?


“I think it’s because so that we do what we’re doing right now,” Ballas responded when I brought this up during our conversation about them. “They’re just intelligent. They know how to play the game.”


It is a game that Ballas is well aware of but is not currently playing. After a season of “DWTS” that ended with a shoulder injury, the artist is now turning his attention to physical therapy and the promotion of his new single, “Get My Name.”


“The day we put it out, it debuted at No. 24 on the iTunes Pop Chart,” Ballas recalled proudly of May 5. “I’m doing this all independently: no (record) label. So considering that, I’m really excited.”


The song is a fun pop track – Ballas croons over a bouncy beat infused with a bit of jazz. His “DWTS” cohort Derek Hough directed the song’s music video, a total throwback to the era of the ‘50s and ‘60s. “Get My Name” is the first single from Ballas’ forthcoming LP.


“This is the first full studio album I’ve done,” the singer said of the project. “I’ve done acoustic EPs and I’ve done acoustic stuff before, which has been a little more stripped back because I hadn’t had the resources or the access to amazing producers in the genre that I wanted to go into.”


That changed when Ballas signed a music publishing deal with Nashville-based BMG.


“(BMG) put me in the studio with some great producers like Jim Beanz, The Stereotypes, and then the producer that’s done a majority of my record’s name is Wizz Dumb,” Ballas revealed. “He’s Timbaland’s protégé; he works in that camp.”


It certainly makes sense that an artist who has drawn comparisons to Justin Timberlake and opened up for Robin Thicke would be working with someone on Timbaland’s team. But Ballas pulls no punches about the fact that he wants to create his own lane as an artist who can sing, dance, and play guitar. He hopes to educate the masses that he possesses all of those talents with an album release tentatively slated for late summer.


Ballas is also looking to jump onto a tour for a major artist as a supporting act. The singer says that while he is undecided on a return to “Dancing,” he will have four months off regardless.


-Listen to “Ralphie Tonight” weeknights from 7 p.m.-midnight on 97 BHT.


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