Move aside and allow us to set the scene for fabulous indie – pop muse Dean Lewis.
Lewis has managed to grab the attention of some intimidately large names in the business. “Waves” was produced by Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway and mixed by Dan Grech (Halsey, Josef Salvat, Circa Waves) He also has been supported by Lisa Mitchell in October on her sell out National Tour whilst recording his Debut EP with John Castle (Vance Joy, Dustin Tebbutt, Cub Sport) in Melbourne.
Be still our beating hearts: Dean Lewis has gone and floored everyone by caressing our ears with layered harmonies and buzzing synths on his blistering new single ‘Waves’. Currently spinning on Triple J, peaking at no. 6 on the Spotify Viral Charts and Top 40 iTunes singles charts.
We spoke to Lewis about songwriting, time travel and what we can expect from later in the future.
1 | How did Dean Lewis come about?
To be honest I think from my Dad playing the Beatles non-stop growing up and always being around music. Even though it wasn’t until a lot later I really got into it – I think all those melodies and songs I heard growing up stuck in my head!
2 | Who or what made you want to be a musician:
I remember the exact moment. I was sitting on the couch with my Brother Sean and my Dad pulled out the “Oasis Live in Manchester” DVD and pushed play. I remember my Dad telling us these guys were brothers and when Liam walked on stage with this ridiculous hat and swagger I was like “Wow what is this, this is incredible”. I wanted to be a part of whatever they were doing and they were making music! Although I’ve never really connected with the term “musician” I feel comfortable with “songwriter” who plays instruments ha-ha!
You recently supported Lisa Mitchell in October and that was a complete sell out! You’re also all set recording your new Debut EP in Melbourne with John Castle, well done!
3 | What has been your biggest highlight whilst playing alongside Lisa Mitchell and at your very own live gigs?
The biggest highlight was just watching how Lisa and the band worked together. I remember watching them sound check on day one and hearing how amazing it sounded and how much organization and practice went into getting that sound. I spent the rest of the tour trying to learn how to engage the crowd and most of the shows were incredible. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to compete with just me on my guitar or keyboard, but it was great.
4 | How would you describe your new debut single ‘Waves’?
I’d describe it as something that means something to me. It’s a dark kinda song with some unique unrelenting production. I like to set a tone and create a little world when I write and I love the world inside “Waves.”
5 | Where did you write and record ‘Waves’? – What were you thinking about lyrically?
I wrote it in a small town called Hitching, North of London. It was written about what was on my mind a lot and that was the feeling of adventure and excitement just getting a little bit less and less each year. I’m quite an excitable person, so if you know me you might read this and think I’m taking the piss -but I miss that feeling of the little things being an adventure. I wanted to know where this feeling had gone and how can I get it back. A lot of people have thought it was about a relationship, and the video kinda suggests that too. I don’t mind video clips not aligning completely with my original idea as long as the emotion lines up. Thinking about it though I guess it is about the relationship I had with my old self and missing that. Ha-ha now I’m getting deep.
6 | Working alongside with John Castle and touring with Lisa Mitchell, how did they each help hone aspects of your music?
John Castle is an incredible instrumentalist and can play everything. I write most songs on either guitar and piano and when it comes to drums and bass and stuff it’s so great having someone around like John who can take care of all that. I know how I want things to sound but it’s usually just hard to explain. Having someone like John around means he can translate what I’m thinking into reality and also add his own touch. It’s great.
7 | With touring I found it quite nerve wracking the first few shows because I didn’t know what to expect. Would people listen?
Luckily, they did, but I learned the importance of a set list and pacing and also that people want to hear about what the songs are about. I’ve learnt that telling a story about a song before I play it means it can impact people twice as much!
8 | How did you celebrate ‘Waves’ currently being #6 on Spotify Viral Chart and now being added on triple j?
It was so incredible seeing all these things happening. My problem is I’m so focused with getting the next song right I don’t give myself as much time to enjoy the reaction as much as I should!
9 | Describe the feeling you had when your heard your music on the radio…
It was really cool. There’s a thing songwriters go through and it’s the moment you show a song for the first time to a friend you trust. You kinda feel naked because you’ve put everything you have into this 3-minute thing. But you know it’s finished when you don’t have to talk over a bit you’re unsure of, or say something like “It hasn’t been mixed yet, don’t worry about this part”, so it’s been really enjoyable knowing people are listening to it at the same time.
10 | Who would you love to start collaborating with?
There are a few artists I’d love to write a song for. I’m completely obsessed with Catfish and the Bottlemen’s new album “The Ride” so lets just say Van McCann because I’m such a fan.
11 | What can we expect from Dean Lewis in the near future?
My plan is to try and keep it simple by trying to write good songs that mean something and put them out with a video that matches the emotion of the song and will have an impact on people. I feel if I can do that then everything else will keep falling into place.