I went down the pub with Lewis Capaldi before his show at Sneaky Petes, Edinburgh, A venue he sold out in under 30 seconds – a record.
I asked him a few questions over a game of pool, about his new track ‘Fade’ which has hit over 36,000 plays in 2 days. I’ll blame the constant questions for the poor pool performance.
“My music Tinder bio? Either ‘Sad Loner White Boy Seeking Heartbreak So I Can Write More Songs’ or ‘If I’m not at the gym or down the bloody pub, you’ll usually find me having a cry.” He writes sad songs for such a happy guy, but thank you to the girls who broke his heart, it has lead to one of the best song writers in Scotland.
His previously released tracks ‘Bruises’ and ‘Lost On You’ have accumulated almost 28 million plays – mainly coming from debut single ‘Bruises’. “I think they’re a really strong indication of the types of songs I write.” He explains, “The fact that they’re both so stripped back kind of forces you to really listen to the lyrics and vocal which I think are the focal points of the music I make. Overtime of course the songs will start to grow in terms of instrumentation and not all the songs I put out will be ballads, but the vocal and lyrical content of the tune will be what I really want people to listen to and hopefully get into most.”
New track ‘Fade’ – which if you haven’t already listen to yet, what have you been doing? – defiantly adds more of this instrumentation he talks about, but takes nothing away from his lyrics, which have defiantly touch a lot of fans around the world, how can relate to his lyrics in one way or another. Knowing that his new EP Bloom is just around the corner, more is yet to come. One of the first tracks that he recalls writing was one called ‘The Show Must Go On’, “One of the lines in it was something like “the economy is going down the drain, and everyone is going insane””, he laughs, “Which I think is an astute observation from a twelve year old, good to know I had my finger on the pulse back then and now I just sing songs about being sad.” It is safe to say he could probably add a few verses to this single given the current climate, but I’ll leave that idea there.
Finding out that Lewis writes songs based on the hope that middle aged woman will give him Haribo sweets and pay him compliments goes back to the first time he found out he could sing, at a primary school talent show when his friends left him out to dry and cover a Busted song on his own, gaining the love and attention of the music teacher.
We then got talking about ‘Fade’. The track “came together really quickly actually, man.” Lewis explains, “I was out in New York to do a few days writing, went into the studio with Malay and wrote it in a day and recorded the vocal the next. Literally we just got into the studio started playing around on the piano and it came out!” Working with Malay, who is Frank Oceans collaborator would have been a dream a year ago, but it shows the leaps and bounds that have occurred since the release of ‘Bruises’. “Working with Malay was class man, obviously I was a huge fan of Malay’s and the stuff he’s worked on so before hand so I was a bit apprehensive at first.
“Usually when I’m working with people I won’t bother googling them to see what they’ve worked on before hand for fear of kind of getting too much in my own head about working together, but as I say with this I was already a fan and well aware of loads of the stuff he’d done. But yeah, once we were in it was sweet, really laid back and the song seemed to come really quick. The night we finished it I played the rough demo to my managers and they were like ‘this is the next tune’ immediately, so we asked Malay if he could do production on it as well and he’d sent it over by the time I was back in the UK, it’s actually my original demo vocal on the released track!”
Explaining that ‘Fade’ “is about the moment you kind of realise how enamoured with someone you’ve become, to the point where you think that even taking away all the bad shit that comes with them would make your life seem less full.” Again, it’s a song about pain, and self-pity, but can be so relatable to his ever growing fan base. Lewis seems to be able to make a song about so many feelings people go through on an everyday basis, and Fade is no expiation to this.
An interview isn’t an interview without some talk about random shit. Personally I totally agree with his one desired superpower – the ability to like sea food. “It’s not really a superpower, but it looks and smells amazing, but I hate the taste and feel like I’m missing out.” Another slightly different was his celebrity crush, no it wasn’t any of the classics like Mila Kunis or Gigi Hadid, but the wardrobe from Narnia…
I can see the reasoning behind it… kind of.
Photo and images by Rory Barnes