INTERVIEW: DEAN LEWIS
2017 saw Dean Lewis secure himself as one of Australia’s hottest newcomers. His breakthrough single “Waves” scored him global recognition after featuring in episodes of hit TV shows Riverdale and Suits and has since opened major doors to allow him to tour the USA. Following the release of his debut EP “Same Kind Of Different” he returned home to attend the Aria Awards and to conduct a massive headlining tour which saw him play to sold out crowds across the country. 2018 is shaping up to be a even bigger year for the singer-songwriter as he’s wrapping up a huge US tour before joining Norwegian newcomer Sigrid for a couple of American dates. He then comes back home to tour the country with Groovin The Moo Festival at the end of April before putting the finishing touches on his debut album. So yeah, he’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. To add to this impressive list he’s just released a music video for his new single “Chemicals” from his debut EP. This emotional track was an instant fan favourite because of it’s vulnerable lyrics and heartbreaking storyline. The music video takes this concept of needing someone even though they can be toxic for you by delivering high emotion and a whole lot of feels. I recently chatted to Dean about being vulnerable and how his ex girlfriends have reacted to him being so honest, how his songwriting has changed since basing himself overseas and found out where the weirdest place he’s heard his song played in public. Check out the chat here;
TB: ”Chemicals” quickly became a fan favourite after you released your debut EP and resonated with listeners because of it’s vulnerable lyrics. So where did this beautiful and heartbreaking storyline come from?
DL: Yeah it did and it took me be surprise to find that’s the song most people took liking to from the EP after “Waves”. It was a song I wrote very quickly on this road trip and didn’t think about it too much. It was one of those songs that came down very quickly, all the words just fell into place. I used to write a lot like that back when I first started. The thing is you just have to be really lucky that all the words fall into the right places, which it did with “Chemicals”.
TB: You are so honest in your delivery when it comes to heart break and break ups. So have you had any of your ex girlfriends message or confront you about any of your songs or something you’ve said in interviews?
DL: Not yet *laughs*. But there’s a song on my upcoming album called “7 Minutes” and I remember when I recorded the demo and sent it to the girl I had written about and she was like “cool” and didn’t really care! Also a lot of people come up to me after shows and are like “Are you ok?” because there’s so much heartbreak in the songs. But to be honest you could write an entire album about one relationship if you really wanted.
TB: The music video for “Chemicals” is out now. When you were putting the storyboard together did you have a clear vision of how you wanted to represent the song? Or did you bounce between a couple ideas?
DL: I usually am very involved in my music videos but for this one I just sent it to one of my best mates Mick Jones who did the video for my song “Waves” and said “do what you want” and that’s what he came back with. I used to have more time to be involved in that stuff but as things get busier you have to choose things to scale back on so you can focus on the most important things. Which right now is making sure the next song I release is as good as it can be.
TB: Do you find it easier to write break up/heart break tracks in the moment or later down the track in reflection?
DL: Well what I’ve found is that if I’ve broken up with someone I care about I’m just more aware of the feelings going on inside my head and I write them down in a notebook. Then I can come back to them whenever and put myself into that feeling.
TB: You are going to be touring the country nationally for Groovin The Moo Festival. So what can people expect from these live performances?
DL: I actually can’t wait! I’ve been playing festivals for about 6 months and there’s been a lot of songs from the album I haven’t been able to play yet and some that are now newly written. I saw the reaction of a song like “Lose my Mind” at festivals and was like “Well I’d like to have a few more of those”! So its gonna be less slow songs and so many more upbeat ones. I can’t wait!
TB: You’ve been overseas a lot working on your album and playing shows. So how have you found your creative process has changed or adapted for your album with your new surroundings?
DL: It’s very very different but I’ve actually loved it. I’m big into routine so what I’d basically do is download the new mixes coming in. Play a show, and then head back onto the tour bus and listen to the songs over and over again in my bunk and then write down all my mix notes and send it back.
The other exciting thing about being on the road is when there’s 30 minutes to show time I have a little nip of whiskey and have my guitar with me. I think there’s something about the combination of nervous excitement and a bit whiskey because so many song ideas fly out of nowhere so I get my phone out and try to record them all. I didn’t really expect to be writing much on the road but I’m glad I found another little way to get ideas down.
TB: Your songs have been played in so many different TV shows and have received heavy rotation on radio. So where is the weirdest place you’ve heard one of your songs?
DL: Probably Woolworths. Just going grocery shopping and hearing your own song is really weird. For a second you’re like “what is this? It’s terrible” and then you realise it’s you.
TB: The Australian music scene is currently buzzing with so many incredible new acts. So what new artist are you loving at the moment that you think we should keep an eye on?
DL: There is this guy called Jack Gray who opened for me on my last tour. I can’t believe how many good songs this guy has. I have a feeling he’s gonna blow up very soon.
9. Lets play a little game when you answer these questions with the first thing that comes to mind;
TB: The emoji that best describes me is…
DL: The clenched face emoji
TB: If I could form a supergroup with any other band or artist it would be…
DL: Catfish And The Bottlemen
TB: One thing I can’t travel without is…
DL: My noise cancelling headphones
TB: My favourite song at the moment is…
DL: Noah Kahn – “Hurt Somebody”
TB: If I could have any superpower it would be…
DL: Flying of course
You can purchase Dean Lewis’s debut EP “Same Kind Of Different” here; https://DeanLewis.lnk.to/SKOD
Dean Lewis Australian Tour Dates
Fri Apr 27 – Groovin The Moo Festival – WAYVILLE, SA
Sat Apr 28 – Groovin The Moo Festival – MAITLAND, NSW
Sun Apr 29 – Groovin The Moo Festival – CANBERRA, ACT
Sat May 5 – Groovin The Moo Festival – BENDIGO, VIC
Sun May 6 – Groovin The Moo Festival – TOWNSVILLE, QLD
Sat May 12 – Groovin The Moo Festival – BUNBURY, WA