Lewis Capaldi is quickly becoming a household name for many different reasons. His single ‘Someone You Loved’ is continuously on heavy rotation on mainstream radio, it has topped the charts in the UK, Ireland and Scotland and is currently sitting at number 5 on the Aria Charts in Australia. He’s just released his debut album ‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’ which has been receiving huge praise from reviewers and fans alike because of it’s raw vulnerability and pure honesty. But on top of that Capaldi is also becoming well known because of his hilarious social media content. He’s an artist who doesn’t take himself too seriously and it’s so captivating to watch. He will do anything to make fun of himself whilst also enjoying the moments that some people might consider dull. And it’s because of this that people are connecting to him even more because whilst all his songs may be really reflective and sad, he is still able to show a carefree and fun side of his personality without compromising his artistry.
I recently chatted to Lewis Capaldi about the therapeutic release that emotional songs like ‘Someone You Loved’ hold, why he named his debut album ‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’ and discuss his favourite memes that have been launched from his social media presence. Check it out HERE;
TB: Reflecting on your debut record ‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’ what would you say is the albums most vulnerable moment for you as a songwriter?
LC: I think the last song on the record, ‘Headspace’, is one of the most vulnerable moments for me. It’s interesting when you listen to the record in it’s entirety because there are a lot of songs about a relationship ending and yeah it’s sad but ‘Headspace’ is different and that’s why it’s so vulnerable. I wrote it when I was seventeen and I think back to being that young and sitting in my room trying to write this song whilst contemplating if I wanted to get into a relationship with this girl who would subsequently inspire all of these songs on this record.
When I listen back, I feel sorry for that guy. Not because of the relationship but because I don’t know why this person I was talking about was into me. When I was writing this song I just couldn’t understand why she was into me, it was confusing. I look back now and think that’s quite a sad thing for a seventeen year old to be thinking. So because of that I would say that is the most vulnerable moment for me on the record. I just wish I could go back to that old version of me in the room now and just “hey mate, it will be alright, won’t it”.
TB: I feel like it’s something that is so relatable for people because at one point or another we have all felt like we aren’t good enough for someone.
LC: That is what is so weird, innit! I actually ended up dating that person for almost two years. Whenever I talk to people about relationships, everyone just describes the chase at the beginning as the exciting part. But there is a lot of fucking despair on that road to ending up with someone. Everyone seems to forget about that. The thoughts drift from “does this person like me?” to “oh fuck, I think this person has lost interest in me”, in the same day. I think that happens on both sides but people seem to forget that when they look back. It’s very up and down, a little tumultuous, and there’s just a lot of uncertainty.
TB: The albums title, ‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’ is quite memorable and strays away from the generic choosing of a song name. So how did you come up with this title and what does it mean to you?
LC: It’s interesting because it’s a line in a song that was meant to open the record but it didn’t get finished in time, which is a shame. However, I will release it at some point. But the line is, “Broken by desire to be heavenly sent. Divinely uninspired to a hellish extent”. I was getting really down where I felt like I was writing the same fucking song every time and I felt like there were many more deserving people than me out there. At this point I was touring and starting to taste a bit of success and the ups and downs that come with that. And I was just thinking I wasn’t good enough compared to the people that weren’t getting the same opportunities as me.
When you want to be really good as something, it’s a real fucking nightmare and those thoughts do haunt you. That line reflects on the idea that “I’m never going to get better, I’m never going to achieve it”. But the beauty of the album is that I got through that time in my life and got to the end goal. I also just wanted to name it something completely different and not just a name of a song because I find that boring. Nothing against albums that are named like that but it’s just not me. I thought it was funny to name my album something so negative and just be like “fuck it”! *Laughs*.
TB: I love it when artists name albums and projects weird things that you wouldn’t expect. Like Sasha Sloan’s recent EP was titled ‘Loser’ which I thought was so great and different. And then you had Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy who used to name their albums and songs strange and long things.
LC: Yes! I love Sasha, she’s brilliant. And that’s exactly right. I think it’s so cool when artists go against the norm and find a humour in things.
When The 1975 named their album ‘I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It’ and got away with it, there were a lot of people slagging them off and saying “that’s so fucking pretentious”. But I thought it was hilarious! I don’t know if that’s the direction they were going for but naming the album something so long is actually genius. And I love that they continued it with ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ and their forthcoming record ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’. They’ve branded themselves so well because you hear those titles and you go “that’s a The 1975 album”. And then you’ve got the new Billie Eilish record ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ which is also such a great and intriguing name.
TB: You’ve mentioned in the past that you found the creative process of the record to be extremely boring and stressful. So what about the creative experience made it feel like this to you? Is there anything you want to try differently when you work on your next collection?
LC: I love writing and arranging songs but the actual process of recording an album is the most monotonous, boring and underwhelming thing whilst in the midst of it. I only think that because you always hear everyone say “I really found myself on this record” and “it was such a joy to make” and to be honest that’s all a lie, it’s so fucking dull. it’s such an interesting thing because you have to re-record lines and bits of songs over and over again and it gets so frustrating. I recorded that vocal line “I was getting kinda used to be someone you loved” 40 fucking times and then being told “you know what, there’s something about that original take that I really love” was so painful. I was just like “fuck off!” *laughs*, it was so annoying. Every song I had released prior to ‘Someone You Loved’ had just been the demos that we had gone back to after recording for ages. We would have these demos, go and record a cleaner version but then come back to the demos because they were so much better. Every single time without fail which became so annoying. There’s nothing I can really change for next time because it’s just the way it is but as long as you believe in the songs then it’s worth it. I might actually arrange as I’m recording next time to make it a bit more interesting for myself. We’ll see!
TB: ’Someone You Loved’ is a candid and intimate song about loss and about wanting someones attention to fill that void that misses them so much. So when you wrote this song was it a heartbreaking experience for you putting these lyrics together or was there a therapeutic sense to the emotional release?
LC: Personally when I’m writing songs, not every line makes me go “oh fuck, this is so emotional”. It’s about putting together a bunch of lines to tell a story and how you tie it all together at the end of the chorus or wherever to make it make sense. You will get it in different ways on different songs. On the closing track of the album ‘Headspace’ it is the last line “I never thought a lie could sound so sweet until you opened your mouth and you said you loved me”. And then on ‘Someone You Loved’ it is, “I was getting kinda used to being someone you loved”. If you are writing the song and going “okay, I need to write a line here” then it’s not going to be sincere. But when you just write a lyric like “I was getting kinda used to being someone you loved” you kinda just step away and go “fuck, this is it” and it’s more powerful like that. So I try not to overthink the situation and just write from my heart and see what happens.
TB: You’ve embraced social media for what it is and just had so much fun with it. Which has seen some of your posts becoming very popular memes. So what is our favourite meme of yourself that you’ve seen?
LC: That is so hard! There is one account on Instagram called @cloutcapaldi and she is fucking hilarious. She’s a German girl and everything she does is absolutely hilarious. She just finds these photos of me and writes the funniest captions. She has like 40,000 followers which is mental but she deserves it. I definitely recommend anyone to check it out as anything from that page is golden, she’s brilliant!
TB: You were in Australia last year for Splendour In The Grass and for two special headline shows. So reflecting back on that whirlwind trip, what was your favourite memory of your time down under?
LC: I think I just love the people! I wasn’t expecting to have that warm of a reception halfway across the world. We had to kinda convince the people to let us play because we hadn’t done much so we didn’t really have the right to ask to come and play one of Australia’s biggest festivals. But thank god they let us because the reception was just incredible. I also went up and sang ‘Dancing In the Dark’ with Dean Lewis during his set which was so great because he’s a good friend of mine and it was cool to perform with him in his home country.
TB: Are we going to see you back in Australia soon?
LC: Mate, I really hope so! I think we are going to try and make it over around December or January for your Summer, so my fingers are crossed that we can make it happen.
‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’ is out now!