On the Babe Sounds – Sounds For Babes radar right now, we have Antipodean heart-throb – Dean Lewis.
Australian singer-songwriter, Dean Lewis, has sky rocketed to international success in the wake of his single, ‘Waves’, featuring prominently in Netflix’s ‘Riverdale’.
Born in Sydney, Dean has spent the past couple of years volleyed between his home in Australia, London for writing and recording sessions, and a stint in LA – this ever-rising star in high demand all around the world.
Pairing pleading vocal melodies with immediately captivating lyrics, Dean’s music is nothing if not magnetic. Narrating his experiences from the often emotionally fraught standpoint of life as a ‘twenty-something’, Dean manages to dodge sounding cloying or over-sentimental by presenting to us only what he has truly experienced, and ‘places’ that he has been.
A case of ‘real recognises real’, new fans of Dean Lewis’ music are in for a rewarding journey – listeners ever looking for something new to relate to, packaged in a beautifully articulated way, which is exactly what Dean provides. “
NZGirl has been presented with the delightful opportunity to ask this young star for a few key points of life advice:
Your single ‘Waves’ was recently featured on Riverdale – has being featured on a smash hit TV show impacted your world, and how have you adapted to this new surge in fame?
“I really didn’t know the impact a popular show on Netflix could have! I remember that it aired, and everything just went crazy. Everything just went ‘up’, and 100 x faster. When I saw the scene I was blown away – it was almost as if the song was written for it.
It’s weird because my friends keep telling me they hear the song everywhere, and I’m getting messages from more people telling me how much they love the song, but everything just feels normal apart from the fact that I’m much busier!
Before ‘Waves’ I wrote songs in my room, thinking the furthest they would go is my parents or friends – now there’s an audience. So it’s interesting now, it’s very different.”
I’ve heard that ‘Waves’ came together relatively quickly – writing seems to be an organic process for you, do you find that the words or the melody occur to you first? Or do both tend to tumble into place ‘as one’?
“It was very quick. It was this idea that had been floating around in my head for a few years, which was ‘Where has that excitement gone?’ – when you’re 15, going to movies with your friends, and you don’t know what’s going to happen.
I was in London with all this exciting stuff happening for me, some label interest and managers, and I felt numb to it all. I was playing around with these chords, and the melody started coming out with the first line.
Usually the words and melody come around the same time, I’ll hit record on my voice memos on my iPhone and listen back after.”
‘Waves’ has some really easily relatable moments about losing the ‘spark’ of newness during one’s youth – turning that on your head, what are some things you’re enjoying more as you grow older? Specifically that you never thought you’d be ‘into’?
“Well, I think you have more confidence in yourself – you know what you like and don’t like.
In a weird, full circle kind of way, ‘Waves’ has brought back all these new experiences into my life… I’m doing all these things I’ve never done before. Playing shows, doing Festivals!
This song that I wrote about not being as excited about life, has made my life really exciting again! What a trip.”
Every artists fears creative blocks – do you have any key tips for working through these dry spells?
“I’m always coming up with new ideas. My problem is finishing things, not getting distracted by something new. I had finished all the songs on the first album around the same time I wrote ‘Waves’, so I haven’t got an insane amount of pressure, as the songs are done and I’m so happy with them – I can’t wait to put them out.
I guess it will be interesting with album #2, but there’s about 3000 voice memos with little ideas and things I’ve recorded over the past three years. If I’m ever stuck I go back in – find something I like, and expand on it!”
If you could pick any musical artist to sit down with and pick their brain about anything and everything, who would that be and why?
“That would be Noel Gallagher. I’m a massive Oasis fan, and he has written so many incredible songs – I would just want to sit down with him and see how he does it. I know he talks about it in interviews, and I’ve read a bunch of them, but I wonder if he’s doing something that he’s not aware of.
He seems like someone who has a really good sense of melody, and isn’t overthinking what he’s doing. That’s basically what I’m aiming to do!”
Aaand a cheeky question to close; what’s your go-to ‘hangover hack’ for when you have to get through an important day whilst battling feeling like The Creature From The Black Lagoon?
“I was listening to this podcast and Anthony Robbins was the guest. He was talking about how he has this ‘Cryo-Machine’ that he gets in every morning, that is basically a freezer – the idea behind it is that if he’s jet-lagged, tired, or hungover, he gets in it and it puts him in a great state to take on the day.
I’m not rich enough to own one of those… but I started doing the next best thing which is cold showers in the morning. I’ve been doing it for almost two years non-stop, and it’s the best thing for hangovers and just generally being tired! It just snaps you out of it and gets your day going.”