EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Rhys Lewis

Decca Records artists Rhys Lewis is a really exciting London based singer/songwriter who really does have the world at his supremely talented feet. The rising star released his critically acclaimed debut EP ‘Bad Timing’ last month and 2018 is set to be huge for the UK musician.

Here we speak exclusively to Rhys Lewis about his debut release, dream collaborations, future plans and much, much more;

When were growing up who did you look to for musical inspiration?
I listened to lots of different stuff growing up. I first fell in love with music through playing guitar so I guess a lot of my early influences were older bands and artists like Led Zeppelin, Jim Hendrix, Eric Clapton. There was so much in their music to discover for a budding guitarist. And then there was a wave of new guitar bands coming through as well, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Bombay Bicycle Club were the bands that really grabbed my attention and I started to want to create a sound and write my own songs from being inspired by their more lyrics, which were obviously more current and spoke to my teenage angst. 

What would be your dream collaboration? 
It’s hard to choose a dream collaborator from all the musicians and artists that inspire me, especially when there are so many new artists I’m really into as well as the more established artists! So I’d say in terms of new artists, I would love to write or sing something with Jade Bird. I think she’s the real deal and has such a great voice, and a really unique way with words. She’s undeniably unique and writes with a fresh perspective on things, her nostalgic sound is also something I’m a big fan of. And in terms of more heritage artists, if you could see whether Stevie Wonder is up for a collab that would be great haha.  

Which artists are you most excited about at this current time? 
So many right now!! As mentioned before, Jade Bird. Then Lewis Capaldi has one of the most exciting and impressive voices I’ve heard in such a long time, not to mention his songs are just stunning. Bruno Major has put together a beautiful and intimate record, so subtle and musical. I’m loving the new Nina Nesbit tracks, and Dermot Kennedy’s music has been on repeat the past few months, he’s got such powerful, unique sound.  

Your debut EP ‘Bad Timing’ was released last month, can you talk us through the inspiration behind the record? 
The inspiration for a few of the tracks on the EP comes from my last relationship, which sadly didn’t work out. I was finding it hard to give enough of myself to the relationship cos I’m already everything to my music/career at the moment. That’s where the title track ‘Bad Timing’ came from. So it’s sad, I feel like if we had met each other at a different point in our lives we would probably still be together. And ‘Reason To Hate You’ is about struggling to get over someone, moving on is never easy but it’s much harder when there wasn’t really anything bad about the relationship, other than timing.  

How excited are to finally get your music out there? 
I’m really exited to have this EP out. It feels good to release a body of work, even if it’s only 4 songs. For me it defines where I’m at as an artist. I’ve pushed myself to different places on this EP, experimented a bit more with production, but also tested myself by recording the stripped back songs live in the studio. Its been important for me to see the recording process as an opportunity to learn and improve. Recording live is a sure-fire way to find out your weaknesses, which can be a bit demoralising at times when you have to confront something you’re not good at, but I’m proud of how much I feel I’ve improved, and hopefully my music is getting better.  

Do you have plans to release an album soon? 
The album is pretty much done, just finishing up a few songs now! So hopefully it will be out at the end of the year, but I haven’t decided on a release date yet…

Now you have released  your debut EP  can we expect tour dates soon? 
Yeah I’m off on tour in Europe in April and then just sorting out my UK tour in May! I’m excited to showcase the songs live as well, band are great and I think the songs have a different energy live which is fun for me! 

What do you hope listeners take from your music? 
Good question! I guess I hope my music is emotionally compelling and exciting enough to make you want to come to a live show. And I’ve become more and more comfortable being very honest and open with my lyrics, so I hope that’s felt. It’s a strange thing sharing such personal feelings with, essentially, a load of strangers; something I’m still getting used to. But it’s important to me as an artist to write music that resonates with my own emotions, however vulnerable it feels sometimes to make those thoughts feelings public.  

What are your long term career goals? 
I’d love to release a few more records as an artist, as I said earlier I think the more I record the more I improve as a musician and writer. So I hope my best work is yet to come! And I’ve gotten way more into the production side of things through recording my album with the incredible producers Boe Weaver! So I would like to again learn more about that over the next few years and then maybe start producing for other people too. And I also first moved to London to just be a songwriter, so I would love to write with some new artists too! Oh and I’m really hoping to pass my driving test one day.  

Make sure you follow Rhys Lewis on Twitter @RhysLewisMusic to keep up to date with all his latest music and tour news!

Did you enjoy our exclusive interview with Rhys Lewis? Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
Portfolio: lauraklonowski.com
Twitter: @cherylssoldier1
Instagram: @musicandtournews
Email: lauraklon14@gmail.com