Sad songs and pure jokes
Meet Lewis Capaldi

In less than 18 months, the 22-year-old, went on from the gigging in relative anonymity, to sell a whopping 60,000 headline show tickets, amassing more than 250 million plays for his 9 released tracks. He is one of the three UK artists shortlisted for the 2019 BRITs Critics’ Choice award.

It’s that time of the year again, folks. Every editorial under the sun unites to celebrate and hint which artists you should keep an eye on during the next twelve months. In a year where there was so much good music, the decision to funnel which ones made the cut or not is a tough one.

Lewis Capaldi’s breakout single “Bruises” introduced him to the world last year. Having wrapped up 2017 as a finalist for more than a dozen of said lists, I couldn’t think of a better opportunity to discuss the impact it might have had on his artistic career.

“It’s definitely a good vehicle to get people to know you. The BBC list is one that I used to actively look into it growing up. – Lewis pauses – “It also has a lot of pressure. Being the ‘ones to watch’. It’s been good okay so far, and hopefully, I’m still one to watch in the eyes of the people.”

The Scottish multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter is king at writing love-tinged ballads, and all the weird in-betweens, but in contrast to the emotional density of the lyrics, as a person, Lewis is the king of not taking himself too seriously. If you haven’t been on to one of his shows yet, Capaldi has a sharply unique sense of humour that you wouldn’t be able to tell by his songwriting.

“Most of my songs are emotional, but I am not a very, say, emotional guy. I’m not sad. When people cry during a song, that’s always strange to me. I’m not someone that wants to do that to other people. It’s very nice when it happens, but weird. I’m not good at comforting people.”

We chatted soon after his sold-out headline show at the O2 Shepherds Bush. Mere weeks after the release of his second EP release ‘Breach’, the stage saw a bit of everything: From effortless slips between smooth baritone, to haunting falsettos, string and bass accompaniment, fireworks, to an ecstatic IRL re-enactment of his latest video treatment for his song ‘Grace‘. The all-male choreography certainly was a crowd pleaser, but, the show was possibly one of the most eclectic displays of what the young artist has to offer. In conversation, we discuss the creative intent behind the music video, and how after reviewing different treatments provided for the single, Lewis has opted that the best way to portray him as an artist was to just show who he is.

“The whole thing about being a singer, and go out and play and sing for 1000 people is a very weird thing.“ – He proceeds – “People want souls. For me, it is about being as transparent as I can. I want people to invest in what I am doing, and I want to be as much of myself as possible.”

With his debut album in the cards for 2019, Lewis has already announced that he will be taking another swipe at the touring circuit, as support to the omnipotent Bastille for a 30-date stretch across the UK and Europe. But, for now, he’s closing up 2018 in London. This Sunday Lewis Capaldi is performing at Omeara alongside Mystery Jets, Laura Marling and many more for a night of stripped back acoustic sets and stand up comedy in association with The CALMzone.

You can stream his stripped back version of ‘Someone You Loved’, below.

Words by Catarina Ramalho / Photography by Jamie Waters

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