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Interview: Lewis Watson

6 min read

Fresh-faced singer-songwriter Lewis Watson has been a busy lad over the past couple of years. Aside from traveling the globe, showcasing his refined talenst to a global audience, the musician has churned out some rather infectious and well-crafted EP’s.

With a brand new EP about to be released in the shape of Some Songs With Some Friends, a collection that puts the rising artist in the studio with some of his musician friends including Hudson Taylor and Gabrielle Aplin, Renowned For Sound’s editor Brendon caught up with Lewis for a chat about the upcoming release. Here is what he had to tell us:

Brendon Veevers: How are you doing Lewis and where in the world does our Q&A find you today?

Lewis Watson: Hello! I’m in West London with the band rehearsing new songs for the tour coming up. We have a 4th member in the band now so it’s starting to sound a lot bigger with 4 instruments and 4 vocals. I can’t wait to show people!

LewisWatsonSomeSongsBV: You have been a busy lad lately, working on a brand new EP that will be released at the end of the month called Some Songs With Some Friends. Can you talk us through the EP and give us a hint as to what we might expect?

LW: Thank you! I really enjoy being busy. To me it means that it must be going ok if I’m needed in all of these different places haha. I got really lucky with this EP and I got to collaborate with some of my favourite new artists at the moment. Track 1 is a revamped version of one of my earlier songs (Even If) and then the other tracks are covers. There’s Droplets with Gabrielle Aplin (originally a Colbie Caillat and Jason Reeves song). Track 3 is The Peaks (originally an Everything Everything track) and I’ve done that with Kimberly Anne. The last track is a cover of the Counting Crows song Colorblind and I’ve done that with Hudson Taylor.

BV: As the title gives away, you invited a few musical friends along on the journey through this EP including Gabrielle Aplin, Kimberly Anne and Hudson Taylor. Firstly, who was your favourite to work with and why?

LW: You can’t do that haha! I don’t have a favourite I don’t think. I was very excited to do all of the sessions. The Gabrielle Aplin session was a bit special I think because we were recording a song that we did live at one of my shows a while back and I guess I spent the whole time hoping that we would capture that moment again.

BV: What do you think was the most rewarding experience that you took away from the experience of recording this new EP with these collaborators?

LW: I think the most exciting part was using Hudson Taylor’s violinist, Tadhg, in Colorblind. I’d never had a strings session before and it was fun composing and recording the part. I really enjoyed it.

BV: Were there any other friends that you hoped would be able to show up on the EP but who couldn’t make it this time around?

LW: Yeah, I would’ve worked with a load of people if I could’ve. The Peaks was originally going to feature a lad named Saint Raymond as well as Kimberly but unfortunately schedules and timings meant that we couldn’t get him in the studio in time. Annoying but never mind!

BV: If you were able to choose 3 other artists, dead or alive, to collaborate with on your next record, who would you pick and can you tell us why they would be your chosen 3?

LW: Ben Gibbard (the front man of Death Cab for Cutie). He’s a songwriting genius and paints the most vivid pictures with his lyrics. I’m a huge fan. College Dropout-Kanye West, his ‘golden era’ in my opinion, fantastic flow and a creative genius. And a man named Matt Corby. I’m a huge fan of his voice/songs and would love a day picking his brain.

BV: Some Songs With Some Friends comes not too soon after your last EP Four More Songs which was released only a few months ago.  What would you say are the main differences, musically and artistically between these two releases?

LW: Four More Songs was the summer release and because of that I was conscious about putting a few more optimistic tracks on there. With this EP I’ve been able to take 3 songs I love and compose different versions knowing that I’d have different people on the each track. It was a new experience and I really enjoyed it. I hope that my enjoyment comes through in the EP!

BV: You have clearly been kept busy this year with these EP releases. Do you get much time to chill out? What is it that you like to get up to when you do get some downtime?

LW: Not really haha, which is cool by me. I consider myself a very, very lucky man being able to do this full-time but sometimes a rest is needed. When I have the chance to relax I tend to do just that; relax. I’ll read a book on the road or whatever so I tend to be less ‘smart’ at home and stick the X-Box on or just sleep haha. Boring really.

BV: You clearly have a knack for writing songs so is a full length album on the cards and if so, when can we expect this?

LW:Thank you again. Hopefully next May. We’ve got quite a few new songs so I can’t wait for people to hear it.

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BV: How will you know when things have really taken off for you – how did you define success?

LW: Right now I’d say that, personally, I am successful. That’s just because I’ve exceeded all of my expectations. I picked up the guitar 5 years ago just hoping to learn a chord or two and now I get to do this (hopefully) forever. It’s insane to think about and I never expected to get this far. That doesn’t mean that I’ll get lazy though. I’ll work my socks off until I’m out of socks (bad analogy but i hope you get the point… haha).

BV: We read in an interview some time ago that you used to get very nervous when playing live. How are you these days with performing and what advice would you give to someone who may be facing the same dilemma?

LW: I still get nervous and I like that. I feel that if I wasn’t nervous, then why am I doing this? The nerves tell me that I want to do as well as I can. I’ve just learnt to thrive off of them. I have no idea how though, probably just practice.

BV: Speaking of live performances – are there any plans to head out on the road over the next couple of months of during 2014?

LW: We’re going on tour in a couple of weeks until early December and then it’s into the studio for me until 2014. I love touring though and will tour until nobody wants to come anymore.

BV: Are there any other plans in the pipeline or projects that you are working on that fans can look forward to and that you can tell us about?

LW: Just the album really. I’m trying to focus everything into that because I’ll only ever have one first album and I’d like it to be the best that I can make it!

BV: Thanks Lewis and good luck with the release of the new EP

LW: Thank you and thanks so much for having me! x

Lewis Watson’s new EP Some Songs With Some Friends is out on November 25th.