Lewis Watson is an Oxford-based singer songwriter. He came to public attention at only 16 years old by uploading stripped-back covers online. As a result of his online success, his debut EP of original material went straight to the top of the iTunes singer-songwriter chart on the day of release in 2012.
Most noteworthy, the young British musician also cemented himself as a remarkable live artist. While playing to sold-out crowds across the globe including headlining London’s Shepherds Bush Empire, New York’s Brewery Ballroom and LA’s Troubadour, he also supported acts such as Coldplay, Kodaline and Lianna La Havas. In addition, he sold out a headline tour of Australia and appeared at festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival, The Great Escape and T in the Park.
After all this success, he is now unveiling his new single ‘forever’ taken from his upcoming second album ‘midnight’. The single is a stunning yet gentle, laid back anthem with reflective lyrics coupled with beautiful three-part harmonies.
On Lewis’ new album ‘midnight’, he has developed his much-loved acoustic pop sound into something altogether more ambitious. Drawing upon inspiration from a disparate range of influences including Death Cab for Cutie and Bon Iver, the album expands Lewis Watson’s musical world far beyond his debut.
After the success of seven intimate performances in the UK across November and December, Lewis will embark on a headline tour from March in support of the album, starting at Portsmouth’s very own Wedgewood Rooms on 21st March 2017. This is the first time he’s been to our city since his 2014 performance at Victorious Festival. Due to his growing popularity, most of his shows are completely sold-out, but there are still a few tickets available for the Portsmouth date.
For those who are new to your music, which three tracks would you encourage them to listen to and why?
I think that starting with ‘into the wild’ will show you where this journey all began, ‘halo’ will show you how quiet I can be, and ‘little light’ should show you the flavour of the new record!
You’ve played some incredible gigs over the past few years. Has there been any particular ‘pinch me’ moment you’ll never forget?
The main one for me was supporting Coldplay to about 100 people in a tiny Somerset pub. Although it was a label thing, it was a really incredible experience! I played, then Royal Blood played, then Coldplay! Chas and Dave also had a DJ set but Dave was absent so it was slightly less special…
Considering the rise and rise of internet stardom, and your own personal experiences with it, would you recommend the online route to new up-and-coming musicians?
I think that it’s definitely a good route to take because it’s organic, it’s easy to keep up amongst other things (school, jobs, children, etc) and it’s so accessibly now. I definitely got lucky with my timing because I got involved quite early which meant that it was easier for me to get ‘noticed’ but it’s definitely still a valid route to take!
Your latest album is quite different from your first. How do you think you have developed your songwriting style over the years?
Honestly, I think I’ve just grown up! I do think that the youthful, naïve songs that I wrote earlier in my career have a certain charm to them but I am glad that my songwriting has matured. As you said, my sound has grown-up too, I think that this new record is an evolution lyrically, musically and sonically and I’m very proud of that!
You’ve recently partnered with leading Independent label Cooking Vinyl. Can you tell us a bit about the decision process to get you where you are today?
It was an easy decision, honestly. They’re a great company, they have an amazing legacy, a great roster of career-artists and they’re very passionate about the album. The main thing for me was that I created this album before getting labels involved, I wanted the album to be mine and not to be made up of a load of decisions by an A&R. Everything was decided by me, my band and the producer (Anthony West – Oh Wonder) and that definitely enhances the record in my opinion!
Finally, what does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
I’m going to be touring a lot! I’m actually answering these questions half-way through a two day trip to LA. I leave for New York soon and then Sydney after that. It’s going to be a busy one but I can’t wait to spread the word about ‘Midnight’ and then tour the world with it!
His upcoming album ‘Midnight’ is available on Friday 24th March. Tickets are available for his upcoming show at the Wedgewood Rooms on 21st March for £12.50.