Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter Rhys Lewis, who discusses his new track, â€˜Better Than Today,â€™ as well as his goals for 2019.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Rhys Lewis: I first got into music in primary school learning clarinet! I loved playing music but didn’t really get on with the clarinet; when I picked up the guitar though, there was no turning back. I played in lots of terrible bands with terrible names as a teenager. Somewhere along the line, I decided that songwriting was something I really enjoyed, so I moved to London to study music. Then London, being the city that it is,threw lots of opportunities my way and I feel very lucky to still be doing music today.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Lewis: It can start in many ways, but for me to really get into an idea, I need a title or concept. Iâ€™m constantly making notes of things that are on my mind, that I hear friends or strangers say could be interesting, orthat have enough emotion to write about. Then I sort of forget about them and when I sit down with an instrument or someone else Iâ€™m writing with plays some music, I improvise melodies until something appears. Usually, there is a lyrical idea somewhere in the back of my mind or in a note in my phone that falls onto something I sing. Iâ€™ve started to notice that when Iâ€™m thinking really hard in the moment to come up with a good idea, nothing normally ever comes. If instead I constantly keep my mind fueled and full of words and ideas, when I do sit down to write, I can let my feelings and emotions to guide the creative process and trust that something in the back of my mind will come forward.
Review Fix: How was “Better Than Today” written?
Lewis: Myself and Aidan (my piano player) were in our studio in South London and we were trying to write a different idea. It wasnâ€™t really going anywhere, so I said we should start something new. Aidan started playing the piano part to what is now â€œBetter Than Today,â€ and I started singing – within 5 minutes we had the chorus. It just happened. We were both not thinking and thatâ€™s often when the most creative moments occur. I had written the title down in my phone a while ago, and for some reason when Aidan played the chord progression and I started to sing melodies, that lyric fell out. I then spent a long time tweaking the lyrics over a few months with Aidanâ€™s help. It taught me not to rush an idea. Some songs take a day to write, others take months; so donâ€™t stop working on something until youâ€™re sure itâ€™s the best it can be.
Review Fix: What makes this new single a special one?
Lewis: Writing this song really helped me deal with my anxieties and get through an unsettled period of time in my life. So I hoped that it could be some kind of comfort to someone hearing it, too. The reaction to this song has been incredible, Iâ€™ve had so many personal and heart-felt messages from people saying how much itâ€™s helped them and given them hope in a low moment in their life, so that really does mean a lot to know. There are a few songs in my life from other artists that have helped me through something so itâ€™s a very special thing to realise that my own music has done that for other people too.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Lewis: Soulful, lyrical and honest.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Lewis: There is definitely a different energy to the songs when I play them live. I think perhaps some of my recordings are slightly contained now compared to the live versions. I have a great relationship with my band and I really trust them musically. After touring the set a few times, you find new things in the songs and arrangements that you didnâ€™t get the chance to record on the studio version. So Iâ€™d say thereâ€™s more excitement and musicality to the live show. Perhaps those live moments wouldnâ€™t work on record, so Iâ€™m glad that the two forms have their own identities and hopefully fans who come and see the live show think the same.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2019?
Lewis: Be more patient. Try and not let my anxiety affect me as much. Finish my album. See my family and friends more.
Leave a Reply