Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

After the Show: Dean Lewis Part 2

Sean Alexander
Sean Alexander

I first learned of Dean Lewis in October when I was asked to cover his show at the Neptune Theatre. Leading up to the show and my initial interview with him, I listened to a good quantity of his music, preparing for and getting an idea of what his music is all about. 

After speaking with him and attending his show, I continued listening to his music and he quickly became one of my favorites. Not just because of the relatability I found in his lyrics but because of his overall honesty and commitment to his craft. 

During our most recent conversation, Lewis and I had the opportunity to talk about all the different things that had happened for him over the last few months and his upcoming third album.

The new album could have been finished six months ago, according to Lewis. However, he has gotten on a roll of writing new songs that he can’t hold back till the fourth album. Lewis loves every song included and feels like the vibe closer resembles that of his first album as opposed to the second one. Part of this is due to the inclusion of more acoustic guitar rifts and melodies like those in “A Place We Knew.”

“If anything it’s gone a bit more raw,” Lewis said. “I think it just sounds a little bit more me. It’s maybe my first album but going even further into that organic sound.”

SA: When you say it’s more “you,” what do you mean by that?

DL: “Well, you spend so much time throwing things at the wall trying to see what works. And I think sometimes that first album; there’s an intuition with how it all comes together and you have so long to put it together. Sometimes you need to come to your third album to have some perspective of where you want to go, who you wanna sound like, and who you are.”

Sean Alexander

Lewis has only had two or three months off at a time in between touring and shows. This time was key in leveraging his time for writing new music without distractions. According to Lewis, sometimes when you are writing songs some just don’t hit or are a dud and others you can recognize as being good. He is grateful that despite all the time on the road the last thirty or so songs he has written have been good in his eyes. 

SA: For you what is a dud versus a success when you’re writing songs?

“That’s a good question. A dud is sort of faceless. It doesn’t say anything. It doesn’t impact me emotionally. The melodies aren’t that good or the lyrics don’t make you feel something. You get those now and then. I think I’m just on a bit of a good, good vibe right now. Everything’s just clicking, but I’m scared for the future. ‘Cause you go through those periods where you only can write duds. Right. But right now, the good ones are flowing.”

SA: So do you have a target you’re trying to hit when it comes to the amount you’re producing?

DL: “A lot of it’s the bandwidth. A lot of the time there’ll be three months of just touring and then I’ll go, ‘Oh, I should do this and this and this.’ And then like in three days I’ll write three ideas and email off Ruth B or email Martin Garrick or Kygo and we’ll go, ‘let’s do a song or something like that,’ and then we’ll just do it. Sometimes I feel like I’m working hard when I’m doing all this cool stuff that I have the opportunity to do and I try to capitalize on it ’cause I have the opportunity to do it. And other times I’m just focused on trying to get by. ‘Cause maybe life’s tiring at that point or so much touring or I don’t have the energy to write. A lot of times it’s really hard to write songs when you’re on the road. But I’m always really productive when I feel like I’m not where I want to be. So I start doubling down and writing heaps more and I force myself into productivity.”

Currently, Lewis is touring with the band AJR, as their opener. At first, this may seem like an odd pairing given how different their music is, however, there is a method behind that. Touring with a band of their size gives Lewis the chance to perform in front of people who are new to his music and not just one or two potential new fans but upwards of 10,000 in a night. 

Sean Alexander

“It’s been different because you have to learn how to adjust on stage,” Lewis said. “People don’t really know my songs. So how do you bring people in when they don’t know you? And it’s been a challenge, but It’s been really fun. My goal is to go out there and go, they don’t know who I am and I’m an opener. I’m probably a bit of an inconvenience, but I’m gonna convince them that we’re good by the end of it. We have a really good attitude and we try to do as best we can. And we’re noting that the crowds have been great and it’s working for us so far.”

Lewis’ success is only increasing on a daily basis, but this has not stopped him from being a human and he still has concerns and worries like everyone does from time to time. This is apparent in the music he creates, and part of why it has resonated with millions of people across the world is it is incredibly human and a testament to what it means to move through life both the good, the bad and the chaos that fills the gaps in-between. 

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • D

    May 10, 2024 at 1:33 pm

    I loved this