Twenty-five-year-old Lewis Watson began his musical journey like many others before him, influenced by the music he had grown up listening to. Surprisingly, the indie singer was a metal fan, and, in his teenage years, Lewis was particularly fond of a band called alexisonfire. The band’s soft vocalist, Dallas Green, also maintained a side project, putting out folk music under the moniker City and Colour. “When I listened to his first EP, Sometimes, it made me want to create,” Lewis shares.
He didn’t just take that desire and sleep on it; as an avid music lover, he was inspired enough to take the plunge into creating his own art. After receiving a guitar on his sixteenth birthday, Lewis started playing around with chords, just trying to mimic what he was hearing, before ultimately fiddling with new sounds of his own. Soon after, he started putting together the music he was writing with the poems he had already written, thus making his first songs.
After getting signed in 2012, the singer spent the next two years touring almost nonstop, releasing four EPs, as well as his debut full-length, along the way. “I had over a hundred songs to pick from. I knew that there were album songs and songs that weren’t quite… I don’t want to say good enough, but they weren’t great songs to be on the album, you know? They didn’t fit the bill,” he remembers. Rather than tossing those songs aside, he decided to follow in the footsteps of those he looked up to. In the end, he released the morning (all of the songs), containing the original record alongside twenty-six demo-like versions of songs, in the hopes of giving his listeners the same feeling of discovery he longed for as a music fan himself.
By the end of the two-year cycle, Lewis felt “burnt out,” and, for the sake of his well-being, he took a six-month break from music. “I felt myself not enjoying it anymore, and that was a deal breaker for me,” he confesses. After spending so many years working to build a loyal fan base, only to stop when his momentum was arguably at its highest, the hiatus was not something that came lightly to Lewis. “I knew that if I stopped, it would take a big hit–and it did. It’s something I’m still recovering from,” he continues.
Check out the rest of the feature in our upcoming issue–coming soon!
PHOTO: LORI GUTMAN
WORDS: KELLY FADDEN