Lewis Capaldi: his name might not sound familiar (just yet!), but as soon as you’ve heard his songs Bruises or Someone You Loved, you won’t forget him. The Scottish singer-songwriter whose music (and voice!) sends chills through the spine, is considered to be one of the greatest talents of the moment.
Last Friday, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent was released. A debut album full of sensitive break up songs. In a very honest conversation, I found out that he stretches the truth in his lyrics sometimes (thank God!), he told me the story behind Fade, and made a very interesting prediction about the future of lyrics.
What role does music play in your life?
“It’s my job and I love it. Music has always been an important part of my life. The first time I performed in front of an audience I was 4 years old and that was when I realised ‘I like this, I want to keep doing this.’ I’ve been married to music for 18 years, it was a child marriage.”
But it has been a good child marriage I guess?
“Yes, and the only instance where a child marriage is acceptable.”
Where do you find the inspiration for your music?
“In my day to day life and in my friends’ personal experiences. Sometimes it starts with an idea for a lyric though. But, for the song to make sense, I have to wait until I’ve got the experience to fit the lyric.”
To what extend are your lyrics autobiographical?
“I would say 75%. Even though the ones that are autobiographical can be a bit blown up. There are songs on the album, where I’m singing about a girl breaking my heart and that being the worst thing ever. But in reality, I was just dating her for a few weeks and then we broke up. I can make a mountain out of a molehill for the sake of a song.”
What is the album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent about?
“The album stems from a break up I had, but I don’t take it as a ‘breakup album’ per se. There’s a couple of songs that are all about my ex-girlfriend, but the majority is about being broken hearted in general. And about the feeling of being on your own again.”
Is there one song on the album that has a special meaning to you?
“I would say Fade. I’ve realized that people think this song, as well as Grace, is a sad song. Probably because of the tempo and the way I’m singing. But both songs cover what it’s like to really, really, really be in love.
Fade is about the moment when you realize that for the first time and are immediately seized by a feeling of fear. She has got me vulnerable in the sense that if she leaves me, I’m f*cked. The more you have, the more you stand to lose.
It ain’t no wonder why we lose control
When we’re always a heart attack away from falling in love
Well, I know that we’ve been hardly holding on
To tell the truth, I can’t believe we got this far
Running near on empty
I wish somebody would’ve told me
That I’d end up so caught up in need of your demons
That I’d be lost without you leading me astray
Guess that I’m a fool for the way that you caught me
Girl, you make my heart break more every day
But don’t fade away
Fade – Lewis Capaldi
People often consider the first 2 sentences of the chorus often as volatile. They think it’s a bad relationship because it’s about ‘leading me astray’. But it’s more a positive kind of leading me astray, it’s the excitement about this other person that is taking you off your normal path.”
Do you have the idea that people in general listen to your lyrics?
“I think so, yes. People who come to my shows seem to really delve into the lyrics, know them and they tell me what it means to them. I think some people may be even thinking more about them than I do, haha. But that’s a good thing, it’s nice to see people care about it.
I believe in general that lyrics are important. Most of the emotional connection people have with music comes from the lyrics.
Music in the charts is often criticized nowadays and it is said that we need ‘real music’ back again. People may think that lyrics are not as important as they were, but I think the younger generation really does care about them. Fans of bands like Twenty One Pilots or The 1975, or even 12-year-old girls who listen to One Direction or Justin Bieber, know every word.
Lyrics are also the reason why rap music is so popular. If you go into YouTube and type in ‘rap reactions’, there’s millions of videos of people sitting in their bedrooms reacting to rap lyrics.
Young people do have an appetite for lyrics and I think over the next 20, 30 years, that will be at the forefront again.”
Your album has just been released. What do you hope people will get out of it?
“I hope they just enjoy it. I hope it can make them laugh or enhance their mood. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel with what I’m doing. I’m just writing songs I like. And I hope anybody can find something in it that they love. That’s all that matters to me. I mean f*ck it. It’s only an album. It’s only my life’s work.”