Ah, Lewis Capaldi. I don’t even remember when I first encountered him.
Or rather, his body of work. Before going for his press conference, I recalled his name as an up-and-coming UK artist with a current smash hit. I dismissed him as an Ed Sheeran type. No offence to Sheeran, of course, but ever since he came into the scene, there have been a few copycats that have cropped up. If you are into UK pop music, a few artists might have popped into your mind.
It was easy to dismiss Capaldi because I never really knew his songs.
And so, just as anyone living in the 21st century who is trying to get into a new musician, I dove into his albums on Spotify. I put on my earphones, got on the train, and clicked on the red album cover titled Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.
As soon as those clear vocals hit my eardrums, I was amazed to find out that I have listened to a lot of his songs without realising it. I had the tingle of excitement one gets when one knows the answer to something. The tingle which makes one want to raise their hand and respond.
It came in flashes that I have encountered his songs at the office, the Denpasar airport in Bali while sipping coffee, on various Grab rides, and at a Starbucks in Woodlands.
Those are a lot of places. This man was everywhere, and I had not been paying attention.
And with the last name Capaldi, it’s easy to mistake him for another Scot, the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi. I looked into it. It’s been reported they are cousins. It gets even funnier if you type Someone You Loved, one of the names that pop up is Peter’s.
Even with that confusion, I think that this unassuming, talented man may be one to watch in the indie or pop charts as we enter the 2020s.
As of now, Capaldi has been nominated for a Grammy under Song of the Year with Someone You Loved. It has stayed Number 1 for seven weeks in the UK. Most importantly, he has claimed the first Number 1 album of the new decade.
Besides that, what do we know about him?
Lewis Capaldi is only 23
When I asked him what he felt about being an overnight success he got stuck on the word overnight. He mentioned how that’s a funny word since he’s been doing music for 11 years. A friend murmured beside me, “Since he was twelve?”
We giggled, thinking that Lewis might be in his late twenties. We were dismayed when we did our research and the joke was proven correct. This man is younger than us. And is currently on a world tour. Who’s laughing now?
Lewis Capaldi knows that success can be fleeting
He is right to be. A lot of musicians have been lauded by critics before and they disappeared as quickly as they came. The music industry can be a vicious machine that chews dreamers and spits them out once a banger has been absorbed.
“I might never get another song as big as Someone You Loved,” he said. “I’m gonna milk this album.”
Lewis Capaldi is refreshingly realistic
Capaldi mentions, “I’m not bad at music. I’m quite good. But I know there are people out there better than me.”
“I don’t know why I’ve been the one who was picked… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna trade places.”
Lewis Capaldi notices the pretension of showbiz
I’ve always been curious about how fame magnifies the good and bad qualities in people so I asked him what was the oddest thing he’s noticed after receiving so much attention. He said, “Oh! I didn’t notice this until AJ Mitchell said it in an interview a few weeks ago on Clash.”
“You meet people and they’re very formal, a handshake, “hello” and “hi” but as soon as the phone is turned on. (he mimics holding his phone as if he’s doing an InstaStory) They’re like, “Hi, I’m here with my buddy Lewis Capaldi!” I find that strange.”
Lewis Capaldi’s sad songs are not a reflection of his mental state
On writing Someone You Loved, “I was quite in a good mood. When I write sad songs, I’m kind of over it.”
“I write my saddest songs when I’m at my happiest.”
Lewis Capaldi watched his Grammy nomination announcement with his laptop on his chest
“I remember being excited but I didn’t get up because I was lazy.”
Lewis Capaldi likes where he is
As he talks about his sudden success, he mentions that he is in a very good spot where people love and recognise his music but might not necessarily recognise him. That suits him just fine.
Lewis Capaldi tells other young and up-and-coming musicians to give up
“Put the piano away. Put the guitars down,” he quips. “I need a job.”