“It all started in my room. I began writing songs and recording them on my phone. But it wasn’t enough,” Lewis Angelo says. The Italo-Nigerian indie music singer and multi-instrumentalist knew he had to put himself out there if he wanted to be the best. “I formed my first band called ‘Headwires’ with a classmate and a friend. That was a giant step that led to the birth of Lewisland”
In our brief, yet enlightening chat, Lewis talked about reaching out with DIY music and his upcoming projects but before the concerts, gigs, studio recording and live shows, Lewis Angelo was a young boy who loved to play the piano and would later go on to experimenting with other instruments. He started writing songs at the age of 15, promptly after getting his first guitar. His gift for melody, he states, came from listening to boy bands in his teenage years. He felt inspired by the likes of Bryan Adams, Avril Lavigne and the Goo Goo Dolls. Now his source of inspiration has broadened and he intends to inspire in return.
What do you sing about?
I sing and write songs that speak about the everyday struggle. Things like religion, lost love, war and relationships. I never write songs about myself or my feelings. When I write, I try to never let my emotions get in the way. Instead, I try to channel the pain and emotions of others. This way, I am able to write an upbeat song when I’m sad and vice versa.
How do you make your music? I mean, walk me through the creative process. Not every detail though, I may get lost along the way.
Everyday, I try to write at least 3 songs. I use my guitar or piano to help me remember the chords and melodic structure. Then I record it with my phone. At the end of the week I gather all the songs, listen to them carefully and choose the best. It’s down to what kind of music I make: acoustic songs, indie pop, blues, soul, acid jazz and ambient music. Sometimes I use digital instruments and sound effects and other times I just mix a little bit of everything. I also mix and edit the sound to make it more polished and professional.
Do you ever think of signing to a record label? Would you?
That was the dream of every artist before the internet took over and Indie acts such as DIY musicians began to become popular. Today, you don’t need a record label to have a big and loyal fan base that turns up at your shows, downloads your music and buys your merchandise. Building a strong loyal fan base is what I’m working on, then if a record label comes knocking, I would definitely give it a thought. Bottom line, no record label would want to sign an artist without a strong online presence or a loyal fan base because the risk of the investment is higher.
What’s your take on the role that Youtube and other internet platforms play in the future of music?
Yeah, it’s no longer an opinion but a fact. The rate at which Youtube videos are viewed everyday leaves you dazzled. Every week you have new videos hitting new records of views. PSY’s ‘Gangam Style’ made a historical record confirming that Youtube is the number 1 platform for multimedia sharing. Also, the internet platforms give you maximum control of your content and allows you to be part of something big. You don’t always have a say in what your TV and radio broadcast, while platforms like Youtube, Soundcloud and many online radio platforms allow you to create your own channel, broadcast your own radio station from home and advertise your product in a cheaper and more efficient way. The famous British band ‘The Buggles’ had the 80’s one hit wonder ‘Video Killed the Radio Star.’ Well, if they had written the song today, it would almost certainly be ‘Internet killed the TV star!’
Would you mind if people used your music for self made Youtube videos and other projects for free?
It depends on what the project is all about. I don’t know anyone that would want their music used in pornographic contexts or videos showing brutal crime, terrorist attacks or political slander. So I always want to learn more about the project in which my music would be used. Also, I don’t mind a payout but I’m down to giving my music for free so long as I’m given credit because it’s also a form of publicity.
What’s in store for Lewisland in the coming months?
In a couple of weeks I will be shooting a video for my new single ‘Soldier On’ in Rome, Italy. I also have some new collaborations with some very cool artists. And of course, many live shows.
I heard something about an EP in the works…
My first EP ‘Halfway to Nowhere’ is a self produced Indie Pop EP containing 5 songs and 1 bonus track. ‘Halfway to Nowhere’ highlights the transition to a more electronic and contemporary R&B genre. Also, the album contains more piano, synthesizers and less guitars. My second EP ‘Late No More’, recorded at Mantova and produced by Francesco Tomè will be out by the end of the month.
What advice would you give upcoming Indie artists?
My advice to other upcoming artists is to work on your songs, play as many live shows as possible and most importantly build a strong and loyal fan base.
Thank you, Lewis
Thank you for sitting down to talk about Lewisland.
Lewis Angelo’s music and everything you need to know about Lewisland