Introducing… Rhys Lewis

Rhys Lewis
Rhys Lewis

Rhys Lewis: “I hope that in some ways the sound is nostalgic but not too retro”

A scheduled songwriting trip to the Isle of Wight proved to be the decisive moment for this talented young artist

Name: Rhys Lewis

Age: 26

Location: London, UK

Style: A modern songwriter with a classic sound

Look out for: New single Reason To Hate You

Having written in London, Nashville, Stockholm, Los Angeles and Berlin, it comes as a slight surprise that the music of Rhys Lewis truly came together on the Isle of Wight. Yet that’s exactly what happened when the London-based pop troubadour started working with the sibling production team of Boe Weaver. “I went and did one or two days with them to see how we got along,” say Lewis. “I ended up recording my first single there. They had all the gear and all of the ideas that I had in my head so it was a match made in heaven which turned out really well.”

He continues, “My label said, ‘this sounds really great, why don’t we release it as a first single?’ Then we did a few more sessions. It wasn’t like we ever said ‘right we’re going to start recording the album,’ we just kept going and then we had about ten or so songs and it just felt like a record.”


Lewis music is a nuanced combination of the modern and the classic which lends tracks such as Wish I Was Sober and I Know The Feeling both a timeless and contemporary feel. “I’m really drawing from the music that I loved growing up,” he explains. “Motown and soul stuff as well as some of the earlier Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac recordings. I knew I didn’t want it to be pristine pop but I also knew I wanted it to feel contemporary and punchy in a way that modern music has only started to feel in the past 10 years or so.”

“I was just taking older sounds and instruments and trying to find modern equivalents which sounded like they did the same job,” he says. “So an organ part on a synth and things like that, which sound both familiar and not the same. I hope that in some ways the sound is nostalgic but not too retro.” The album will be released in 2018 and based on the strength of his early singles Lewis has achieved precisely what he set out to do. Perhaps a few more songwriters should take the short trip across the Solent.

Interview: Duncan Haskell

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