Get to know the emerging British singer-songwriter Roman Lewis! His new single “When I Was Yours” is out now via Bright Antenna. Listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/romanlewis/when-i-was-yours.
This track will appear on Roman’s second EP, due for release in early 2020. The new music follows his debut release Heartbreak (For Now), which Clash hailed as “showcasing the breadth, vitality, and raw potential on Roman’s work,” while Cool Hunting called it “captivating.”
To support the release, Roman has confirmed U.S. tour dates alongside fellow UK bands Inhaler and Blossoms. These run of shows include performances at Brooklyn’s Elsewhere, Los Angeles’ The Roxy on November 14 and more.
Based in London, Roman draws inspiration from 18th Century poetry, which is quite the anomaly for someone just 18 years old. He carries a young Francophile’s sense of romance and a wide-eyed sense of wonder, but already a heaviness of heart too. Studying in French until the age of fourteen, and fluent in the language he adores, there’s a notable joie de vivre that enriches his unhinged and wild vocals.
Learn more about Roman Lewis in the following All Access interview-
What does a typical day look like for you? What do you have scheduled the rest of today and this week?
Currently I’m in the studio all week recording the rest of the 2nd EP. So my day consists of travelling to Assault and Battery studio and spending the day in studio “Dave” with Catherine Marks the genius producer. Dave is a tiny room full of cool things like an Elvis painting, an Animal poster from the Muppets and a whole lot of fairy lights.
Now that we are in the latter half of the year, how has 2019 treated you? What are some goals that you have had for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them or did you already? What are you already excited about for this fall and even looking towards 2020?
2019 has been amazing honestly. I did my first headline show in London and my first tour going around the states and Canada with Matt Maltese. I also just had probably the best summer of my life travelling around Europe with my friends and teaching kids at the first ever Math camp in Togo. A lot of my friends are off to uni now which is kind of sad but the great thing about touring is I’ll be able to visit them all hopefully. I didn’t have any concrete goals for this year really. Things always take longer than you think so I try not to plan too much. I did have A levels however (SAT equivalent) so I wanted to do well in those which I believe I have. I’m excited to release more music and looking forward to start playing live with other musicians as well as hopefully recording my album in 2020.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be in this industry? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music has always been there. I started off dancing actually. We had a keyboard that made loads of different beats and 5 year old Roman used to make little choreographies for each one. I have a vivid memory of putting on The Muppets’ version of Bohemian Rhapsody and doing a very dramatic performance on the kitchen table. After a while I got into musical theatre, then plain singing, then playing the guitar and then finally writing songs. I put three of my songs on Soundcloud when I was like 14 or 15 and we started getting loads of people from the music industry contacting me and Mum. I knew music was what I wanted to do but that was when I realized I might actually have a chance. It was always an easy choice but has definitely become increasingly difficult the more obstacles have been put in my way.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would yoube as fulfilled in life?
When I was 4 my aunt told me how expensive petrol was so I briefly wanted to be a petrol man but that quickly fizzled out. I got into Imperial College to do Theoretical Physics this year so if i wasn’t doing music that’s where I’d be. I definitely wouldn’t be as satisfied but I do miss the academic side of things and spending the day with friends my age.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all? What has been the best part about it all?
The biggest surprise about making music my career is the fact that I’ve actually been able to make music my career. It’s a dream come true so I try not to forget that. An unexpected challenge was drawing my album covers for the last EP. That was good fun and I can’t in any way draw so was definitely unexpected. The best part has been receiving messages from people telling me what the music means to them. That could make doing anything worthwhile.
Let’s talk about your newest single “When I Was Yours.” What was the inspiration for this track? How does this song compare to anything else you have released? How do you think it prepares listeners for your upcoming 2nd EP?
I was in a weird place and started sort of taking the piss of out lil old heartbroken Roman. I just realized how funny it all was. I don’t know how it compares to the other stuff. It’s a bit more jammy and a little less over emotional which is nice. Some of the the songs on the EP have a similar vibe but some have a very different one so I don’t think it gives that much of an indication of anything.
Why is Bright Antenna the right place for you and your music today?
Cos they’re the freakin coolest and they buy me doughnuts.
Where can people see you perform next? Do you have any fall tour dates scheduled yet? What are your shows like these days?
I’ll be heading on another US tour this November supporting Blossoms and Inhaler ! I just play alone with my acoustic guitar so they’re nice and intimate.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music?
I think I’m better at it. At least I hope. I’m not the kind of person to dismiss the stuff they do even though they did it a few years ago so a lot of the stuff I’ve released and plan to release we’re writing sometime between now and 4 years ago. I’ve definitely gone through different phases of writing but I don’t think that will ever change.
How do you feel about social media? What do you think social media has done for your career so far?
Mixed emotions. If I wasn’t doing music I definitely wouldn’t be posting as much but on the other hand it documents everything and it’s nice to look back on those moments.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Radiohead, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, David Bowie… I’d love to work with Lorde !
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
I would solve world hunger then film myself dancing in front of a green screen. I wouldn’t take any footage from the solving world hunger part, I’m just making the most out of the unlimited budget.
Where would you love to hear a song of yours played?
In South Park where they would take the piss out of me then remix one of them at the end of the episode like they did for Kanye.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
Some kind of emotion I guess. If it makes you feel something strongly then it’s doing its job.
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
I have a strange obsession with Pandas and have over 100 of them in my room.