“I think « after party music »” – SG Lewis describing his sound…
SG Lewis is a 20-year-old electronic music producer based in Liverpool, UK. Has cravings for fried chicken and was one of the must see acts during Paris’ Pitchfork Music Festival opening party back in October 2015. Sophie “Championne”, our intrepid interviewer went to ask a few questions for us. She met the British heartthrob at Badaboum. And he kindly accepted to strike a pose for Michela Cuccagna‘s lens. Here’s the result… Expect a steady stream of new releases from Lewis as we head towards the new year, a New EP by January and some cray cray collabs in time for him to drop a debut album at the start of next year.
Interview by Sophie. Photographs by Michela Cuccagna.
There’s always something sultry in your music and you often say they are not meant for the dance floor.
Thank you very much ! Basically I take influence from dance music but it’s never dance music. It’s more for listening rather dancing. I think « after party music » is a good description.
For “Shivers” and “No Less” you worked with two English singers JP Cooper and Louis Mattrs. Did you create those songs with their voices in mind ?
For those tracks it’s a case of collaboration. I really like to get in a room and kinda get the best out of the artist and work together to create a song. You manage to kinda tap into what is special about that artist and I’m lucky enough to work with people that are amazingly talented like Louis and JP. I can mould their talent into something else that perhaps they may have not considered before. It’s a two-way process, I really enjoy it !
“not allowed to tell you who the singer is but if you pitch the voice back up you’ll be able to work who that girl is eventually !” – SG Lewis on the “Warm” vocals…
By the way, who’s singing on Warm? Is that you ?
(laughing) No, I’m not the one singing ! There’s a confusion around this, it’s good to get this story straight actually. Basically, the singer… I’m not allowed to tell you who the singer is but if you pitch the voice back up you’ll be able to work who that girl is eventually !
Is it someone we know ?
It’s someone you WILL know, I think she will be famous in a year’s time because she’s amazing ! When we made the song, we made it with her as the vocal but she signed a record deal and her label said « you can’t use her voice » so it was actually me being lazy, I didn’t end up using a different vocal and I tried to pitch her down and I loved how it sounded. It added depth to the track. That’s the story behind the vocal ! Hopefully, I would love one day to be able to share who it is !
Interesting, so it’s the same process as Lapsley’s !
Yeah, absolutely ! Lapsley, amazing artist ! Electronic music allows you to create things that aren’t real, which is exciting.
You recently tweeted you were making a list of your dream collaborations. Who was your first choice and why ?
I think my first choice was Bon Iver. I’m a massive Bon Iver fan. I really try to take influence from music like his, because I think adding elements of that kind from acoustic singer-songwriting into electronic music you end up kinda adding soul. If I could work with anyone in the world, it would be him because I think he’s the best singer-songwriter alive. There were other artists as well, Frank Ocean, James Blake…
What do you think of their cover of Sound of Silence ?
When I saw that collaboration I was « OHHHHH ! ». I’m really excited for the new James Blake album and the new Frank Ocean !
You worked as a resident club DJ in Liverpool. What did you learn from that time ?
That was really kinda valuable because I end up having two main influences : people like Bon Iver and club music. My music ends up in this kind of middle ground, kinda in between the two. That was really important for me to get an insight into club music and be able to bring up that influence in what I’m doing.
What’s in for 2016 ?
I finished the next EP so we’re gonna put out another EP between now and January and the album will probably be for summer 2016.
Can we have a few hints ?
I keep my lips very sealed on that, all I can say is that I want the album to be a kind of journey. I want people to be able to listen to the record start to finish. I don’t want a collection of songs. I’m really excited about some of the people I’m working with but I can’t say who ! (laughing)
If you had to choose between these 3 moments, which one was the best ?
- Pharrell Williams calling you a « white boy with soul »
- Disclosure inviting you to play with them
- Or having Warm used in HBO’s Baller ?
(laughing) It’s hard to pick one moment ! All of them were crazy ! The Disclosure thing was incredible, those guys have been so good to me ! We’re under the same label and the same management and I was a massive fan of them before I even met them. They invited me to come and play on the same line-up was a dream come true ! It was a pinch yourself moment! (laughing)
Do you know if they liked the remix you did of Magnets ?
The guys were kind enough to send me the album a while back and they asked me which sound I liked and I said Magnets. They asked me if I wanted to remix it and I was so happy to have that opportunity ! It’s a big deal to remix Disclosure, I didn’t want to let them down jus because I’m their friend ! I did three different versions and didn’t send them because I thought it wasn’t good enough. It had to be better ! (laughing) The reception has been amazing on Soundcloud ! Howard texted me because they’re in America at the moment but he said he loved the remix. I’m really pleased and proud of that !
On Spotify you’ve created a playlist called The Electric Relaxation Playlist so who’s the most relaxing artist for you ?
At the moment, Maribou State. They have an album called Portraits and it’s an amazingly soulful piece of music with beautiful instrumental beats and vocals. I completely recommend it !
To conclude, since Sodwee stands for Sound of The Week, what would be YOUR sound of the week ?
Hum… for this week… let me check my soundcloud… My sound of the week would be “Colourblind” by Salute and it’s featuring ABRA. He’s a wicked producer from Australia !