Indie pop artist Payson Lewis isn’t new to industry. In fact, you might know him whether it be seeing a glimpse of him on television or possibly this cover of “Out of the Woods” with Rumer Willis that made its rounds on the interweb. Either way, the point we’re trying to make is that Payson is no stranger to music. For years, he’s been doing theater, television, and more but in 2018, it’s about time he focused on his solo work.
Today, Payson dropped his latest single “Can’t Go Back” following up his previous track “Bad Influence.” With two songs up his sleeves and much more on the way, Payson is ready to make a name for himself and rightfully so. We had the chance to chat with Payson as he gets ready to drop his debut EP (real soon!) to talk about his very beginning to his guilty pleasures to his future plans years from now!
The Young Folks: First off – for those who don’t know your start in music… When did music make that impact in your life to convince you to pursue a career in the industry?
Payson Lewis: Well, I mean, really, music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and even before I can remember really. My mom always tells me that when I was 3 years old, I was “writing” songs using these rubber bands that were stretched out at different lengths so when you plucked them, they vibrated at different pitches. I think when it comes to actively pursuing a career in the industry, I was a little late to the game. I didn’t really even start focusing on being an artist until I was finishing up my last semester of college!
TYF: I read that you’ve done theatre too! How did you come to the decision now is the time to release your own music or was this always something you intended on doing but on your own time?
Lewis: Yeah, I think it was an “on my own time” sort of thing. I’ve done a bunch of acting stuff, TV, theater, etc. and it was always just taking enough of my time to make it hard to focus on music. But I decided recently that I was tired of waiting to release my music and kind of shifted my focus to put my max effort into putting out my own material. And it’s been really liberating to finally focus on it. I mean, I haven’t given up acting or anything, but my focus is definitely on music right now.
TYF: Loving your new single “Bad Influence”! I read in previous conversations that this was based off the things we’re not supposed to do, our guilty pleasures. What is your guilty pleasure?
Lewis: First of all, thank you so much. I’m definitely glad that you’re digging it. But, oh man, my guilty pleasure? Well, the song was written while I was feeling a bit of a tequila buzz, and I do love a good whiskey too. But I don’t know that I really feel too guilty about that. Oh man, this is kind of hard. Oh you know what. That old movie, “National Treasure.” That’s my all-time guilty pleasure. I can’t get enough of it. It’s so bad, but I love it.
TYF: Your video for “Bad Influence” was very different than your covers on YouTube so what was it like to shoot your own original song?
Lewis: Honestly, it’s just a little more fun. Like, you’re not bound by anything except your own imagination. I directed that video too, so it was really 100% my vision from writing the song, to shooting the video, and then I even edited it myself. I always keep coming back to the word “liberating” when I think about the difference between working on a cover versus working on my own songs. When it’s my music, there are no rules, no expectations, no compass. So it always just goes wherever my mind takes it. It’s always new, and I love that.
TYF: With your recent two singles, when can we expect an EP or debut album? Or, at the moment, are you more focused on getting more singles out for now?
Lewis: There’s an EP coming, but you’re gonna have to hang on for one more single before the full EP is released. I promise I won’t make you wait too long. It’s coming!
TYF: When you find inspiration for a new song, what’s your workflow like when putting it together?
Lewis: Every song is a little bit different with me, but I always look at a song like a lock and you need to find right key. Once you do, whether it’s a lyric, a hook melody, or something in the production, the song just kind of unlocks and writes itself. Sometimes I’ll sit working the lyrics of a section or trying to finesse the pre-chorus or something, trying lots of different “keys” but then when you find the right one, it all just starts to fit into place. Sorry for the lame metaphor, that’s just how I picture it.
TYF: You’re very known for your cover with Rumer Willis and your other impressive covers on your channel. However, it’s been a while since the covers made an appearance! Any chance you’ll be uploading more in the new future?
Lewis: You know, I’ve been knocking around the idea of doing some new covers recently, but it’s been hard. I’ve just been so busy with my own stuff at the moment. But I’m thinking about starting a new series of casual covers of songs that my friends who are artists have created. Kind of as a way to help promote other people that I believe in and maybe help in my small way to get their songs out to the world.
TYF: Speaking of covers, what’s the one song you hope to record sometime in your career? And if you could collaborate with someone on the song, who would it be?
Lewis: This is the hardest question. There are so many great songs out there and so many incredible artists. I don’t really know how to narrow it down. I mean, I don’t know who I would collaborate with on it, but I’ve carried the idea of covering “The Edge Of Forever” by The Dream Academy ever since it was in a show I was in. It’s kind of random, but I always loved that song, and think I could bring something cool to it- my own little spin. And who knows, maybe bring on another cool artist to help me if I’m so lucky!
TYF: At the end of the day, what do you hope your music career to be like years from now?
Lewis: In one word: active. Honestly, I just love music so much. I love writing it, recording it, but most of all I like playing it and sharing it with people. So I mean active in the way of still making new music and I also mean it in regards to going out around the world playing it for people. There is nothing more magical than being in a room when you are playing music and you feel the heartbeat of every single person listening. You can feel them with you. It’s an awesome feeling and it’s really what I live for. So years from now, I hope I still get to feel that. Feel the way that my music makes other people feel. It’s something unique to music. Part of why I love it so much.