KK Lewis has released her debut single Loop Now, in which the Irish songwriter pleads with the listener to focus less on others on more on themselves. Lewis’ compelling lyricism develops an honest commentary on peer-pressure and the youth of today’s social-media-obsessed-world playing keeping up with the Jones’. Take a listen…
A fusion of KK Lewis’ unique songwriting style which evolves from a love of writing poetry, with childhood inspiration from RnB and Soul, Loop Now was brought to life by Lewis and producer PAPA RUA. Making her debut as an artist, KK Lewis sold out her first ever headline show at Dublin’s The Workmans club, played not one but two stages at Electric Picnic and Kaleidoscope festival, and performed in many esteemed venues dotted around Dublin such as Whelan’s.
Lewis’ most recent performance before the current lock-down situation was at the renowned Whelan’s ‘Ones To Watch’ festival, where her band captivated the tightly packed room. Next on the gig listings was the infamous ‘Ruby Sessions’ (host to Ed Sheeran, Hozier et al), but due to the coronavirus outbreak the show on April 21st was postponed. However, the release of her debut single is sure to keep her audience entertained and wanting more.
After returning from a two-month trip to Berlin – busking and playing intimate shows – the Irish newcomer has amassed over half a million views on YouTube, with plans to release an EP later this year. We got talking to KK Lewis about Loop Now and more…
Hi KK! How are you doing? Hope you’re staying well and keeping occupied during this weird time.
Hello! I’m doing well despite everything going on. It’s definitely difficult to keep creative but trying my best to do little bits everyday even if it’s just writing in my journal or practicing guitar.
We absolutely love your debut single Loop Now – congrats on the release! When did you write this song, and what was the process like?
Thank you so much!! I wrote the song nearly 2 years ago now! I had just finished school and I was in that weird place of not really knowing where I fit in. I had drifted away from a lot of my friends which led to me reflect on my friendships and my past few years growing up, inspiring the song. I had only been playing the guitar for a couple of months and one day the Loop Now hook just came into my head and from there pretty much based the track around that.
And what about producing the song, what was that experience like?
My producer PAPA RUA was one of the first people I ever showed my songs to almost 2 years ago, he has helped me in so many ways from becoming a better musician to believing in myself and my music. Last September we began sculpting the EP, spending days at a time in his DIY studio. For Loop Now I went into the studio with just myself, the guitar and some reference tracks, however he took the song into his own hands and really brought it to life. We experimented a lot with this song, trying out different types of backing vocals and percussion ideas, it was a lot of trial and error to be honest but it turned out great int the end!
When did you first decide to take the plunge and pursue music?
I’ve always loved singing, I was in youth choirs growing up and sang at any opportunity. However it wasn’t until much later that I began to pursue it as a career. During my later years in school I began writing a lot of poetry and short stories as a way to offload my emotions. When I finished school I forced myself to learn the guitar with the aim of bringing my poems to life! I had played the fiddle for many years growing up so I had a bit of an ear for it which made it a bit easier! I got a job as a waitress in a hotel and practiced nonstop until I eventually learned enough songs and saved up enough money to buy a busking amp. From there on I quickly realized that living solely off music was possible, between performing on the street and at open mic nights around Dublin I began my musical journey.
What artists influence and inspire you?
Growing up my mum always played the Divas of Jazz CD featuring the likes of Etta James and Nina Simone. I grew a love for soul, RnB and jazz music. A big inspiration of mine is Amy Winehouse I admired her ability to communicate her emotions through her songs and her lyrics. My music is also heavily inspired by more modern RnB artists such as Joy Crookes and Pip Millet.
And I hear you were in Berlin for a couple of months prior to the whole lockdown situation. What were you doing out there?
Myself and one of my close friends made a spontaneous decision to escape Dublin for the depths of winter and head to Berlin in early January to play street music over there. We stayed in hostels for a while until we found rooms to rent and dotted around the city playing intimate venues and performing on the streets. It’s such a creative city, rich in talented artists, musicians and opportunities. I met so many cool people during my time there and I can’t wait to go back to do everything again.
We’re sorry your debut at the Ruby Sessions this week had to be postponed (although it’s best we all stay at home and keep everyone safe right now!) But you’ve been gigging at some amazing venues and festivals already. How do you find playing live? And what’s been the best show (or two) so far?
Yeah it’s unfortunate! However hopefully there will be lots of opportunities once this is all over. I absolutely love playing live, performing your music to an audience with a band behind you is truly one of the best feelings! My favourite show so far was probably my most recent performance at Whelans ‘Ones to Watch’ festival, although it was probably my least rehearsed performance it was the one I felt most confident in myself and with my songs.
We’d love to know what your dream venue or festival would be (anywhere in the world)?
Funnily enough my dream venue to play is definitely the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, the layout of the venue is stunning, its not too big and I feel it would suit my music perfectly. It has always been my favourite venue to watch gigs, it really captivates and maximises the singer.
And as a Dublin native, are there any new or underrated Irish musicians out there that we ought to know of?
There are so many!! I’m really loving MALAKI recently, an Irish hiphop artist and Lucy Mcwilliams, a singer and songwriter who he often collaborates with. Also love the likes of April, Amy Michelle and moon looks on. Too much talent to name!
And as this is a crazy time, do you have any words of wisdom for our readers?
All I can say and what has helped me through all this is take it DAY BY DAY ! Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing and put yourself down for not being productive. Everyone is dealing with this in their own way and if that’s watching the entire 6 seasons of glee then do that !
So we were hoping you’d give us five songs we can all chill out to or dance around to whilst stuck at home, and tell us why you’ve chosen them?
- New Conditions, April: “April’s voice is so soothing and perfect chill out song to vibe to when you’re feeling agitated.”
- Deeper Dark, Pip Millett: “Just such beautiful song.”
- Switch, BIIG PIIG: “If you just want to listen to a really cool song or if you just really want to dance around your room.”
- Sunflower vol. 6, Harry Styles: “Personally the best song off his new album, Harry Styles fan or not, such a good song! So cleverly written, also great for a running playlist.”
- Fair Play, MALAKI & Lucy McWilliams: “The vocal on this track is so dreamy you could listen all day.”
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, and good luck with the new single. Speak soon!
No Worries! Thankyou so much for shining some light on the new single <3
Keep up with KK Lewis through the links below: