With bold, raspy vocals, featured alongside a punchy indie-rock melody; London based singer-songwriter and creative, Lewis Knaggs, is back with the first single from his upcoming body of work, out later this year – his brand new single, Hold On, released last month. Following the release of his latest track, we caught up with the Hold On singer to chat about the single, his music and journey so far, and plans for the rest of 2020. For the full interview with Lewis, keep on reading!
BM: For anyone reading this who hasn’t discovered you and your music yet, how would you sum up your musical style?
LK: It’s fundamentally indie/Rock really…It’s not trying to be anything it isn’t. I like the sound of real instruments and what you can get from them when you’re in a studio setting.
BM: You just released your latest single, Hold On, last month, which is a fantastic track! What was the inspiration behind the track, in terms of both themes and instrumentation?
LK: Thanks ! The track is about looking back at your life and learning from both the good and bad times. I feel like people sometimes run from there past a bit, or at least “Never Look back”/“No Regrets” etc…but sometimes you have to look back to know how to move forward. Instrumentally, piano is at the heart of this song, I feel like it moves it along in a chugging kind of way. It feels like it pushing the song forwards, which is what the song is all about really…moving forward.
BM: What was the creative process behind the track?
LK: This was born from a chord progression that came together a long time ago, but made its way into the studio sessions whilst recording this and another bunch of songs. The creative process is always starting with an acoustic foundation for the song structure…then building up the drums, bass, guitars, vocals and any other bits thereafter!
BM: Having forged your own path over the years as cinematographer, producing stunning visuals for a variety of incredible artist including Tom Walker, Gang of Youths, Post Malone and The XX, in addition to iconic brands like Ray-Ban and Gibson; how has this influenced your own sound, and your creative process when it comes to music and songwriting?
LK: I do always think of what the visuals might be for a song once I have finished it. It comes naturally to want to make a video that accompanies the music because I am very used to doing this already. Sometimes the video will directly influence a songs direction if I know I want to tell a certain story. But most of the time the visuals will come together once a track has been finished and it’s time to think about how we should visually represent it.
BM: You also released a music video for Hold On, with some simple, but stunning cinematic visuals. How does your background in cinematography influence the creation of your own music videos and visual content?
LK: As I have mentioned above, it really does help to have a background in visuals in order to make my own. Knowing about cameras, lighting and lenses, as well as how to tell a story on camera really helps when making videos for my own songs. I love both film and music, they are so naturally intertwined, that it is a pleasure to delve into both and get to make the tune and also the video for it. My aim for the next couple years is to score the music for a film that I have made…A lot of my good friends are great musicians and directors, so it’s only right we do something collaborative!
BM: What made you make that shift from being a cinematographer, and visual storyteller; to creating and putting out your own music, and delving into the audio side of things and becoming a singer?
LK: I actually got into making videos, because of the music I was making when I was younger. I started out making music videos for my band and other bands/artists in my area. Then progressed to doing it as an actual job, which I am very very fortunate to do. I have never stopped making music and have been biding my time to release these songs I have been working on in recent years. The film making has allowed me to develop a secure platform, from which I can push my music and creations into a more established place I feel.
BM: Do you have any major creative and/or musical influences and inspirations?
LK: I am a big fan of Bruce Springsteen…Gang of Youths are a huge influence of mine, I had the pleasure of working with them on a few occasions to ! Then the classics like The white stripes, the Stones etc…Mostly things my dad played loud in the car growing up, along with the stuff that was around when I was a fresh teenager ! The indie scene was pretty damn great back then…So everything from the Libertines to Cold War kids most likely makes it’s way into my music somehow!
BM: Being a creative; aside from being a story teller – whether that be through cinematography or music, what are some of your other creative outlets and passions?
LK: Be honest between the film making and music, I feel like I get most of the kicks I need in life to satisfy that creative bug. I definitely love to listen to tunes really loud and drive fast in my car down the highway hahah… but that’s also music related
BM: What are the main things you want people to take away from your music?
LK: I want people to feel happy, nostalgic and comforted in some way I think. I love music that does that to me, so to do that in any way, would be greatly satisfying. I’m not trying to preach or teach things with my music…I would love for people to connect to it in a way that makes them feel better after listening to it, in whatever capacity that may be.
BM: Where do you see yourself heading musically? And what can we expect from you for the rest of 2020?
LK: I have a bunch of tunes dropping over the next year, so this is just getting the ball rolling…Which is really exciting. If there’s anything good that came from lockdown Covid madness…it was getting all my music finished and making the music videos/visuals for them!
An absolute pleasure to chat to Lewis; make sure to find him on all his socials @LewisKnaggs and keep an eye out for new music from him later this year.