During the summer of 2017 a friend sent me a song by a Scottish artist by the name of Lewis Capaldi as part of something that we liked to call #SadSongSaturday. The song was called Bruises, and I was very interested with what I heard. Capaldi was demonstrating a maturity around his lyrics, and his voice instantly reminded me of the gritty texture that had made James Arthur an established figure on Irish and British radio airwaves in previous year or two.
If you are fortunate enough to follow Capaldi on twitter, while you would be exposed to some gloriously lighthearted and humourous tweets, you would never imagine that he is capable of writing the heart wrenching music that he does as you scroll through his feed.
Capaldi has said in interviews that music has just always been something that he has done. His earliest experiences with music were performing karaoke with his friends, but even then he never thought of music as a hobby, but just something that he always did. Capaldi began playing guitar when he was 9 and began gigging in pubs at the young age of 12, often having to hide in the bathrooms of the pubs he was playing in to avoid being thrown out for being underage. Capaldi has since said that while he struggles to relate to the songs that he was writing back in his early teens, there is no doubt that they contributed to the kind of song writer that he has become.
Interestingly enough, when the West Lothian man was 13 he decided to audition for the reality TV talent show, Britan’s Got Talent. Apparently his audition, where he sang a cover of White Blank Page by Mumford & Sons, received a resounding no in the screening process stage meaning the singer/songwriter never even got the chance to sing for Simon Cowell and the other judges.
In early 2017, Capaldi would self releases his first official single, the aforementioned Bruises. The song would generate huge interest in the young Scottish man, and would become the first track by an unsigned artist in Spotify history to reach 25 million streams, the track has since gone on to reach over 36 million streams on the online streaming format as well as over 6 million views on YouTube. A series of follow up tracks would follow the success of Bruises, and these would eventually come together with the release of his debut EP, Bloom, on 20 October 2017.
Capaldi has seemingly taken the new found fame and attention in his stride, crediting his family for keeping him grounded. However, there have still be times in the last year where he has been shocked at the amount of people that his music has managed to reach in such a short period of time. In an interview with At Wood Magazine, he has said that playing a packed out tent at Electric Picnic in 2017 was one of those moments.
Capaldi‘s fan base in Ireland has shown no signs of diminishing either with a show in The Academy 2 selling out in advance last December, and a show in The Academy next week likely to do the same.
Capaldi has admitted that his favourite song off the Bloom EP is the opening track, Fade. Fade, a melodic and piano driven exploration into the complexities for loving someone who hurts you yet makes you feel alive, is another example of the vocal capacity of the 21 year old.
There is always a fear with artists who achieve seemingly instant success in this manner will quickly burnout afterwards, however it seems that Lewis Capaldi is aware of this and there is evidence in his songwriting to suggest that he will be around for a long time.