Get ready, because we’re about to introduce you to you’re next favorite artist! Pepper Lewis is coming in hot with her first two singles, ‘Planetarium’ and ‘Same Stuff.’ It’s quite rare to find a pop star that we’re so sure is going to have a lifelong career making musical masterpieces after only hearing two tracks, but the proof is in the music with Pepper Lewis.
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Here at THP we were lucky enough to get to chat with her all about ‘Planetarium’ which we haven’t been able to turn off! We talked about her relationship with New York and LA as well as all about her own favorite ‘Planetarium.’ We hope you enjoy reading our conversation as much as we enjoyed having it!
Click here to listen to ‘Same Stuff.’
‘Planetarium’ kind of speaks to the struggle of dating when you’re so used to putting up walls and protecting your heart, would you say that you’ve learned to be a little more vulnerable in these situations, or is it still a learning process for you?
Ugh yes. That’s an issue I’m working on every day, and I think I’m getting better at who I can be vulnerable with, and when.
We’re sure that a lot of your fans probably really resonate with ‘Planetarium,’ do you have any advice for those fans that might be experiencing similar feelings?
My advice to my fans who are having a hard time letting people get to know them would be: if they can’t have compassion for the “baggage” you’re learning to carry throughout your life, they’re not your people. You deserve to be understood, and loved unconditionally.
Do you have any favorite planetariums you’ve visited or one you want to visit?
Hmmm. Probably the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan is my favorite planetarium to visit. My parents used to take me when I was a kid all the time.
The date in ‘Planetarium’ is set, obviously, in a planetarium. Do you have an interest in space/planetariums and would you actually want to go on a date in one? Or is this song inspired by a real date you’ve had?
I decided on the setting of the date to take place in a ‘Planetarium’ as a ~metaphor~ for the space I’m putting in between myself/comfort zone and my date/vulnerability. The lyric, “a little bit high,” referring to showing up to the date a smidge zooted, is another metaphor for the space I put between myself and my date. I’m so fascinated by space and I LOVE going to planetariums. I’m not sure if I’d go on a date in one because it was more of a pure childhood thing my parents and I would do together – but it makes for an excellent metaphor and song title. I can also confirm that I wasn’t asked to any school dances or proms… And it is 1000% true that I’ve stepped on a guys shoes while trying to dance.
Songwriting has been a way for you to process your emotions, what led you to that outlet versus something else? Was it nerve-wracking to have those lyrics put out into the world?
I’ve always loved writing, and I’ve always loved singing, but what specifically triggered my songwriting bug was watching Taylor Swift’s “E! True Hollywood Story” when I was about 10. She shared in the show that she was bullied – similarly to how I was being bullied – and that’s how she dealt with it. I remember a light bulb going off in my head, and I went into my room, shut the door, and wrote my first piece of music – a verse. When I finished writing the verse, I swear I felt like I figured out the key to the universe. I ran out of my room and was like “MOM, I WROTE A SONG. IM GONNA WIN A GRAMMY!” She was so supportive and so happy that I discovered this part of me, and kindly reminded me that I’ve got to practice really, really hard for a Grammy.
We absolutely love your aesthetic! That yellow eyeliner we see making an appearance on your TikTok and IG is everything. Do you like incorporating a lot of bright colors into your look? What or who is your style inspo?
Oh my gaaaawwwwdddd, thank you, dahling! I love using lively colors to put my twist on a classic look, like a neon yellow cat eye with natural face makeup. As Katy Perry said, “you can never be too cartoony.” My style inspirations come from Fran Fine, Dua Lipa, and my grandma – who was known for her audacious, glamorous looks she put together every day. She wore sunglasses inside, had feathered red hair, and a closet that Barbra Streisand would have raided if given the chance.
Speaking of social media, what does it feel like to have a platform and to have people looking up to you and engaging with your music? What’s been your favorite way of using that platform?
The concept of someone that I don’t know enjoying my music, looking up to me, and keeping tabs with what I do on the internet was so hard for me to wrap my head around. When I started getting to know them on TikTok live, and reading the absolutely lovely messages they send me, I felt so honored, warm in my stomach, and felt a lot of responsibility to lead by love and gratitude.
What message do you hope your fans take away from your music?
That I see you, and I hear you, and I love you, no questions asked
What do you think your younger self would think of where you’ve made it to in your career? Do you have anything you wish you could say to her?
I think my younger self would call up all of the kids picking on her about singing at the lunch time open mics held in the cafeteria of her middle school every week, and scream “I TOLD YOU SO, BITCHES!” into the phone.
You’re from New York and you live in LA now, what’s your favorite thing about each city? What’s your favorite food from each city?
I know that I am so blessed and am grateful that where I have to be for work right now is in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, but I am a New Yorker. My favorite thing about New York is the warm and fuzzy feeling I get walking aimlessly around in the city, observing and listening to my surroundings. Pizza, bagels, people that are in touch with reality, walking as a form of transportation, subways, and nightlife are also my favorite things about New York. My favorite thing about LA is being able to go to the beach all year, and the temperature.
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Featured Image Source: Noah Hellman and Afnan Acharki