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Exclusive Interview: Lewis Kelly On ‘f*ck hollywood’ & More!

Exclusive Interview: Lewis Kelly On ‘f*ck hollywood’ & More!

Lewis Kelly is a Mancunian-born musician who is making waves in the world of Lo-Fi. With viral tracks and a love for the genre, Lewis is putting his own spin on Lo-Fi and making it his own. With his latest single, ‘f*ck hollywood,’ Lewis is putting out some of the greatest music of his career so far and tackling interesting subjects that are often brushed under the carpet or ignored. We’re so here for it.

We got to have a chat with Lewis about his journey in music so far and his goals for the year ahead, and got to know him better as an artist. We had so much fun and know you’re going to love this interview. He really keeps it real! Keep reading to learn all about Lewis and why you should be streaming his songs!

‘f*ck hollywood’ is your first release since 2021; what was it that made this the perfect song to put out right now?
I actually wrote this song back in 2021; it was a productive year, clearly! I’ve sat on it for literally two years & I found myself forgetting about it, then hearing it again and thinking, “f*ck I got to release this.” So honestly, it was the right time because I feel if I didn’t drop it now, f*ck knows when it would’ve come out? It’s a special one for sure; I’m very proud of it!

The first thing that really struck us about this song was your vocals. They are so smooth and the vocal edits are so clean! Are you very interested and involved in the production and mixing of all of your tracks or when you’re working with producers, do you give them a lot of license to experiment?
Thank you!! I produced this song with my boy Max (McX) and he is such a sick producer! We bounced ideas off of each other but all in all, he was the master behind it all. Say, like, the sick little phone ring that is the same tempo as the beat, that was him and I think that is so cool, big up to him! My good friend Sam Morgan mixed the song, it’s so nice to have friends onboard when making music, it’s boring AF if not!

The subject of the song is so interesting. As a Mancunian living in London, what inspired you to write a song about those left behind by the ‘Hollywood Dream?’
Big up Manchester, no place like it, you know. It came from me just watching super old interviews of people in Hollywood and literally thousands of people talking about moving to try and become the next big thing, and it’s like, how many people actually did it? Nobody ever talks about how f*cked up Hollywood actually is, you know, so with those two things in mind, it all just came together, so yeah, ‘f*ck hollywood.’

Your lyrics are also crafted in such a beautiful way. Do you have a specific process when you’re sitting down to start writing a song?
Thank you, I think lyricism is my strong point, or so I’ve been told! It’s always chords first, I jot a load of random shit down, and eventually, it comes into context with a song! I really try to avoid typical rhyming schemes when I write, there isn’t an issue with doing it. I just rather wouldn’t, you know? I usually write about things people can relate to or find topics that people don’t usually talk about, spice it up a bit….

What first made you want to get into the Lo-Fi genre?
Lo-Fi is f*cking cool, I think there is so much you can do with the genre and I guess, “get away with” that you can’t with other genres. I always liked the unique sound it has; it seems like a very modern genre with bedroom pop soaring and just in general now, more young people are jumping on their laptops and making sick music. It’s really exciting right now and I’m happy to be a part of the genre; I know TikTok has a big feel for it, too, but I don’t really think about that; I’m not a fan of TikTok, to be honest, I hate making videos to post on there but you know how it is. Got to keep the label happy, love those guys.

We feel like Lo-Fi is pretty underrated as a genre. Are there any other Lo-Fi artists you’d recommend to someone wanting to listen to the genre more?
The thing is, with Lo-Fi, it kind of crosses into other genres, say, like, indie rock, pop, etc, so there’s a few different aspects of it. But with that being said, Mac Demarco is always a big shout – what a king, any of Clairo’s early projects for that bedroom pop-type vibe, and of course Lewis Kelly, he’s alright.

We saw on your Twitter you’re a Post Malone fan! Are there any other artists who are dominating your playlists right now?
Big up Posty, he’s always dominating the playlist! To be honest, it’s usually a solid mix of artists, so nobody usually stands out. But it’s usually Post, Oscar Lang, & Mac Demarco. Gorillaz are up there at the minute though!

Congratulations on your recent signing! What made Sunday the perfect partnership for you?
Thank you! Sunday are a very fun label, it’s essentially an internet-driven label specialising in Lo-Fi & other genres, you don’t hear of that much at all and that was really interesting to me. I met the team literally last week in Copenhagen and they’re all lovely, I’m very happy to be working with them & they pay my rent, so thank you, Sunday!

If our readers are new to your music, which one of your releases other than ‘f*ck hollywood’ do you think describes you best as an artist?
‘the sad stoned kid at the skatepark.’ This is actually the first time somebody hasn’t mentioned that song in an interview which is cool! That is, like, my I guess “hit” – it did really well on streaming platforms & it’s my most streamed song to date, I play shows in London and people will come up to me after the show and be like, “omg, that song’s been on my playlist for months I didn’t realise it was you,” it’s mad, very fucking cool though!

We saw you smashed it while headlining Gullivers at the end of 2022, your video diary made it look like such a fun night. Can we expect to see you back on stage anytime soon?
I’m playing a headline show in London at The Waiting Room June 15th, so if anyone is about in London, get your arse to the show, it’s going to be a good time & my voluptuous breasts will be on display, probably. If you don’t want to see that, I don’t blame you and I’ll promise I’ll try keep my shirt on. My friends have a thing at shows where they chant, “get your t*ts out,” and I used to never do it but I’ve given in recently.

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We also saw that you opened a guest list for fans who might not be able to afford the tickets at the moment and we loved the thoughtfulness of that idea. How important is it to you to keep music accessible for all?
To me, that’s the most important part about playing shows, having the flexibility to give everyone the opportunity to be there. I grew up in a working-class family and I know my parents f*cking grafted to be able to give me things like concert tickets, and sometimes we couldn’t afford them. I don’t think anybody should miss out on a show because of prices and I don’t give a f*ck about making money off of shows, my priorities right now are to play as many shows as possible and make sure everybody who wants to be there can be.

Finally, are there any goals or milestones you’re hoping to achieve in 2023?
Non-music related, but I’m actually trying to stop smoking, we’ll see how that goes but I smoke a lot and it’s time to relax, let that fresh air in a little. And I’m hoping to get myself a cool little support slot on a tour or a festival bill, that would be nice!

Honestly, what a guy, what a fun interview. We hope you achieve all your goals this year, Lewis, and thanks for giving us the time to get to know you more! You can stream ‘f*ck hollywood’ and grab tickets for Lewis’ headline show here!

Will you be heading to Lewis’ next London show? Let us know in the comments or drop us a tweet @thehoneypop! You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook if you like to chill there. We’ll be streaming ‘f*ck hollywood’ in the meantime!


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