INSPIRATION AND ADVICE
BEHIND THE CAMERA WITH LEWIS CAPALDI
By Eleanor Dunne, 24 November 2022
Thanks for stepping in to creative-direct the shoot today, Lewis! Do you like being behind the camera, or prefer to be in front?
Generally, I hate being in front of the camera – I’m not actually a model, although I’ve been mistaken for one, of course. I'm much more of a behind-the-camera kinda guy. I don't do it often, but when I do, the magic happens. When you’ve got it, you’ve got it, you know? Today’s been great fun and the team has been brilliant, so I can’t ask for more.
Have you always been an ASOS fan?
Yeah, I have always been an avid ‘ASOSer’, as they call it. I only shop online; I don’t like going into shops and trying things on. I buy lots of things on ASOS and I just have to accept that I have spent that money and I’m not sending anything back – too much effort.
So, if you weren’t a recording artist and could have a perm job at ASOS, what would it be? Creative director, photographer, makeup artist...?
Oh god no, something like creative director full-time is far too much pressure for me. You know what? I'd like to work in the canteen. Because then you get to know everybody and chat about how they are and what they’re eating, like ‘Oh, you’re having toast again, are you?’ That sort of thing. And then I can be friends with them all and get loads of free stuff.
OK, if the singing doesn’t work out, we’ll put in a good word for you... So, you modelled a few looks today, too – which was your favourite?
I would say the one I'm wearing currently. It’s a plain white T-shirt, black trousers, and a green shirt – a shacket, I believe it’s called. It’s comfy, it’s stylish, it’s chic...
Is that generally how you’d describe your style?
Well, the absence of style is probably what I’d call it – or maybe ‘scruffy bastard’ style. Generally I’m just putting on the most comfortable clothes that are the least offensive on my body. I dress a bit like a cartoon character, meaning that I wear the same thing every day. I wake up and think, ‘Well, it’s illegal to walk around naked, so I need to put clothes on.’
You’re not far from naked in your recent video for Forget Me... How were the briefs selected?
Yeah, it was nice not to have to think so much about what to wear. I had very little say in what exact briefs to wear, but the idea was to channel George Michael, and he was a small guy. I mean I couldn’t speak to his penis but, his general build was small, and the underwear had to be small. Me, not so small, and I was generally spilling out of them from every which way.
So, let’s switch to music – you’ve been away for three years. What was it like to come back?
Fun, but nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing. I got used to being a recluse for the last while. Opening yourself up to the world again is a strange sensation. I’m trying to ease myself back in, like a baby that has just come out of the womb. It’s like I’m covered in the placenta at the minute, but I will be wiped down eventually. But generally, it’s good to be back. And I’m very lucky that things seem to be going well...
Yes! Your single got to number one, and your tour sold out...
Yes, in one second... well, that’s the press-release line. Whether that’s actually possible, who knows?
Do you know yet what the tour will be like?
You’re asking the wrong guy, I don’t have a clue... I just played two shows at the O2 in September, so it will be an extension of that. It'll be good fun... actually, the tickets are all sold now, so I don’t need to say anything to sell it, right?! It’s going to be an absolute shit show. It’s going to be fucking terrible! And whether it will have any new music or not, we’ll see how the new stuff goes down. If it fails it’ll just be a greatest-hits tour, including Forget Me of course.
What can we expect from the new album?
It’s called Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent, out 19 May – which will be exactly four years and two days after the last album. And it’s good – I mean, I really like it, so that’s all that matters really. There are songs about heartbreak and songs about actual love which is nice, and conversations with myself about my mental health. Over the last couple of years, there have been big shifts in my life and that’s going to have a big impact in someone’s head...
You’ve been super-open about your mental health recently. Can you tell us about that journey?
I’ve recently found out I’ve got Tourette’s, too – that’s why I'm standing up right now. Whenever I need to sit down and be still, my tics are like, ‘Let’s dance, boy!’ And generally, I’m an anxious man. A lot of it comes from a sort of imposter syndrome – thinking I don’t deserve my success, because I’m not good enough. I’m probably less confident in my abilities now than I was before I had success, which is bizarre.
What’s your advice to anyone who is struggling with their mental health?
I mean, I'm still searching, and learning. But definitely lay off the booze, try and exercise – unfortunately, it does help. Therapy, and speaking to people, also helps – I've got a therapist, the lovely Laura, and I speak to her weekly.
Good advice... Final question – you've named yourself ‘the Scottish Beyoncé’. If Beyoncé’s alter ego is Sasha Fierce, whose is Lewis Capaldi’s?