Another artists, but with a different sound. Payson Lewis has a unique, and catching, electro-pop vibe with his new debut single When Love Was Young. Having a following from his popular, viral videos of covering Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift with Rumor Willis and more, you may already recognize the name Payson Lewis. We got the change to talk with Lewis about his new single, upcoming plans for more music, and what else he may have up his sleeve long term.
KRISTIN: Let’s start with you telling me how you got into music? Was it always something you were interested in and at what point did you decide that was what you wanted to do?
PAYSON: Well, to your first question, I think I’ve always been into music. My mom loves to remind me of a story about how when I was 3 years old, I strung rubber bands between the knobs of the dresser in my bedroom and “wrote a song” using the different tensions to create different pitches. So, it’s always been there. But, getting from there to here wasn’t a simple straight line.
Growing up, I was more focused on sports than music, but that focus started shifting more and more as I got older. I joined choir in high school and taught myself piano, and then by the time I was ready for college, I knew music was going to be a big part of my life. But I didn’t know I wanted to be an artist. It wasn’t until I was a sophomore at USC and my roommate Joe kind of changed my whole perspective on things, that I was inspired me to be an artist. It was then that I really decided that this is what I wanted to do.
KRISTIN: You are ready to drop your debut single, but this is not the first time we’ve heard from you. You are well known for having covered Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift alongside Rumer Willis and some mash ups you have done. How did it feel when those instances kind of blew up and everyone was talking about them?
PAYSON: Oh man, that was crazy. Well first of all, Rumer is a good friend, and singing that song with her was just a blast. That was like the first cover video I ever made, and now she’s killing it on Empire!
But yeah, that was crazy. You know, a lot of those covers I did just to keep creative and continue honing my craft, the goal never was to go viral or anything like that. So when some of them got picked up on the news and huge internet outlets like Perez Hilton and Mashable, it was crazy! I was just stoked that my music was resonating with people.
KRISTIN: Tell me bout “When Love Was Young.” Why did you choose this song as your debut single?
PAYSON: Well, “When Love Was Young” is a song I wrote with my friend Selda Sahin. We were just kind of hanging out drinking some wine and talking about how we both had this way of looking back on love gone by and remembering it fondly, even if the love didn’t necessarily end that way. You know, its about being grateful for the love you shared while you shared it with someone. And how, sometimes a photograph, or a memory or something can take you back to the way you felt and the happy times. You may not want to go back there in real life, but it’s fun to visit in your mind. Just a little getaway down memory lane.
When we were writing the song, she and I just kept kind looking at each other like, “you know, this is pretty dope,” we were stoked about it. So once I finished recording, and heard the way it was resonating with some friends of mine that I shared it with, it just made sense for it to lead the way.
KRISTIN: Do you feel like this single is a good representation of you as an artist?
PAYSON: That was one of the other reasons I decided to release this track as the first single. I think it is a pretty accurate representation for who I am as an artist and a person; it captures my essence. I’m very much a lover and a sentimentalist. It’s a song that you can listen to with the windows rolled down driving along the coast or across the country like I did when I moved to LA. Musically, it draws heavily from my roots in group singing with the SoCal VoCals when I was at USC.
So yeah, I mean, it doesn’t close the book on who I am or who I am as an artist, but it definitely felt like a proper prelude; an accurate introduction.
KRISTIN: With the single out, are you planning a music video or maybe an EP or full album?
PAYSON: Oh yeah! All of it. Music videos. More singles. An EP. Eventually a full-length album. I’m working on all of it. It’s going to be fun!
KRISTIN: If someone who had never heard your music before, how would you describe your sound?
PAYSON: I’d say it’s like if Paramore and Troye Sivan took a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway.
KRISTIN: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t making music?
PAYSON: I try not to think about it too much, because I love making music so much. It fuels me. But when I dig deep and try to imagine that reality, I’d go one of two ways. I’d either be doing something else creative, like making films, I mean, I already direct music videos for myself and some for other artists, actually. But I’d be doing that, taking photos, graphic art; something creative you know. Or I could go the complete opposite way, and like just hole up in a cabin in the woods with a big collection of books, records, movies, and binge-worthy TV. But like I said, I try not to think about it. Music is what I’m here to do. So I’m going to do it.
KRISTIN: Where can we keep up with your music? Do you maintain a social media presence on FB/Twitter/Instagram?
PAYSON: Of course! It’s 2018. I’m on all of them. You can find me on instagram.com/paysonlewis and twitter.com/paysonlewis or just search @paysonlewis. Facebook you can find me at facebook.com/paysonlewismusic. I’ve got a youtube, a snap chat, a soundcloud; like I said, I’ve got it all. So come find me, follow along, it’s gonna be a blast.
You can follow Payson Lewis at his above listed social media accounts and pick up When Love Was Young on iTunes. Also check it out below!