It’s time to welcome another week with a brand new Track of the Week. Take a listen to ‘Growing Pains’ from BIMM Bristol‘s Freddie Lewis, and discover more about the track below.
What was your inspiration when you began writing the track?
Truthfully, I didn’t mean for this track to happen. Most songs, though deriving from a moment of inspiration, are crafted together and ‘figured out’ so to speak. This one was an altogether different experience. This one just sort of fell out of me. I can reflect in hindsight about what it means but when sitting down to write it my experience was my only real guidance. Now I understand the song as an exploration of my journey as a trans man which tells the whole story. Including the difficulties, the growth, and the joy.
Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?
I am very inspired by Arlo Parks, her storytelling is a pleasure to listen to and I think the stories she chooses to tell are really poignant. I also heard Bruno Major say once that he always tries to complete a full arrangement just guitar and vocals before sitting at a DAW – this really stuck with me and works well for the music I make which is very lyric driven. It pushes me to make it interesting and varied lyrically before enhancing it with additional production. I suppose therefore my production often remains simple.
If I’m ever sitting with a song and finding it a challenge to move forward, I often turn to poetry or prose for inspiration. I’ll read something or listen to an audiobook while walking, often a word will jump out at me and I’m back there in the world of this song I’m working on. Or I’ll listen to some Jack Garratt. Something about his 2016 album ‘Phase’ just opens me up.
What is key to your sound and how do you make your music stand out?
The key to my sound is the wide range of musical influences, and the incorporation of poetry or sometimes even prose-like sections into my work. I tend to lean toward simple and often quite classically influenced melodic structure, ‘Growing Pains’ is not the best example of this but there’s more stuff on the way which is more melody-based. I also have a big appreciation for hip-hop, and had a huge Loyle Carner phase (which I never really left) and I listen to lots of indie soul stuff such as easy life and Glass Animals. This combined with my love of pretty much any acoustic guitar song that can make me cry, and my love of poetry as an artform, all combine to make Freddie Lewis.
How does your songwriting process work?
I have a deeply disorganised online notes file which has every little idea that’s found me in my day-to-day. Often these then start to become larger and more complete just from reflection while I’m on a bus or sat in a park somewhere. These are lyric or poetry ideas, and when I feel like I’ve got a good few which comprise a story I’d like to tell I’ll sit down with a pen and paper and my guitar and do the hard work. Sometimes this can take just a few sessions, sometimes it will take weeks or even months to get the song to a place where I think it’s true to the feeling I’m trying to get across.
Describe your sound in 3 words…
Gentle, Poetic, Playful
How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?
Studying at BIMM has helped me develop in many ways – the three years I’ve had here have been huge years of change for me both personally and professionally. I’ve learnt a lot at BIMM about the industry from all the masterclasses available and learnt a lot about myself as a person and what I’d like to say with my music. The tutors have continually helped my confidence grow and I’ve made lots of incredible friends and musical connections too. ‘Growing Pains’ was co-produced by my dear friend Fin Dawes who I met through BIMM.
What’s next for you?
There’s more music coming in the not-so-distant future, but for now, I’m enjoying hearing people connect with Growing Pains, I’m writing a lot and I’m enjoying this new phase where people all over the country hear my little song!