We’re delighted that Roman Lewis has joined our Young Ambassadors Board. Roman is a super talented singer songwriter with his debut album ‘Heartbreak’ gaining traction all over the world. Roman was one of the first members of Song Academy, 10 years ago. We caught up with Roman recently to talk about all things songwriting!
What got you into music? Did you immediately start writing it or were you a fan for a bit first? I wouldn’t trust any musician who wasn’t a fan first. Actually I wouldn’t trust any musician who isn’t still a fan. For me I started expressing myself musically through dance, then musical theatre, then singing and playing guitar, and finally writing.
What is your favourite part of the songwriting process? I love naming the song. I think it’s an undervalued part of the process. The name’s the first thing you associate the song with. The moment you realise that you’re writing a good one is the best though. It by no means happens every time but when it does it’s a great feeling.
How do you usually start a song? How do you find that spark? Usually a chord. Then that sparks a lyric or a melody. I try and change it up as much as possible. A different process brings a different kind of song.
What achievement are you most proud of? The notion that your music means something to someone. Meeting or receiving messages from people that the songs have touched.
Which of your songs do you think is your best work and why? Lyrically it’s a song called Mindless Town and musically it’s a song called She Looks Like You. Making something simple feel complicated is easy but making something complicated feel simple is hard and these two are the closest I’ve come to that.
Who would be your dream artist/writer/band to collaborate with? Writing a duet with a young Kate Bush if we’re really dreaming.
Do you feel like you’ve mastered your craft or are you still learning? If you’re still learning, what’s your next milestone? Always learning, or at least changing. I’m almost finished writing the project that I’m working on currently so starting the next will be that milestone probably.
What would you say to someone aged 8-18 who is thinking about writing songs but hasn’t started yet? Or do you have any tips for 8-18 year old songwriters who are already writing Listen to as much music as you can and vary that music as much as you can but when you write think about that music as little as you can. There’s no right answer just give it a go.
Favourites round! Don’t think about it, just say what first comes to mind. Who/what is your favourite:
Songwriter? Joni Mitchell
Song? The Boy with the Thorn in his Side – The Smiths
Album? Pink Moon-Nick Drake
Chord? E (lol)
Gig you’ve been to? Bon Iver In Paris
I remember that time you told me you said
“Love is touching souls”
Surely you touched mine
‘Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time – Joni Mitchell
Catchphrase? Wubba lubba dub dub
What’s your instrument of choice? Is there an instrument you would like to learn? Guitar. However it would be pretty cool to be able to whip out the saxophone and play Careless Whisper whenever I wanted.
Do you have any hidden talents or party tricks? I can do the Rubik’s Cube. Well last time I tried at least.
What are you non-musical hobbies? I like physics. Watching movies. Hanging out with friends.
What do you like about Song Academy? It encourages young people to write songs. It got me to write my first one and I’m grateful for that. I know there are many others that feel the same way.