Alt-RnB duo LewRey release single ‘Somebody’ on Monday, January 11th, an infectious electro-soul tune similar to Justin Timberlake, Aquilo and The Weeknd. After touring in 2015 and supporting Professor Green, Example, Pendulum and MistaJam they are ready to make their mark on 2016 early. The Hudderfeild pair of Lewis Reynolds and Ian Walker play saxophone, piano, vocals, drums and synths to produce a music with an alternative flavour not restricted by any one genre. We caught up with the pair to find out more about their formation and goals for 2016.
Not many people have heard of a duo that consists of piano, drums, synth, vocals and saxophone.
What was the first style or genre of music you really got into? Was their a particular song or artist who inspired you?
Lewis: I remember listening to Ray Charles when I was younger. He was such a talented pianist and all-round musician. I remember my grandad playing ‘Mess Around’ and I instantly fell in love.
Ian: For me it was listening to my dad’s record collection I first had a little drum kit bought for me. He then showed me a video of Keith Moon and I was just instantly mesmerised by him.
How did LewRey come about? Was there a specific moment you thought ‘this is right for us’?
Lewis: Both of us have played in jazz/rock bands together since we were young. I was doing some performances locally as a solo act. Ian came to watch one of those gigs and we later decided to play a gig together on Christmas Eve. From the moment we started practising together for that gig, it was clear there was a real potential in our sound! The rest is history!
Your single ‘Somebody’ is out on Jan 11th. What’s it about?
Lewis: ‘Somebody’ is a song based on themes of attraction. Both physical and emotional. It’s about a young student who notices a girl practising a routine in a dance studio and is instantly attracted. As the song progresses he realises that his attraction towards her is a lot deeper than a physical one. We tried to keep the song cheeky, upbeat and uplifting, as we feel it better suits our personalities than our previous work.
Ian: It’s a song that we hope breaks us fully on to the scene. It’s a little bit naughty which more reflects my half of the band!
How do you approach writing your songs? Is there a formula that works?
Lewis: The majority of the time, the idea comes from being sat at the piano in my bedroom. I’ll write the music first. The lyrics are always last. With ‘Somebody’, once I was set on the music, I started to record it in my very simple home studio. Once I finish the recording process, I’ll take the song to Ian who writes a drum part.
Ian: As Lew says that’s how it comes about. It’s my favourite part of what we do, writing songs just gives me an excitement like no other. It’s a glimpse into the future from a foundation that is always growing.
We tried to keep ‘Somebody’ cheeky, upbeat and uplifting, as we feel it better suits our personalities than our previous work.
If you had to describe your sound as a personality, what would it be?
Lewis: The vast majority of our songs have an uplifting element to them. We have so many different sounding songs I’d be tempted to say their personalities fluctuate.
What would you say makes your music unique? Ian: Not many people have heard of a duo that consists of piano, drums, synth, vocals and saxophone. So our instruments set-up alone is unique. As a pair, we pull influences from a number of genres including jazz, soul, house, RnB and alternative rock. We like to use a combination of both acoustic and electric instruments in our recorded material.
What was the most significant moment of 2015 for you and why? Lewis: We had to opportunity to perform in Sheffield Cathedral for Tramlines festival. We really didn’t anticipate it to be anything quite like it was. A team of people escorted us to the stage for us to find over a thousand people sat on the floor in complete silence. It was absolutely bewildering to think that these people had come to see us. It was such an amazing atmosphere.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be? Lewis: That’s a very difficult one! I think I’d have to say James Morrison just because I absolutely adore the tone of his voice. Plus he’s a fantastic songwriter.
Ian: I’d love to collaborate with The 1975. That would be unreal but I’d love to see Wretch 32 on our track We’re Done.
How is 2016 shaping up for you? What are your goals? Lewis: I’d like to think 2016 is going to be our year! Since we started in 2014, we’ve done over 250 gigs which has helped us build a brilliant fan base across the UK. We also have a fantastic catalogue of original material that we are so eager to share. We have plans to release at least two singles in 2016 which will hopefully help us to increase our profile.
Ian: We’d love to play all of the big UK festivals, We played some last year and they were great. It would also be amazing to collaborate with some great artists and go out on our own tour of the UK.
Listen to LewRey’s ‘Somebody’: