“The Future is Bright” with Dean Lewis: On His Growth and Musical Inspirations

By: Tiffany Vu
03/11/2023
en
Dean Lewis
Thumbnail courtesy of Kent Tarver

You can’t scroll through TikTok without having heard Dean Lewis’s hit song “How Do I Say Goodbye.Dean Lewis is an Australian singer-songwriter known for his lyrical storytelling in his songs like “Waves,” Be Alright,” and “How Do I Say Goodbye.” Following the success of his first album, Dean Lewis released a phenomenal second album The Hardest Love. EnVi joined a virtual press conference with Dean, who talked about his latest album and what fans can expect next.

Who is Dean Lewis?

His vulnerable lyrics and beautiful melodies have touched many fans. The artist’s TikTok page features fans expressing how his music helped them through difficult times. The impact of the singer-songwriter’s single has affected many with over 150,000 TikToks of fans stitching their own stories to “How Do I Say Goodbye.” 

With the hit single, Dean continues to climb the charts. The song reached #68 on the Spotify Global Charts and Top 15 on Aria Singles Chart. Additionally, the single landed Dean a platinum within three months of its release in September 2022 and surpassed 100 million streams in December 2022 on Spotify. Amongst his success, Dean was busy performing in sold-out shows in the U.K., Australia, U.S., and Europe during his “Sad Boi Winter Summer Global Tour” in May 2022. During the last leg of his “Sad Boi Winter Summer Global Tour,” he announced his “The Future is Bright Tour” with shows in the U.K., Europe, and Canada starting March 2023.

Tour Success

Struggling to stay still in his seat, Dean made his excitement palpable as he shared with us how things are going for him. “I sold out arenas in Australia this time. We are about to sell out the Royal arena in Denmark. We literally just got told we sold out Cologne which is 5,000 people and expanding into 10,000.” For the artist who sold out arenas, his global success is a dream come true.

The global artist’s popularity is on the rise with his “Future is Bright Tour” starting in March 2023 already sold out of some venues. Dean can’t stop gesturing his disbelief as he conveys “I can’t believe this. I used to watch other singer-songwriters do these arena tours.” As an artist from Australia, he expressed that he found it hard to break through and reach an audience outside of Australia. Little did he know that “How Do I Say Goodbye” would land #13 on the Spotify U.S Viral chart, #31 on the UK Official Singles Chart, and #90 on the Billboard Global 200 Chart. Now that he is a global hit sensation, what else does he want to accomplish? Dean shares, “My goal this year would be to sell out everything but this time the American tour.”

Despite having performed over 50 shows in his last tour, performing on stage is still surreal for the artist. Besides the fan interactions, he still experiences the awe of performing his songs on stage. When asked what song he is most excited to play live, Dean shared his favorite song would be “Scares Me.” Moving his fingers across imaginary piano keys, the artist explains the magic he feels performing the song. “When you sing it, the chorus when it hits and I’m playing the piano and I hear reverb in my in-ears, it sounds so nice. It feels like everything soars.”

Behind the Scenes of The Hardest Love

When COVID-19 hit the world, it was a time of grief, loss, and love for many. For Dean, his experience was no different. The vulnerability in his album came from his lived experiences at the time. However, vulnerability is never something he shies away from.

 “I learned a lesson when I put out a song called ‘Half a Man’,” he explains. The lyrics “How am I supposed to love you / When I don’t know who I am” came from a personal place for the songwriter. But, Dean saw the impact his vulnerability had on his audience. Since then, the artist has never turned back. With a tone of confidence, Dean stated, “I learned that the more vulnerable you are, the more it connects. I always had that fear at the start, but I always bit the bullet and put it out.”

@deanlewis

Can’t wait to play Half A Man again for you guys on my Europe tour! TIX IN BIO 🫶🏻

♬ Half A Man – Dean Lewis

Dean’s openness led him to write and release the song he is most proud of in his entire discography: a song about grieving his father’s cancer diagnosis. When talking about “How Can I Say Goodbye,” Dean gushes over the lyrics he composed in the song. His all-time favorite lyric is “How can I say goodbye / To someone who’s been with me for my whole damn life? / You gave me my name and the color of your eyes.” Speechless, the songwriter slowly strings words together as he gathers his thoughts. He states truthfully, “I don’t think I will write anything as good as this again. I’m trying to match it, but it’s just unlikely.” 

Besides having a song Dean deems his best work, the album is dear to the artist for personal reasons. How did the album title come to be? The phrase “The Hardest Love” ultimately sums up the release and all he was experiencing. “How Can I Say Goodbye” was dedicated to his father who had a 25% chance of living past a year of his cancer diagnosis.  When Dean’s friend passed away, he wrote the song “The Hardest Love.” Additionally, the loss of someone he thought he would end up with inspired him to write six songs in the album about her. To the artist, the album is  “a time capsule of what [he] was going through in [his] life.”

The Growth of Dean Lewis

Long before his “unmatched” single, the ballad singer cites rapper Eminem as one of his early inspirations. The Zoom call was filled with chuckles as Dean bashfully shared, “when I was 12 with my brothers, we’d be listening to Eminem all the time, like D12. I used to freestyle with my brother. It was so embarrassing. I was so bad at it.” But to this day, Dean admits the rhythmic flow and connections of his verse were inspired by the rapper. Apart from Eminem, he also loves to study Grammy-nominated band The Fray for the fundamentals of songwriting. 

Despite the enormous success of both of his albums, Dean looks forward to further developing what makes a song a Dean Lewis song. He shared, “I’m really trying to define my own style. I don’t think I’ve done it 100% yet. The thing about a lot of artists is you can try a bunch of styles of songs and kind of get lost… There’s so many different ways to go. I’m trying to define myself through a sound.” 

Along the journey of discovering his own style, Dean has found that he enjoys incorporating dialogue and imagery. “I really like drawing scenes, and I did that in ‘Be Alright’ from the start. Then, I’m describing the scene. Then, I use dialogue back and forth. I just really enjoy it.” His lyrics are detailed and paint immersive imagery such as “Early morning, there’s a message on my phone / It’s my mother saying, ‘Darling, please come home.'” Dean expressed it was his intention to “put the listener in the scene.” The artist teased his next song is “very dialogue-based as well.”

As an artist, Dean doesn’t stop pushing to advocate for himself and his work. He shared, ” I think the one thing that I’ve done is that I’m relentless.” The artist took to TikTok to promote his new single. “Within two months we had 40,000 sound users with no help from anybody,” Dean recounts. Although the newly found TikTok star has taken to using the platform to spread his music, he is insistent on staying true to himself. Punctuating every word, the singer insists that his music “has to be genuine. It has to be real, and you have to find your own way.” His songs and his message will always come first. As he continues his journey, Dean finds one thing to be true: “Great art will always find a way.”

Dean will be going back on tour in 2023 for his “The Future is Bright Tour.” Tickets are on sale now for New Zealand, Australia, Canada, U.K., and Europe.  

Want to read more about tours? Check out EnVi‘s coverage of P1Harmony’s second U.S. tour here!

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