Call Redialed: Payson Lewis: "When Love Was Young"
It's been four years since my last interview with Payson Lewis. I'm so excited that on March 8, Payson will be releasing his debut single "When Love Was Young." I got to take a listen to this song already and we are in for a treat!
It was great to re-connect with Payson. In addition to his single, Payson & I discuss love, past relationships, childhood memories, and future work!
"When Love Was Young" drops Thursday, March 8. Download it on iTunes and catch Payson performing his debut single on Friday, March 9 at 7pm at The Peppermint Club in West Hollywood, CA. Click here for tickets!
1. It's so great to catch-up with you! What do you feel has changed the most for you in these four years? Wow, has it really been 4 years? Time really does fly! It's crazy because I feel like we just talked, like, I remember it so well and yet, so much has changed! I think the biggest change has definitely been the new music. I've been wanting to put out my music for a long time, and it's finally happening. It's been a big creative and artistic shift for me, and it's just so awesome to finally be sharing my own art as opposed to my interpretations of other people's art. It's been incredibly fulfilling. I'm excited to share it with the world.
2. Your debut single "When Love Was Young" is releasing on March 8. Can you take us through your creative process for writing this song? Sure. Well, I wrote "When Love Was Young" with my good friend Selda Sahin. I had worked with her before as a vocalist on some songs she had written with her normal cowriter Derek Gregor, but this was the first time she and I had written together. With that in mind, we spent the better half of our first writing session just talking and drinking wine; finding where we lined up musically and emotionally, figuring out what song we wanted to write. We talked about love, the memories we hold on to and the fondness we have for them, and being ok with moving on from them. After a few glasses, we finally started putting some music and lyrics down. The first thing that came to my mind was what ended up being the first two lines of the chorus, and then from there, it just started pouring out. Before you know it we had finished a bottle, and my first single.
3. "When Love Was Young" reflects on the memories of a past love, remembering the fondness that's found in the simplest of moments with a loved one. What do you miss most about this past love you write? What is one thing you are most grateful for getting to do with this person? Well that's the thing. It's not really about missing any past love. It's more about being grateful for the love that you shared, while you shared it, and the impact that love had on making you who you are now. I look back on every relationship I've ever had, and I know I wouldn't be who I am today without each and every one of them. Of course, yeah, you can look back and remember the good things about a person. It's natural to remember them fondly. But I think I'm just most grateful for the love that I received from anyone that I've ever loved. I've been incredibly lucky to have had a life, romantic and otherwise, that has been filled with love.
4. When you play the song back now, what do you think about when hearing it? Oh man, I think about so many things. But I think I'm most often reminded of the first time I fell in love. Looking back, it was very much "young love" but there is just something I don't think a person ever forgets about feeling love for the first time. Falling in love is just such an exciting feeling and when you do it for the first time, it's just like your whole world changes. As love matures, it just gets better and better in the depths and ways that you feel, but there is nothing more exciting than that first time. So when I listen, that's what I most often think about.
5. What are you most excited for about this release? What is making you nervous? I am just so excited to share this music with people. I am incredibly proud of this music and I want people to experience it for the first time. I can't wait to hear what people think about it. I want to know how it makes them feels. I hope it makes them feel good! I have a show the day after the single drops at the Peppermint Club in West Hollywood, and I am just so excited to feel the energy in the room when everyone is hearing this music for the very first time. I've been living with these songs for over 6 months, so I'm excited about them feeling brand new all over again.
And as for nerves, well, I don't know that I'm really nervous. But as an independent artist, there is a just lot to do. I don't have a team working for me like a lot of the big acts you know from the radio. So the only thing that really makes me nervous is that there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done!
6. In our last interview, we talked about what you get from acting that you don't get from music. Now, I'd like to know, how do you balance the two, meaning, how do you decide what you are going to concentrate more on at a particular time? That has been the constant struggle for me. But honestly, I've always just kind of been a "go-with-the-flow" kind of guy. And it just feels like the flow right now is going with the music, and so, so am I. But you're right, it is very much a balancing act. Right now, I'm just leaning music.
7. We also discussed your cover of Taylor Swift's "Out of The Woods," which you recorded with Rumer Willis. With all the chaos going on in today's world, how do you feel we can get "Out of the Woods"? Wow. Well that is a tough one. I'm not sure I have the answer to that. But I will echo what I have heard before, and wish I heard a lot more, and that's only love can conquer hate. I am a staunch believer that we are all in this together; the more we share with those in need, try to understand those who are different from us, and learn from those we don't understand, the better off we will all be. And I believe we will be.
8. With your debut single being called "When Love Was Young," what is something you did as kid that you still do now as an adult & what is something you miss doing? Well, even though I live 3000 miles away from where I lived when I was young, I am very lucky to live less than 10 miles from one of my childhood best friends. So to this day, as dorky as it sounds, we love to go bowling, which is something we used to do as part of a larger group back in high school. I don't know what it is about it, but bowling is very relaxing to me, so sometimes when I'm having a stressful day, I go bowling and it calms me down. Maybe it takes me back to when times were simpler and life was easier, I don't know.
As for something I miss? I think what I miss most are just the friends that are still back east. I've been best friends with the same group of guys since I was six years old, those guys are home to me. So what I miss are just the boring days; the days we would just hang out and do nothing, finding random ways to entertain ourselves, making each other laugh over the stupidest things. Doesn't sound like much, but to me, it's heaven.
9. Since this is your debut single, what is something about yourself you are willing to reveal that you never spoke about before? (This can be your debut revelation...haha). Hitting me with the tough questions here; making me dig deep. Well, I don't know that it's something I've never spoken about before, but, I'm definitely more comfortable talking about it now. One of the big reasons I decided to become an artist is because of the influence and inspiration of a good friend of mine who died way too soon in life. It's taken me a long time to grow into the confidence that he initially gave me, but I'm ready now; to carry that confidence and his legacy with me and share it with the world. I hope it makes him proud.
10. What else are you working on at the moment that you can talk about? I am just working on music; this release, the rest of the EP that you'll hear soon, the music videos, and brand new music that I'm still writing and recording. My favorite part of art is the creation. So just because I'm releasing now, doesn't mean that the creating is slowing down at all! I'm excited to share it all with you. It's going to be so fun!
Thanks for talking with me, this has been a blast.
More on Payson:
Born in Philadelphia, PA, Payson Lewis got into music at a young age when he followed in his brother’s footsteps by joining the choir. He taught himself piano and decided to go to college as a Music Industry Major at the University of Southern California. Payson honed his craft as a singer when he joined the SoCal VoCals; USC’s award-winning a cappella group. After college, Payson Lewis landed a spot on NBC’s The Sing Off, which is recognized for launching the career of the multi-platinum and Grammy winning group, PENATONIX. This opened up acting opportunities for Payson as he appeared on episodes of How I Met Your Mother, Revenge, and The People vs. OJ Simpson. While acting is an impressive asset to Payson’s career, his first love and ultimate mission is music. Drawing on influences from his past and artists like Bruno Mars, Shawn Mendes and Walk The Moon, Payson Lewis is excited to make a name for himself in the music industry. “When Love Was Young” is Payson Lewis’ debut single.