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Dean Lewis chats to Jen about his new video for ‘Waves’ and more about himself.


After being discovered in 2015, Sydney singer-songwriter Dean Lewis has written over 100 songs, including his debut single ‘Waves’.   Since its release late last year, ‘Waves’ has over 2.6 million streams globally, hit #6 on the Australian Spotify viral chartTop 40 on iTunes Australia and been added to Triple J. Today, Dean releases an emotive stripped back, live video of the song which was filmed recently in a secluded warehouse space in Sydney by good friend Mick Jones (Filthy Look Films). In the video Lewis’ haunting falsetto takes centre stage, it’s a bold statement but Lewis balances intimacy and intensity perfectly. 

Lewis started writing songs almost as soon as he could play three chords, however his journey into performance took a much slower path. “I was never the cool kid at school”, he says, “I had a quiet confidence when I applied myself to things like sport and school work, but I would never have imagined myself playing and singing in front of people”.

Dean spent the end of 2016 impressing new fans with his live performances, supporting indie darlingLisa Mitchell on her national tour as well as performing his own secret shows in a warehouse space in Redfern. He also grabbed international attention with showcases in London and Berlin as well as performing ‘Waves’ on one of the biggest TV shows in Holland, where the single also went Top 10 on Spotify Viral chart and Top 30 on iTunes. 

Hi Dean,

I watched your stripped back video version of Waves last night as was mesmerised! I had heard the song before but that video makes the song’s message so much more powerful. Your aim was to do capture your performance raw and I think you nailed it. I have not heard of many video’s being done in one take, was that your plan?

Ow thankyou so much, i’m glad you liked it! Well I just wanted to do it in one take and not overthink it too much so I got my friend Mick to film it and some friends together!

Can you explain to us the reasoning behind changing the song’s sound? Was it to make the song more emotional and intimate?

Well when I play the song live it’s just me on the piano, so the song naturally changes a little bit. That was the arrangement we came up and it will probably be the only time we play it like that.   I feel like stripping it down does capture the emotion, plus it’s actually quite an intense song to sing and play with all the instruments on the recording so it just worked out that way.


Nice! You seem to play many instruments; can you tell us which ones you play? A multitalented guy!

Haha thanks! I just play guitar and piano – I keep it pretty simple with instruments. I don’t sit at home and practice a lot, it’s more about the song for me and the instruments support that.

You were not a cool kid at school. I am a big believer that it is after school that people become who they are meant to be. Sure there can be signs of talent etc but in your case it seems that you were not confident enough. What was the catalyst for you to start performing?

I definitely wasn’t the cool kid and I totally agree that you find yourself after. There wasn’t really a sign until after I finished high school. I never did that well there either – I think because I didn’t really fit in with the music kids. I was kind of a bit lost. Then at 18 my Dad got me a guitar and I started playing around. The catalyst was my friend Matt who introduced me to Robert and Leonie Conley of Specific Music Publishing (who are very well known in Australia for discovering new talent) who heard what I was doing in my bedroom, supported me and introduced me to all the right people! With enough people around me I realised it WAS good enough and I haven’t looked back since.

I like the idea of your secret shows in a warehouse! Is this something you will continue to do or is it a secret haha?

Haha yeah it was a cool idea! I remember being blown away that we could fill up the room. It was before Waves was added to full rotation on triple J. So I kinda didn’t expect people to come, great fun and hopefully we’ll get to do more.

It is interesting that you got the chance to perform Wave’s on a popular TV show in Holland yet not here in Australia. How did that opportunity come about?

It’s kind of a funny story. I was doing a show in London and a promoter from Holland had flown in to watch. He was having dinner that night in London with this incredible artist called “Dotan” – who is very big in Holland. After the gig I got to talking and Dotan told me he loved my set and asked if I could come play on a TV show in Holland the next week to promote his Festival in October that I’m now playing on! He’s a great guy.

Why do you think that in Holland, England and Germany you seem to have more exposure compared to Australia? I have often wondered this as it is more common as people think.

I don’t know really. Maybe its because there’s no borders with Spotify and Apple music. If they like your music and you get put on some of their playlists – you can be heard by thousands or millions of people in places I otherwise wouldn’t get to travel too which is incredible. It’s a great time to be putting stuff out! It feels limitless.

Although I’ve been really lucky with triple J supporting me here as well. They’ve opened so many doors here for me and i really appreciate it.

You are about to release your debut EP and tour Europe with Lisa Mitchell, 2017 is shaping up to be a great year for you, how are you feeling about it? A little nervous or just super excited?

I’m really excited to get back over there. I’ve gotta start rehearsing next week and getting all my songs in shape. It’s another mode you have to switch into and it kind of takes over your life. But Lisa and her band are amazing, we are all friends and I’m looking forward to it.

I am huge dog lover, and I adored your video with your dog joining in. Any plans for him to be a back-up singer any time soon? ☺ The talent is there!

haha ow yes – Billy is a great lad. Very young and a little too excitable but he seems to like my tunes which is good 🙂

I have a pool shell too that my dogs, 2 black labs swim or rather lay in on a hot day. You seem to love yours, is this a throw back from when you were a kid?

haha to be honest the pool shell isn’t for me, its my dog’s haha. I kinda just put my feet in it while I’m outside, great for summer!!

I love how you share your stories on facebook, posting a pic of how happy your mum is that you were added to Triple J’s rotation. Is this something that you plan on keeping up as more and more people will be clicking that like button all over the world!

Yea actually i’ve noticed an increase in people following the page! It’s hard to know what to post at first but I’m just having fun with it and being myself. Mum was really stoked about me getting added to triple J, I think she’s my biggest fan actually.


Thanks heaps for your time Dean,  I hope you have a great time in Europe and take on the world!

Thanks so much Jen!

Tour with Lisa Mitchell in Europe

Tues Feb 21  Omeara, London UK – Supporting Lisa Mitchell

Wed Feb 22  Sugarfactory, Amsterdam, Netherlands – Supporting Lisa Mitchell

Thur Feb 23  Le Pop Up, Paris, France– Supporting Lisa Mitchell

Sat Feb 25  Musik und Frieden, Berlin, Germany – Supporting Lisa Mitchell

Sun Oct 1  7 Layers Festival, Amsterdam


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