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Dean Lewis gives us a taste of his forthcoming album, but he's ready for a 4th album too!

‘In A Perfect World’ is the first taste of Dean’s forthcoming album, co-written and recorded with Michaels in 24 hours in Los Angeles. Joining forces with producer/songwriter Nolan Sipe (One Republic, Calum Scott, Benson Boone), Dean co-produced ‘In A Perfect World’, with the duo taking the song to further heights.

Together the dynamic songwriters, have accrued over 35 million followers on Spotify and 8 million followers on their socials. Dean’s smash hit ‘How Do I Say Goodbye’ has hit over 783 million streams and is currently #3 on Hot AC Radio Chart in the US, is 2 x platinum in Australia & Switzerland, Gold in USA, NZ & Germany and platinum in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands.

Photo by Isaac Anthony

Having spent the last 6 months touring the globe for his The Future Is Bright World Tour, including shows in New Zealand, his two memorable sold out shows at Margaret Court Arena (Melbourne), and Hordern Pavilion (Sydney), plus sold out shows throughout Europe, Dean is now preparing for the next leg of the tour with his first headline shows in ASIA in August and the US in September. Dean will also perform at major festivals, Lollapalooza Stockholm (where he will also jump on stage with Kygo), Rock Werchter Belgium, Lollapalooza Paris, Wake The Giant Music Festival Canada & TRNSMT. By the end of 2023, Dean will perform at over 100 shows + festivals.

In this interview Dean Lewis discusses his needs to always write and put out music, his friendship with singer-songwriter Julia Michaels who’s just joined Dean on his new track “In a perfect world”, touring the world but also his favourite Starbucks drink and … new music which is coming out very soon.

Photo by Sean Looney

First thing first, let’s talk about “In a perfect world” with singer-songwriter Julia Michaels. Tell us everything about this collaboration.

I sent her this song that I had already written, and I asked if she wanted to sing on it. But she didn’t really like it. She went “oh, it's a good song”. But I knew she was a bit hesitant about it, she wasn’t very convinced. She went, “we're both good songwriters. We should get in the room and write something new”. So, we planned this day in LA in the studio together and it took us two days. I was nervous. I wrote another song for the session. She liked the verse, but not the chorus. So, we wrote it together. And then I asked what the perfect verse would be and that’s when I honestly asked her if she wanted to duet in the song and she went “okay”. It was very easy.

It took her 45 seconds to write the chorus after the second verse, she started asking me a lot of questions about this girl I was seeing and how bad it ended but whilst she was asking me these questions, she was on her phone not paying attention and that’s when I asked, “do you want to help me?” and in a funny way she went “no, you guys can chill for like 10 minutes, I have this” and that’s when she had everything done. She was writing the song based on what I was telling her.

And I just burst out laughing, and I was like, that's the funniest cheekiest line I've ever heard. And it was so cool because she took on the character of the girl that I was writing about

So, everything was done in person? You two legends in the studio ...

Yeah, we met. That was the first time we ever met. And then she gets in the booth, and she goes “just loop it”, she grabs her phone, and she just keeps reading the lyrics and then she's trying to find the melody. And then eventually she finds it. After 10 minutes of just singing these weird puzzles, she figures it all out, like finds the syllables and how it flows asymmetrically. It was strange and cool at the same time.

How long did it take for the song to be done then?

We had the song done in maybe like 2 hours. Then we just spent some time in the studio with the producer. We just spent some time like recording guitars, and I wanted her to leave before I did my vocals. She sung her second verse in the chorus first and then I did it because I wanted her to leave because I was like “she's so talented, I don’t want her to watch me”.

We had the song done in maybe like 2 hours. Then we just spent some time in the studio with the producer. We just spent some time like recording guitars, and I wanted her to leave before I did my vocals. She sung her second verse in the chorus first and then I did it because I wanted her to leave because I was like “she's so talented, I don’t want her to watch me”.

I had another song I was going to put out called “All I Ever Wanted”. That was a good song, but I believe “In a perfect world” with Julia was such a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t really miss.

Photo by Sean Loaney

Are you very selective with people you want to collaborate with? Is there anybody else that you would love to collab with?

Yeah, I've got a bunch of collabs like that. I've done a few collaborations for my album. This is my “collaborate era”. No one knows yet, but there's a couple more coming with incredible artists.

When you say your album, you mean your new album?

New album is done, I just need to finish some details, some twitches – then mixing. But it’s done.

Photo by Sean Loaney

What are these collaborations like? Are we allowed to know?

I’ve worked on two more collabs, but one on the album and one with someone else for someone else. None of them are DJs as well. I'm opening up a little bit to trying some writing, like the song with Julia. To give you a hint, they’re both girls. I follow them both on Instagram.

When you say that, Julia kind of played the character of your ex – does it mean that your songs are very personal? You seem to write about your experiences a lot.

Yes, very. I opened to a few people I was seeing. I was very vulnerable and that was what I wrote or still write about. People whom I gave so much and gave me less or nothing at all. People I was not a good person to or vice versa.

For instance, the girl I wrote “In a perfect world” about, it happened because we had an argument and that's when I wrote the song. And then we sort of started talking and I went like “I wrote the song about you. I'm going to send it to you”. We are friends now, she is very excited about the song, she loves it.

Photo by Sean Loaney

Is that the reason why you have that famous notebook with you all the time? So that you can write on it whatever you want and whenever you want?

I'm not so much writing lyrics. Sometimes I do, but more thoughts. It’s the best mechanism to cope with mental health, it's really good for anxiety. But I've written so many songs. My plan is to go back to LA in two weeks, and I have two weeks then three weeks off, I'm going back to the studio. My plan is to do my fourth album.

But the third one is not even out!

I know, but I don’t write as much when I’m on the road, it's really hard to write songs because you're so tired, because you don't really have time. And it's so exhausting. We are always on the move and we haven't stopped. And my voice is gone, my back hurts. I can't write songs, but when I get back to LA. I just go crazy. It's just a splurge. I'll write like 20 songs.

Are you based in LA?

Now? Yeah, I have a place in Nashville and some places in Sydney, but I live in LA.

Do you ever get time off for yourself?

Not really but I should start soon. But I had a mentor of mine and he advised to stop sometimes. But I can’t not do anything. I need to always do something. If I'm not doing something, I feel so uneasy and I feel like I'm a failure, like wasting opportunities. I always feel like I'm on the edge of failure, to be honest. I always feel like I'm the edge of everything falling apart. It's insane.

Photo by Sean Loaney

I can assure you that it's not like that.

Yeah, but you know, it feels like I'm dependent on the songs.

As we said, you keep playing songs and you don't stop. You keep coming back to the UK. And then you go back to the States and then you come back and then you play shows. Now you're going to are you going to Canada?

We just went to Canada and then we're going to Asia and then America again.

What is next for you now?

I want to keep putting out songs. I want to put another song out in six weeks. I just told everyone on my team.

And they don't agree with the idea.

They think I'm crazy. But I think six to eight weeks, I just want to keep rolling the songs because I have so many.

I think that this is what I want to do. The thing is, when you have success, everyone starts to tell you what to do again. I had “Be All Right”, which was a hit, and then after that, I followed my instincts on that. And then so many people tell you what to do, and they do it a nice way, but it's hard to not listen. And every time I seem to have a song that does well, usually it's because everyone sort of lost with their idea. With “How do I say goodbye?” It was me and my friend Adelise, just like, no one was helping. And then now you have success again, then everyone starts telling you what to do again. And it's so insane.

Even with “How do I say goodbye?

Yes, I must be truthful and genuine with the songs. You know, some songs are really personal to me. “Half a man”, “Be Alright”, “How do I say goodbye?” Those ones really connect with people, and it's so difficult because I have these songs and you must fight the world to for these songs. And I know that everyone has good intentions because everyone's just trying to help. But sometimes, as an artist, we have an intuition of what we want to do

And everyone will always say that you should do the opposite of what you want to do, right?

Yeah, that you’re not making the right decision. People get involved, and the more people involved, you have to please everyone.

Everyone has great intentions. I just think you must really follow your instincts and you have to fight.

Photo by Sean Loaney

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Not really. I didn't really know I was good at this. I started pretty late and then it happened very quickly. Like, I put out “Waves” and it was a hit and then everything was just crazy. Yeah. I just can't believe all this is still happening.

You're global now.

I'm global since Julia Michaels.

You've been global for a bit though.

No, things are great right now. It's incredible. And this song is the best streaming song we've had since the launch, since “Stay Awake”.

Dean, it’s your last UK show before some festivals and then you head back to the States for a while. Your last Starbucks drink in the UK. What is your favourite drink?

Iced Americano, always. The must have before I head to a show or to the venue, wherever I go.

“In A Perfect World” is out now.

Follow Dean Lewis here.

Words by Sal F.

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