Everyone from Noel Gallagher to Sir Elton John is talking about the Scottish singer/songwriter’s debut album
Exactly what kind of year has it been for 22-year-old Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi?
Where to start …
In April, he sold out an eight-date 2020 UK Arena Tour (nearly 100,000 seats) in 10 minutes – the first artist in history to sell out a run of arena dates before releasing a full-length debut album.
A month later, he did release that debut, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, which has since become the UK’s fastest selling album of 2019 and gone on to sell more than a million copies globally.
The song Someone You Loved – included on 2018’s Breach EP as well as on the new record – currently sits at the No. 2 spot on the iTunes charts, has been certified multi-platinum in a handful of countries around the world, and racked up over a billion streams to date.
Despite all of those accolades, the young songwriter continues to approach his ongoing meteoric rise with humor and humility – something that undoubtedly has contributed to his popularity.
Capaldi’s recent feud with former Oasis singer/songwriter Noel Gallagher – one in which Gallagher called Capaldi “Chewbacca” and an “idiot” – was tempered by Capaldi changing his social media profile pictures to a photo of himself as the beloved Star Wars character.
Capaldi also took the stage at Glastonbury this summer to a video of Gallagher talking smack about him while wearing a t-shirt with the Oasis front man’s picture on it (surrounded by a heart, no less).
Unsurprisingly, the two are now friends. But no matter how self-effacing the singer tries to remain, even he has to admit that things are going pretty well.
“What’s happening right now is stupid,” Capaldi said through a thick Scottish brogue during a recent stop in Germany. “And I don’t mean that in a negative way. We just did a European tour and I played for thousands of people every night. I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘this is my life!’ I just never expected it to get to this point.”
The fact that his album and some of its songs are doing well is only part of the story. As a follow-up to opening for Sam Smith last year, the Glasgow-bred songwriter went on tour with The Killers and Ed Sheeran this summer.
He was recently invited to have lunch with Sir Elton John. And Pink just publicly thanked him for introducing her daughter, Willow, to harmonies through his smash hit Someone You Loved.
It’s hard to imagine things moving faster for a new artist, especially given that Capaldi was discovered after releasing his music on SoundCloud less than three years ago. And while his parents only partially sanctioned a career filled with pub and wedding gigs before that, they’re a bit more tolerant of the choice now.
“My parents were supportive,” said Capaldi. “That is, as long as I was seeming to put an effort into it. Now, they’re totally 100% behind it. But they’re more relieved than anything. They know I’ll have a job for at least two years. We can have another discussion after I release my second album and it does horribly.”
Doubtful. But it does give rise to the question of what could possibly be done to follow such an auspicious start.
For Capaldi, that’s still up in the air. Next year’s arena tour (and the massive upswing in production) is looming large, as well as the smaller, already scheduled U.S. and European dates that will come before it.
Capaldi and his team are currently trying to balance giving the debut album its proper due, and working on things like stage design for the first time.
But just because the singer/songwriter is preparing to level up even further doesn’t mean the thing that got Capaldi to this point has to suffer.
“I’m always writing songs,” he said. “I’m always thinking about a new album. I’m a songwriter and I want to keep it moving. I want to keep the ball rolling when I’ve got a bit of momentum. But I do want to keep people’s attention for as long as possible as well. Right now it’s a gig. And I love that. But we’re going to make this more of a show.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27
Where: House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., downtown
Cost: $70 to $90