The artist talks about working with TEED and what he’s learned from the producer, gives the meaning behind his Dark EP, and reveals he’s finishing up Dawn — the final part of his three-EP album, Dusk, Dark, Dawn. He also discusses how club culture has evolved and where he finds inspiration.
WATCH | SG Lewis on working with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs:
SG Lewis on WR “Again” and Working With TEED:
Zane: SG Lewis is with us right now with brand new music featuring Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, otherwise known as TEED. He’s a lovely man. We love Orlando. This is a beautiful, tasteful banger. Man, I love this track. Maybe my favorite of yours actually. Talk about it bro.
SG Lewis: You know for me, Orlando, TEED, he’s one of my favorite producers in the whole world. When I was at University, when I was first getting introduced to electronic music, seriously, his debut album, Trouble, it was a huge influence and one of the main reasons I got into making music full stop. For me, it was like a marriage of club music and club influence with real like song writing and musicality and the production levels was so enormously high as well. It was really … It was an album that made me want to start making electronic music. So, for me to get to make a record with him, like I was super, super nervous for the session, to be honest.
Zane: The fact that he can sing, as well, gives you a beautiful opportunity to be able to collaborate in a different way right? Because he sings on his own records majority of the time.
SG Lewis: Absolutely. I think Orlando has this kind of very unique tone to his voice. It’s almost like choir-esque, in terms of it. It has this real like pure innocence, but his vocal has this way of making whatever he’s saying sound so genuine. The intent behind his voice is so genuine that you really feel the emotion behind what he’s saying.
What was so crazy about the session, too, as well as getting to use him as a vocalist, he was there almost as like a mentor, production-wise. I was completely sort of on the buttons. He didn’t bring his laptop or anything, but he sort of stood over me and would suggest … He would almost just put things to me. He’d be like, “Okay, pull up this sound that you’ve never used before,” and push me to areas that I would never usually go as a producer and before I knew it, I was making sounds that weren’t necessarily things I would have usually have gone to. So, it was such a learning experience for me, as well.
WATCH | SG Lewis on “Again”:
SG Lewis on Dark EP, Album, and Club Culture:
Zane: This song is called “Again,” featuring Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, today’s world record from an EP just simply entitled Dark. Why? I mean, this doesn’t feel particularly dark, this vibe, to me. I feel it feels wide open and spacious, so I wonder where the title comes from.
SG Lewis: Dark is actually more to do with the time of the night. Basically, the concept of the record, there’s three parts to the album: dust, dark, and dawn. Dark represents the peak time and is representing the kind of middle of the night in the ark of this night out that I kind of follow across the concept of the album. While it’s not, the tune isn’t dark in nature, I wanted Dark to have a record that had the kind of euphoria of records that I had felt in club world and that I had experienced and loved. While, you know, dark might kind of represent the idea of the song, the song kind of has this euphoria and this kind of club energy that some of my favorite club records have.
Zane: Where does that energy exist now, Sam? I mean, much is being made about the fact that a lot of iconic clubs around the world, not just in London or in major parts of the UK, are struggling to keep their license or closing down. I wonder if someone who makes club music, and DJs, you know, where you find that energy or how you feel about that.
SG Lewis: I think that those places are changing in terms of, you’re right, there’s so many popular clubs that are being shut down in terms of their licenses. You’re seeing fabric, they’re trying to shut that down in these big institutions, but a lot of the good parties have gone underground again and are in kind of more sub-cultures and more in less obvious places. I played at a party in New York for the House of Yes, which is kind of like a pop-up party in Bushwick. These parties are kind of taking place out of direct and plain sight. Rather than being in these famous institutionalized clubs, they’re in these kind of pockets away from the direct line of vision of the authorities and stuff. I think that’s where I’ve found that kind of club energy or where I have felt the kind of new wave of energy for a club world is coming from.
Zane: Historically, that’s where things change. I mean, look at the authorities, or the people who own the licenses or leases, for one reason or another, decide that they don’t necessarily want to be in business with that environment anymore; the environment doesn’t stop. It just switches environment.
SG Lewis: Yeah, exactly. I think the thing about club culture is always representing an opportunity for rebellion against oppression, whether that be in sexuality, in race, or just in law. You know, it’s people. It represents an opportunity for escapism for the people that are going. I think the clubs will always continue to evolve away from the establishment and out of plain sight of authorities, I think.
Zane: When’s the album coming, bro? We’ve got this EP happening, we got the Dark part of the night, so when does it all get put together, get stitched together?
SG LEWIS LIVE TOUR DATES:
SG Lewis: Dawn, I’m just finishing up the third part, so really, I want to finish that in the next three weeks, and then it will all get stitched together end of the year.
Nov 24, 2018 – Waagenbau – Hamburg, Germany
Nov 25, 2018 – Lille Vega – Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov 26, 2018 – Badehaus Szimpla – Berlin, Germany
Nov 28, 2018 – Yuca – Cologne, Germany
Dec 03 2018 – Thekla – Bristol, United Kingdom
Dec 04 2018 – Club Academy – Manchester, United Kingdom
Dec 05 2018 – Green Room at The Academy – Dublin, Ireland
Dec 07 2018 – The Printworks – London, United Kingdom
Photo credit Harvey Pearson