HE’S the biggest star of 2019, with the year’s best-selling album and currently a US No1 single – but it’s not all sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll for Lewis Capaldi.
The Scotsman invited me to join him backstage on tour in Germany this week, where he revealed all about his staggering rise to the top but admitted he’s not yet enjoying all the trappings.
In fact he still feels skint and his Tinder account is so inundated with interest it is almost unusable. Over a beer in Hamburg, he tells me: “Last year I was trying to have more fun but I’ve had to wind it in a bit as it was a killer.
“So there’s no sex, drugs or rock ’n’ roll for me — you can take out the sex, you can take out the drugs, and it’s much more pop music than rock ’n’ roll.
“The furthest I get is kissing and a beer. I’ll happily go out in pursuit of kissing and beers later, but last year too much partying was killing my voice.
“I get acid reflux like nothing else. I find myself wondering about elite bands, like the Rolling Stones, The Beatles or Oasis, when they go on about being mega hard-living back in the day, I just think, ‘Did none of you f***ers ever suffer from acid reflux?’”
Lewis became the face of Tinder after revealing his struggle to meet a girlfriend, and even ran a contest with the dating app to fly two people out to New York to meet him.
“He shows me his app — his profile reveals he has more than 10,000 potential suitors queuing up for a date.
“It’s not because they want to date me, it’s because they can get a free flight to New York,” he says.
“It has become too much and there are too many — I can’t swipe enough. “I only ever went on one Tinder date — now the sky’s the limit.”
The star now counts the great and the good of pop among his friends – but still lives at home with his mum and dad in a suburban cul-de-sac.
He says: “When I go home, I want to go home, not to a flat in London. I still drink in the local pub. I can still go to the local shops, but it is more difficult in cities — especially in Glasgow and Edinburgh — and it gets worse as the night goes on.
“People stop me all the time for photos, tipping their drinks down your top as they do. I go home drenched.”
Lewis on his new album
HIS debut Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent broke records BEFORE it was released. So no wonder Lewis is nervous about writing the follow-up.
He said: “I don’t have to have another song as big as Someone You Loved or another album as big. I never thought it was going to happen anyway.
“But it happened – cool, amazing. I’ll keep writing but it doesn’t have to be this level for ever. We will try to have as much of a laugh as possible. This probably won’t last for ever.”
He added: “Everybody says you get your whole life to write your first album and a year and a half for the second, so you can see why there would be issues.
“In that year and a half you get a lifetime of experience. But all that’s happened to me in the last two years didn’t in the first 22. I’m bringing all this s**t together. I soak it up then I’ll wring myself out at the end.”
- Don’t Get
- Me Wrong
- Lost On You
- Hold Me While You Wait
- Someone You Loved
Lewis on money
LEWIS is a talented guy but his budgeting needs some work. He routinely has to scrounge cash from his bandmates and celeb pals.
Despite earning millions this year, he said: “Where is my money? Ask anyone in the band – no one asks to borrow money more than me. My card never f***ing works. It’s declined regularly.
“The first time was after one of Niall Horan’s shows. And Sam Smith was there. I was like, ‘Guys, I’ll get us all tequilas’ and my f***ing card was declined. My piano player had to pay.
“It happened again at Glastonbury. Niall was there with Jack Whitehall and Hozier. I had just come off stage and was buzzing. I was like, ‘Right lads, I’ll get the beers in. Shots and tequilas.
“And my card was declined again. That was a wifi issue, though. It had nothing to do with me.”
Dad fishes for discounts
LEWIS’S new-found fame has seen him become pals with some of pop’s biggest names – but his fishmonger dad is keen to get in on the action too.
The singer told how canny Scotsman Mark uses his famous son’s name to land discounts in his native Glasgow – whereas his mum Carol, a nurse, goes out of her way to hide their connection.
Lewis says: “My dad uses the name to get discounts wherever he can, as much as possible. He owns a couple of fish shops – KP’s Fresh Fish, if anyone is interested.
“When people come in, he has always been the guy to brag about, ‘Oh my son does this,’ ‘My son does that,’ and now he does it and people actually care. Before, they definitely didn’t.
“But my mum does not mention it. She changed her name tag at work so people couldn’t see it and wouldn’t mention it.
“She just wants to get on with her job. They still need to work!”
It’s a reeper-barnstormer
IN a 90-minute nightclub set in Hamburg’s infamous Reeperbahn red light district, Lewis holds the audience in the palm of his hand. The vocals conjure up memories of Adele’s performance of Someone Like You at the Brits, interspersed with hilarious patter and liberal use of the F-word.
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Album opener Grace sets the tone for a note- perfect night showcasing the gifted songwriting that has put Lewis top of the charts worldwide. But he is equally comfortable enjoying unscripted moments with devoted fans who laugh at all the right points despite his broad Glaswegian accent.
New single Bruises is a major highlight, album track Hollywood shows a lively versatility reminiscent of Ed Sheeran, and his biggest hit Someone You Loved closed the set to rapturous applause.
Don’t expect to see him in venues of this size for much longer – a sold-out arena tour is already set to follow.
- ‘NIALL Horan has always been f***ing incredible. He was the first person to reach out to me when we met two years ago in a pub in Glasgow. He’s been class from day one. Today I was telling him my schedule for the rest of the year and he was p***ing himself at the sheer volume. He is someone I have a proper friendship? with.’
- ‘WHEN I met Stormzy he was so f***ing lovely. It was at Big Weekend and he was so f***ing cool. He has been amazing. Then he covered one of my songs at TRNSMT in Scotland. He has been brilliant.’
- ‘ED Sheeran has been f***ing spectacular. Everyone in this industry says: ‘Ed is so f***ing nice,’ and then you meet him and it’s like, f***ing hell, he is so nice. I didn’t expect to get on with Ed as well as I did. We only had four days together but we really hit it off. We message back and and forth a fair bit.’
- ‘NOEL Gallagher isn’t on good terms with me but it’s just a bit of fun. I met his daughter Anais during the Twitter thing. I thought it was all f***ing hilarious. I am a massive OASIS fan and I met Liam at Glastonbury. He said to me: “I f***ing love how you wind our kid up!” We had a beer, a photo and a chat.’