Getting to Know Dean Lewis and “The Hardest Love”


Samantha Shaw

Dean Lewis is an Australian singer-songwriter and is most recognized for his songs “Waves” and “Be Alright.” Recently, the artist held a press conference hosted by Universal Music Group °1824 to discuss his latest album, “The Hardest Love,” and spoke on how it reflects love, loss, and coming to terms with everything in between. 

The album was written during the pandemic and is packed with a lot of personal hardships. It includes songs about the girl that he thought might have been “the one,” a friend’s passing, and his dad’s battle against cancer. While all of these songs are extremely personal, the musician never let that stop him from releasing his music and described it as a “time capsule” that helps both himself and his audience cope. Lewis also explained how he has a lot of energy and overthinks because of stress, so the stillness in his songs is produced through anxiety. 

The artist learned a lot about his music and the industry while writing this album. He found that lyrics are more important than the melody because they convey a stronger sense of the message which is what connects to audiences.

As a dynamic storyteller, Lewis uses strong images to convey specific scenes for his listeners, creating an immersive experience and powerful connection to the lyrics. He explained that, when writing, he “talks it out” on the piano and figures out what he wants the song to say before coming up with the melody. Lewis then expressed how you need to be selfish when writing. “To get in touch with others, it needs to be genuine… when it becomes general, it becomes nothing,” the artist said. He finds the release of a song to be the most thrilling part of the process because that’s when it connects to people and means something to others. 

“It’s hard to find a universal thing that’s personal,” the musician said while talking about “Half a Man” (which is his favorite song of his). Lewis continued saying that his favorite lyric on his latest album is the chorus of “How Do I Say Goodbye” because the meaning is perfectly paired with the melody. The artist described himself as being “very lucky” to come up with that. 

For “The Hardest Love,” Lewis took more control over the production. “You have to learn the ropes at the start,” the artist said. He worked with many of the same producers that he worked with on his previous songs and many fans would appreciate what Lewis had to say about his song “Hurtless.” He described it as a sequel to his hit “Be Alright” being that it was the same problem but a different girl and said that the “sister songs” are stylistically similar and help to establish his sound.

The “How Do I Say Goodbye” music video was an overnight success and Lewis was glad to have caught the right moment for the song. The musician noted that, nowadays, everything needs to be on TikTok, and many artists are burnt out because they are focused on the platform and not on their music. “Great art will always find a way,” Lewis said, quoting his good friend Mick. The musician explained how artists must be relentless because there are gatekeepers everywhere. He knows how challenging this can be but has seen it come to fruition with his song “Half A Man” which found a way through all of the other noise surrounding it.

Lewis sees TikTok as a tough platform to navigate but knows that it is the future of distribution. He acknowledged that there are rules for the artist and they either have to play or get out. He transitioned well to the platform and found a way to amplify his work. The artist found that having an angle for TikTok was the way to get things seen. For example, the musician said that “Waves” reflects on getting older and “Be Alright” is about hope. With that, he said that he does not chase the trends and stays true to his music. 

Lewis is thrilled to perform live and talked specifically about “How Do I Say Goodbye.” Vocally, the musician acknowledged that this song is harder to sing because of the higher notes but thinks that it will be a lot of fun to sing with fans. “The Future is Bright” Tour is selling out in many venues as his music is reaching more people globally. He described it as a “dream come true” to be expanding to such a wide range of people. 

Dean Lewis Website

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Dean Lewis on Spotify