Lewis Capaldi often suffers from ‘Imposter Syndrome‘ despite his chart successMay 6, 2019
“I FEEL I’ve got Imposter Syndrome. What am I doing here? Why do all these people want to see me?”
These are the words of Lewis Capaldi, the singer who has just spent seven weeks at No1 with single Someone You Loved.
“When I’m sitting backstage at a festival in my trackies looking around, I think, ‘What the f*** am I doing here?’.
“Everyone is an artist or looks like they should be on the catwalk while I look like I should be at home watching Jeremy Kyle.”
I’m in Glasgow to meet man of the moment Capaldi.
He releases debut album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent next month and he’s playing three special shows at the city’s SWG3 Studio Warehouse in the West End tonight.
The 22-year-old has had a remarkable start to 2019, with his chart success earning comparisons to Adele, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran.
On my way to meet him, even the elderly taxi driver knows who he is and tells me: “He’s the Scottish Ed Sheeran. The boy is going to be huge.”
And when we sit down to chat on the club balcony, Capaldi shows me a new watch that Sheeran sent him.
It was as a surprise gift to congratulate him on his success and on his upcoming support slots for four huge outdoor gigs with him in August.
The singer has been compared to Adele, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran[/caption]
“He sent it because we are playing those shows,” he says. “Fair play to him. It shows what a nice guy he is.
“But to be compared to him and other singers, it blows my mind and I just don’t take it seriously or get carried away.
“When I’m compared to people like Ed Sheeran and Adele, I can relax a bit because they are legit.”
Fellow Scotsman Paolo Nutini is another singer Capaldi has been likened to and one he admits is a huge influence.
Lewis will be supporting Ed Sheeran during his massive tour in August[/caption]
“There are similarities,” says Capaldi. “The Italian family link and his dad owns a chip shop and my dad works as a fishmonger.
“But the only thing is, he’s very handsome and I am not. He kind of looks Scottish-Italian and I look Scottish full-stop.”
Capaldi is getting no rest today, not that he’s complaining. As we chat there’s already hundreds of fans waiting to get into the venue for the first show — and in between each gig he has meets-and-greets to sign autographs and take selfies with fans.
“I don’t take it for granted and if it takes all day then I’m fine about that. Yesterday was another pinch yourself — a pinch me in the f****** face — moment signing loads of CDs.
‘EVERYTHING JUST SEEMS LIKE IT’S HAPPENING TO SOMEONE ELSE’
“There was about 6,000 and I’m nowhere finished yet. When we played the Barrowlands (also in Glasgow) I thought that was as big as it’s going too get.
“Everything just happening seems like it’s happening to someone else and I am just fortunate.”
Born in Glasgow and raised in Bathgate, a town between Glasgow and Edinburgh, Capaldi started performing in pubs from the age of 14, singing covers of songs by Foo Fighters and Scottish band The View.
But it was his own track Bruises that got him noticed. The piano ballad has had more than 28million plays on Spotify and made him the fastest ever unsigned artist to reach 25million on the streaming platform.
Lewis started performing in pubs from the age of 14, singing covers of songs by Foo Fighters and The View[/caption]
It’s one of the standouts on Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, alongside Grace (with a hilarious video of Capaldi pole-dancing), Hollywood, Headspace and megahit Someone You Loved, which is accompanied by a heartfelt video featuring former Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, a distant relative.
“Peter is my dad’s second cousin, so it was cool to have him in the video,” says Capaldi proudly.
“You can’t get much bigger than Doctor Who can you? I first met him at my Scala show and it was nice to sit and talk to him properly.”
More recent ones include him taking on a troll complaining about his song being on the radio. His reply? “Seeing tweets like this makes me so excited for the royalties to come in.”
Another tweet features a photo of his angry, screwed-up face and reads: “What my phone sees while I’m replying to people who tweet negative things about me.”
People have been so impressed by his online humour that his publicist has been asked if he hires a comedy writer.
“Oh yeah. Totally,” laughs the singer. “If I had hired a comedy writer, I would have better jokes, or they’d have to find a new one as the jokes are not very good. They’re about farts and pubic hair.”
‘I SPENT MY MORNING TRYING TO UNBLOCK A TOILET’
Capaldi says he likes to make jokes as he always sees the unglamorous side of being a famous singer.
“Maybe it’s mundane because it’s just me. But no, I have just really enjoyed that normalising it all,” he says.
“Like the day I found out I was No1, we were on tour with Bastille and when I heard the news, I sat in my hotel room in France and ordered room service, two pints of Heineken, and drank them both.
“Then I was in LA recently and I thought I’d be out seeing the sights but instead I spent my morning trying to unblock a toilet with a plunger.”
Lewis is also known for his funny Instagram posts and tweets[/caption]
Capaldi still lives at home with his mum and dad — “Though I’m never there these days.”
But his parents are at the Glasgow venue to enjoy his final show of the day. They laugh when I ask how he is treated at home now he is famous.
Capaldi replies: “Me? Rock’n’ roll? Nah. My mum and dad would soon bring me down to earth if I got too big for my boots. But they keep me in my place.
“I was asked if I got breakfast in bed when I was No1 and I laughed. I’m more likely to get breakfast tipped over my head if I asked mum that. She does my washing when I’ve been away, though.
The singer still lives at home with his mum and dad[/caption]
“When I come home for those few days, she thinks I’m the best thing ever. Then the fourth day she’s like, ‘You need to get out of my face’. She wants me back on the road.”
Capaldi loves performing and he jokes with the crowd in between his songs.
“Playing live is what it’s all about,” he tells me. “I don’t imagine any kid sitting in the house thinking I want to be a singer so badly so I can be in the studio for four hours a day. I love being on stage singing and I hate recording.”
Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent is an album of heartfelt break-up songs that show the sensitive side of Capaldi. But he isn’t in pain.
Lewis says performing live is the thing he loves the most[/caption]
“I wasn’t a jilted lover,” he says. “But my relationship ended because of what I was doing with my job.
“I’m not saying, ‘I am great, and you should be with me because this guy is not right for you’.
“It was pretty amicable, but still a very upsetting split and we are still friends. She’s travelling somewhere in Thailand at the minute.”
Capaldi is also adamant that his music didn’t save him from the hurt. “I take issue when people say that songwriting is like therapy. If you think you need therapy, go and have therapy.
“This isn’t an outlet for my feelings. I don’t have any qualms telling people how I feel about things.
“People are always surprised when they meet me and I’m not moping around.
“You don’t write songs when you’re happy. I think melancholy is the most underrated emotion there is.”
Capaldi, who has suffered panic attacks in the past, has now launched LiveLive, an initiative to support fans who experience anxiety but want to attend his arena shows.
‘I THOUGHT I WAS HAVING A STROKE’
Every ticket for his 2020 tour includes a 50p charge to fund a team at each venue to help with stress-related issues.
He says: “In the same way people used to smoke all the time and never knew the effects of it until years later — when everyone got lung cancer — I think problems with anxiety and depression have accelerated because we all use smartphones, the internet and social media. When I first had a panic attack, I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke.
“And it was the anniversary of Avicii’s death (by suicide) the other day and it’s a shame that stuff like that has had to happen.
“The thing with LiveLive came after I’d been getting lots of tweets and messages from fans who wanted to come to a gig but couldn’t because of anxiety.
Lewis has launched LiveLive, an initiative to support fans who experience anxiety but want to attend his arena shows[/caption]
“So we’ve partnered with these guys who are like counsellors and professionals qualified to help if anyone is suffering from anxiety at my shows.
“Then anyone who might have worried about attending knows that if anxiety does happen, they’re going to be looked after.”
It’s not the first charity that Capaldi has pushed through his music. The video for Someone You Loved was made in partnership with organ donation campaign Live Life Give Life.
“I’m an organ donor and I support the new opt-out method which is coming in soon,” he says. “So many people’s lives can be saved by ticking a box.
Lewis’s video for Someone You Loved was made in partnership with organ donation campaign Live Life Give Life[/caption]
“I’ve never really been one for causes before but both these really got to me.”
As gig number three comes to an end, Capaldi is clearly shattered, but chatting in his dressing room later it’s obvious he’s enjoyed every minute.
He says: “It might all end tomorrow and I’m not taking it for granted or getting carried away with it.
“I am like, aim for Greggs because you might get a sausage roll. The last few weeks have been absolutely f****** mental.
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“I can’t walk around without someone stopping for a selfie or a chat, but I will never ever say no to anyone who asks for a picture.
“If you can make someone’s day by taking a picture with them, then do it and don’t be a w***** about it.
“Until my career goes t**s up, I will never say no. I wouldn’t be here without my fans and I love every one of them for allowing me to do this.”
- Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent is out on May 17.