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The World’s Greatest Magician Q & A: Dean Lewis


Sydney songwriter Dean Lewis made a striking first impression with his driving folk-pop debut single Waves earlier this year. The busy artist has now just finished touring Australia with songstress Lisa Mitchell and is about to begin recording his debut EP. We asked him how he’d create magic from thin air and his creative processes!

Every magician has a stage name, and we’ve all heard of the “Magnificent”, “Amazing” and “Extraordinary”. What’s your stand-out stage name going to be?

I think I’d go by Mr. Melody Man! I’d go under that name because I’m so obsessed with finding melody first then trying to fit the words to it.

What would be your signature closing trick be called, and what does it involve?

My show would consist of me trying to write a song in my bedroom, getting frustrated, and putting my guitar down…then hearing a new song, getting inspired and picking up my guitar again. It would be the worst show and signature trick ever, but let’s go with that!

As a budding magician, you think it’s harder to escape from a locked chain in a flooding room without a key or a political conversation with your crackpot uncle at Christmas?

I’d say it’s harder to escape from a locked chain in a flooding room. Political conversations are the worst conversations I can think of, BUT I have mastered the art of leaving those quite quickly!

Obviously, the most important part of any magician’s act is the introduction music (think Gob Bluth and The Final Countdown), what song will you be coming onstage to to get the crowd pumping?

Durude’s Sandstorm 100 per cent, it’s an absolute classic and guaranteed winner! I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here, we want to blow them away!

If you were to pull any animal out of a ridiculously undersized hat, what are you going to whip out?

I’d have a super large hat and whip out a human and it would be Noel Gallagher. Mainly for selfish reasons, I’d love to ask him some questions about some of his songs and getting insulted by Noel Gallagher is sort of a rite of passage for songwriters…

Street magicians and their inconspicuous dress sense are so 1990s. What’s your cool fashion items for your performance?

Unfortunately, I’m not a hat guy. I’d really like to be but I automatically look ridiculous if a hat comes anywhere near my head. Although since the magic I’m going to be performing is going to be ridiculous I’d wear a top hat.

There have been so many movies that focus on magicians, good and bad, over the last few years. There’s ‘The Prestige’, ‘Now You See Me’, and ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’. Who’s going to be the actor that portrays you when your story is inevitably put to film?

There’s only one person who could pull it off and that’s the greatest actor of all time, Leonardo Di Caprio, and I won’t have a bad word said against him! So glad the critics finally agreed and gave him an Oscar…

For the uninitiated, how would you describe Dean Lewis’ sound and live performance?

When I play live I sing with quite a lot of intensity. At the moment it’s just me switching between guitar and piano and I get into the song when I play it. I try to write songs that mean something but I’m all about melody. I want each of the songs to have a world of their own.

We’re loving your debut single Waves, what’s the story behind the track?

The song’s basically about losing that sense of excitement little by little as you get older. I’m still young but I miss that feeling of being excited at the small things like going to the movies or a house party. Once experience comes in that innocence is lost. It was just on my mind a lot last year when I wrote the song and I was trying to figure out how I could get it back.

Lastly, what are three things fans should know about you?

1) I write most of my songs on the edge of my bed. Usually I get inspired hearing someone else play and it forces me to get up and start writing. I love it!

2) I love hotel bars, there’s something magical about them.

3) I have a note in my iPhone where I save awesome phrases, quotes, and titles when I read or hear them. That’s where the best stuff comes from I think!