Lewis Capaldi is a Scottish soul singer, most famous for his signature ballad "Someone You Loved."
Capaldi was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and lived there till the age of four. He’s the youngest of four children, and deciding he wanted to pursue music from an early age, he wound up graduating from New College Lanarkshire, with an HND in Music. He was discovered by his manager, Ryan Walter, through recordings Capaldi uploaded from his phone to his Soundcloud account. Walter flew out to meet him the day after messaging him, and recorded a set Capaldi did in a bar with "like, two other people." The two got together periodically for writing sessions in London, while Capaldi was still in college at Glasgow.
Capaldi released the Bloom EP in October 2017, and his song "Bruises" made him the fastest ever unsigned artist to reach 25 million plays on Spotify. Signed to Universal, he released the Breach EP, which would feature the song that propelled him to superstardom, "Someone You Loved." It led to the release of his debut full-length, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, in May of 2019.
“Someone You Loved” was not only a number 1 hit in the UK (for seven weeks), it also hit number 1 in America, Ireland, Canada and several other countries. He managed another number 1 hit in the UK and Ireland with his song “Before You Go,” which is dedicated to his aunt, who died by suicide when Capaldi was a child. In May of 2020, the early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Capaldi released his third EP, titled - get this - To Tell the Truth I Can't Believe We Got This Far. It’s made up of live renditions of songs from Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, plus a cover of “Shallow” from A Star Is Born.
In contrast to his incredibly somber blue-eyed soul music, Lewis Capaldi, who's generally seemed to be more nonplussed and amused by his superstardom than anything, is famous for being a fun-loving Everyman with a self-deprecating, goofy sense of humor, in his social media presence and his interviews. Even people who don’t particularly like his music tend to admit Lewis Capaldi himself seems like a fun guy when interviewed. To put his charm in perspective, this guy was once on The Graham Norton Show, and was the funniest person on a panel with Jim Carrey on it.
As a side note, Lewis Capaldi’s second cousin once-removed starred in one version of his “Someone You Loved” music video, and is himself an actor that maybe you might have heard of.
- Bloom EP (2017)
- Breach EP (2018)
- Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (2019)
- To Tell the Truth I Can't Believe We Got This Far EP (2020)
- Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent (2023)
Big, fat, sexy jungle tropes:
- Break-Up Song: This theme is persistent with a number of his main singles:
- "Hold Me While You Wait" is supposedly about someone who thought the relationship is going well—while the other party is already seeking to get out. The lyrics are essentially the 1st party trying to bargain.
- "Bruises" plays with this trope, saying the relationship might just look better because it's over.
- "Rush" (in duet with Jessie Reyez) is a mutual attempt at emotionally commiserating with an ex-lover, even if it's mostly about how they're finding it difficult to accept the other might have already moved on.
- "Forget Me" is also of a similar theme—although it's a bit more one-sided (from the POV of someone who would prefer the scorn of their ex-lover instead of just flat-out moving on). All in very upbeat dance rhythms.
- "Wish You The Best" is a return to form of slow heartrending melody, albeit the POV of the lyrics do reflect some form of acceptance and I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
- Cover Version: Of "Shallow" from A Star Is Born, done for BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.
- Charity Motivation Song: While "Someone You Loved" is more the previous trope above, one music video for it was done in partnership with Live Life Give Life. It is shot essentially as a short film about how a widower—played by Peter Capaldi—who is still trying to adjust to life without his wife, finds additional meaning in her passing by meeting the mother of a family who received his wife's heart organ.
- Family-Friendly Stripper: The video for "Grace" when he covers for a girl at the strip club. We're then treated to a chubby, unkempt Scottish guy doing the girl's entire routine by the stripper pole with a blank, going-through-the-motions look on his face, and yes, it's as completely absurd as it sounds.
- Grief Song: "Someone You Loved" is on the extra-sad, minimal-production end of this trope, essentially about losing a beloved at the least opportune moment.
- Homage: His video for his 2022 single "Forget Me" is a near-shot-for-shot one to Wham!'s "Club Tropicana"—with him reproducing George Michael's general state of undress.
- Love Is Like Religion: "Grace"'s chorus can give off this impression (what with the lyric "I found salvation" and all), even if it is essentially someone who thinks a one-night stand can be more.
- Loyal Animal Companion: The music video for "Wish You The Best" involves the story of an old postman's (played by David Bradley) last days with his dog, who then subsequently stands guard over his grave. The young man who takes over as new postman then adopts it and brings it to work much as the old postman did, taking care of the dog until the dog itself dies and is buried with his previous owner. Lewis notes that this was inspired by the Edinburgh local legend of Greyfriars Bobby.
- Messy Hair: If there's a comb on the set of any of his music videos or concerts, no one's given it to him.
- Non-Appearing Title: Interestingly, the title of his EP To Tell the Truth I Can't Believe We Got This Far is a line from the song "Fade" which appears on the Bloom EP. "Fade" does not appear in any form on the former EP.
- Nostalgia Filter: A running theme in "Bruises" is defying this trope - the narrator is realistic that the relationship wasn't perfect and ended for a reason, and muses that it only looks better than it was because it's now suddenly over.
- Peerless Love Interest: Played With in "Pointless". While the emotional weight and romanticization given to their partner sounds like it in the lyrics, the song explicitly describes the small things they do for each other that make it beautiful.
- Self-Deprecation: His album titles, which reflect this sense of humor about him in general. He does it a lot.
- Silly Love Songs: "Pointless" is a straightforward song about the narrator's loved one.From all my airs and graces
To the little things I do
Everything is pointless without you
Of all the dreams I'm chasing
There's only one I choose
Everything is pointless without you
- Soul: Definitely more in the post-Adele vein.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: "Forget Me"'s melody is heavily inspired by dance music genres and the music video is a big Wham! Homage. It's about someone who's having difficulty accepting their ex is letting go of them.
- Struggling Single Mother: The music video for "Pointless" tells the story of a single mother raising her son from infancy until he is a young adult moving out. It doesn't sugarcoat the situation (the son gets involved in a number of scrapes), but the depiction of their relationship is overall positive and loving throughout.
- Wham Shot: The music video for "Before You Go" sees us going through the life of a young woman (played by Sasha Lane) who was having fun with her family and friends—then at the very last minute cutting to her wake and funeral (of what is heavily implied to be Driven to Suicide), rendering the entire music video a bittersweet Good-Times Montage.