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Name: Lewis Smith
Education: History & Politics student at the University of Warwick
How long have you been playing?
I've been playing guitar for eight or nine years, though started writing songs and playing shows regularly perhaps three years ago
What genre of music do you play?
I suppose it's somewhere in between folk, americana, country, blues and 'alternative'. One venue once described it as "hauntingly beautiful rootsy old folk", which is maybe as good a definition as I could ever come up with.
Why did you start playing?
First and foremost just for fun, on the one hand as a private thing, but also as a way of facilitating some really amazing shared moments. Music brings people together, and it's really nice to be a part of that.
What’s your most memorable musical moment?
Right now, my answer has to be seeing Leonard Cohen in Brussels about a month ago. I've always wanted to see him, and it was just the most amazing three hours of my life.
What’s your dream?
It would be great to go on tour with a band I loved, especially if it meant getting to travel around a bit. Also to play somewhere like the Hammersmith Apollo. Also to be asked to play a "Tiny Desk Concert"!
Who’s your idol and who would you most compare yourself to? (Dead or alive...)
I know it's clichéd but probably Bob Dylan, just for the sheer amount of brilliant, powerful music he's produced, as well as the impact his music has had. Nick Drake would maybe be second choice, but the list could go on for a while. Woody Guthrie, The Grateful Dead, Hugh Masekela, John Coltrane, all heros for different reasons. I'm not sure who I'd compare myself to though. I'm not sure I can even talk about myself in the same paragraph as the people mentioned above.
If you could play with anyone, who would it be?
It would be incredible to play alongside Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, though maybe I'd feel like I was intruding on something that was kind of perfect already. I imagine it would be a lot of fun to play with someone like Hugh Masekela, and I'd also love to somehow borrow Ludovico Einaudi for an afternoon and write some songs with him. Maybe all of them together.
If you could play at any festival, which would it be?
I love Green Man festival and it would definitely be a bit of a dream to play on the main stage in front of the mountain. And South by South West too, just to see what it's like.
Who are your fans?
I'm not sure there's a specific demographic, though it definitely appeals to people who have a certain fondness for melancholy.
What’s your all time favourite song?
One song? I've spent about an hour trying to narrow it down from ten, though can't decide between five: Bob Dylan - Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 or Girl From the North Country , Leonard Cohen - Take This Waltz or Chelsea Hotel #2, and Lyle Lovett - If I Had a Boat. I'm not even sure about those five. I'll probably have changed my mind in two minutes. If you can only write one, maybe just pick one at random.
Check out his website: LewisJSmith
Follow him on Twitter: @LewisSmith72
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Listen to him on Soundcloud: Lewis J Smith