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Lewis Capaldi

One of the feel-good stories of 2019, Caledonian CAPALDI (born 7 October 1996, Whitburn, West Lothian) shot to chart-topping fame with his debut album; having already achieved a similar feat at the tail-end of the previous year a la tear-jerking single, `Someone You Loved’. Trivia fans looking for Celtic connections needn’t have looked far when second cousin once removed Peter Capaldi (the former Doctor Who) appeared in the attendant video promo. Compared to fellow Scots singer-songwriter, PAOLO NUTINI, plus TOM ODELL and JAMES BAY, there was of course more than meets the eye to the jocular LEWIS CAPALDI, who, on stage and TV interviews, came across the polar opposite to his brooding ballads.
Winding back a few years to 2017, and the Scotsman was struggling to emerge from the pack. However, with word-of-mouth, an enterprising debut download (`Bruises’), and a sell-out gig at Glasgow’s King Tut’s, all was promising when the mighty Virgin-EMI came a-knocking. As the year ended, bolstered by the download success of the “Bloom” EP, the 21-year-old came of age with a Scottish Breakthrough Artist of the Year award. 2018 saw the unassuming Lewis slowly but surely mature as a young star of the future; relative failures – in terms of chart success – `Rush’ (featuring Jessie Reyez) and `Tough’ were put to one side when `Grace’ raced into the Top 10. And when the aforementioned `Someone You Loved’ hit pay-dirt (eventually No.1 across the pond), a star was indeed born. To prove his early potential could’ve got lost somewhere in an ever-increasing roundabout of singer-songwriter acts, CAPALDI’s independently-financed debut download hit No.16 in February 2019.
May 2019 was another turning point for the young man on two counts: `Hold Me While You Wait’ chalked up his third Top 10 entry and his facetiously-titled DIVINELY UNINSPIRED TO A HELLISH EXTENT {*8} topped the charts for several weeks (forever climbing in the States). As depicted on the album’s intentionally self-deprecating but humorous TV promo/ad, Scotland’s answer to ED SHEERAN admitted he was chubby, still living with his parents and singing sad, sad, sad songs about ex-girlfriends. In these maddening days of fake news, fake politicians and “fakebook”, it was certainly refreshing to find a pop star confident enough to put his open-heart susceptibilities under a musical microscope. Only time will tell if the EZRA-esque `Hollywood’, plus literary ballads, `Maybe’, `Forever’ and `One’, would glean semi-classic status.
© MC Strong/MCS Jul-Oct2019

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