We had the good fortune of connecting with Payson Lewis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Payson, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
These days? Man, I’m just happy to get through the day. But the best ones always include a friend. The past 12 months have made it hard to maintain community, so I’m just thankful for text threads with my guys from elementary school, the times I’m able to work on music with my roommate or remotely with my producer, or a social and masked hike with a friend here in LA. Honestly, these days, any day that I don’t feel lonely is a happy day.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I feel like a broken record, but what sets me apart, what I’m most proud of, how I got where I am today are all the same thing; my community–my friends, my collaborators, family, etc. I think that’s what defines me as an artist and is inseparable from my art. When you listen to my music, it feels like you’re at a show. The feel of the band is real. It yearns to be played live and shared in a room with energy and connection. The most important thing I’ve learned it to trust people to bring who they are and what they do to the table. And in trusting with people you open yourself up to sharing an experience and lending yourself to the creativity because you know there is a safe place to share and be you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, living in Los Angeles, there is no shortage of amazing culture, restaurants and beautiful places. I love getting outdoors, so I’d love to take them camping to the Angeles National Forrest or the Los Padres National Forest, go hiking in Malibu, and of course to the beach. In the city, (in a normal world) I’d take them to a show at Hotel Cafe, or Moroccan Lounge, eat at H.O.P.E, Wat Dong Moon Lek Noodle, and Millie’s. If it were summer, I’d love to catch a show at the Hollywood Bowl. Ok, this is an impossible question. LA is too rich. There’s too much to do. I’m overwhelmed with the possibilities
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I look back on how I got where I am, it seems like a total miracle. Or, more aptly, it’s like a series of complete and total accidents that somehow lined up to deliver me here today; to this life and this career. However, you know, there are a few constants and landmarks along the way. The most important has to be my parents and my brother. Get you a family like mine. They got my back and have encouraged and supported me more than any rational or sane person should. So I’m certainly thankful that blood is thicker than water. I also wouldn’t be where I am without the MBFL. A hugely influential organization that put me on the map back home outside of Philadelphia. These guys are a perpetual source of brotherhood and fraternal love. Couldn’t do it without them. Also, my many professional and performing networks and connections over the years. My family from USC, For The Record, my Band, my co-writers, producers, artists, musicians, photographers etc. The list is long. But anyone who I was lucky enough to create or share a stage with, have pushed me and inspired me more than I can describe.
Amber Muller James Bianchi