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BWW Interview: chatting with Devin Lewis on musical theatre and music producing

Devin talks about musical theatre and his own produced music

BWW Interview: chatting with Devin Lewis on musical theatre and music producing Devin Lewis is an actor and music producer. He has appeared in national touring production of Newsies as well as other productions such as Light in the Piazza and most recently Next to Normal. Devin also produces his own music that can be found on all music streaming platforms!

We chat with Devin about musical theatre and music producing!

How long have you been doing theatre?

I started doing theatre when I was in 6th grade at my middle school and local community theatre. Prior, I grew up doing sports in a pretty conservative area; so as you can imagine, it was a relief when I found performing. I finally found a community that I felt comfortable in. I obvi couldn't get enough and later went on to major in musical theater at college.

What has been a favorite role you've played?

Probably would have to be Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza. It was my senior year in college and Victoria Clarke came in to direct. Cliché as it sounds, I felt like I learned something new about the show and role every night. I could see my growth as a performer during the run.

BWW Interview: chatting with Devin Lewis on musical theatre and music producing

What is your favorite musical?

Hmmmmm okay, okay I would have to say Spring Awakening. It came out while I was in High School and it had a major influence on me and the decision to pursue this for the long run. It was the first time I thought, "hey, I really want to do this as a profession." Also, the poetic lyrics and melodies really inspired me as a music writer.

Do you have a dream role?

Hmmmmmm probably Tony in West Side Story.

Favorite musical song?

Honestly, I feel like this changes all the time BUT randomly I really love "What Can you Lose?" By Sondheim from Dick Tracy. I might love it so much because I love singing it, but it's just so beautiful and it gets me every time I listen/sing it.

As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, how have you been handling it as an artist?

It's been pretty tough. I definitely can speak for myself, as well as many artist friends, that this time has made us seriously question the trajectory of our lives (even more than before ). I'm at an age where I'm starting to crave stability; and unfortunately, stability is harder than ever to find for us right now. That's a huge reason why I started producing music. It gives me autonomy to be creative and it's proving to be a nice cushion in between acting gigs!

Who are your musical influences?

My listening taste is sort of all over the place these days. I'm doing "an album a day" where I listen to a new album every day. I was laughing at myself the other day because I'm getting, what I call, music whiplash. One day, I'm listening to Billy Joel's "52nd Street," and the next day, I'm listening to Megan Thee Stallion's "Something for the Hotties". As far as influences, it depends on the type of track I'm working on. I've been really into JP Saxxe. His lyrics hit me in a different way. He has a way of saying things in a very unique way but they still strike you so deep. I've also been obsessed with production on Madeon's album, "Good Faith".

When did you decide to write, create, produce, your own music?

I always tell everyone to buckle up when I tell this story. To keep things short and sweet, I started producing music when I was in High School. My uncle has this incredible Jazz Band and they record all their music in his basement studio. He knew I was writing music, so he set me up with a little studio of my own. All through High School, I would force my friends to come over and sing in my bedroom closet. I was actually between going to school for Music Producing and Theatre, but chose the latter, but I definitely kept up with it throughout the years though. Once the pandemic hit, I really committed to teaching myself and taking courses to take my music to the next level. I knew a bunch of theatre artists were taking that time to write their own music, so I knew there was going to be a market of people looking for a producer.

What do you consider your music style to be?

My favorite music to produce is definitely pop/dance, but I do it all based on the project I'm working on. I do think that producing pop/dance music allows me to be a little more creative and show off my producer skills.

I LOVE your version of Ready to Be Loved by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul! What inspired you to do a dance version of that song?

Thank you so much. That track, as well as our "I Am What I Am", are two tracks that I'm so incredibly proud of. I have to give a lot of credit to my best friend and partner-in-crime Jimmy Larkin. He runs the Instagram account @letshearitforthechoice and we wanted to use his platform to create dance remixes of musical theatre songs to help bring a little joy into people's lives during the pandemic. I make the tracks and he makes the videos and it has allowed us to collaborate with truly the most brilliant and kind artists in the city. We have another one coming out very soon, so keep an eye out for that :)

When anyone listens to your music, what do you hope their take away from it is?

I think it really depends on the track. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I've been trying to get specific on why I make music and why I perform. I feel it's very easy to lose sight of this as performers and creative types. Vulnerability is super important to me and I think it's sort of a-dare I say-life mission of mine to create space for vulnerability through my art. This applies for when I'm producing music and performing. I think people show up to the theatre and put on their headphones to feel something and I really hope to create a space through my art that says "hey, it's okay to feel this way. I feel it too, so let's feel it together."

BWW Interview: chatting with Devin Lewis on musical theatre and music producing

Where can we find your music?

All my music is released on all streaming platforms! My Spotify can be found here. I've produced tracks for other artists so I have a Spotify playlist that keeps all the songs in one place.

Here are also the links to the music videos we've done for "Ready to be Loved" and "I Am What I AM"

Devin! Thank you so much for your time! We look forward to seeing what you do next!
Photo courtesy of Devin Lewis and THEGINGERB3ARDMEN


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From This Author - Jared Fessler