Interview

Interview

Interview

Lewis OfMan's [Interview]

Words by

Kian McHugh

2.12.2024

Lewis OfMan's [Interview]

Words by

Kian McHugh

2.12.2024

I hop on B2B with my friend, Soraya, who pumps her sets with 160+ BPM energizers. I mix in a tune and she remarks: “Damn this tune sounds like beating a video game in a dream.” My friend Tim follows: ”Kian lives his life like he’s beating a video game in a dream.”  Catching me blush, he follows: “Yeah… I see you.” 

A few weeks later on a sunny Friday in the white fenced smoking section of Elsewhere’s greenroom in Bushwick, I see French-Pop, party phenom, Lewis of Man.

“I was younger for sure. It was six months ago.” In this moment, and others, he leads with a seemingly ridiculous claim that melts into wisdom beyond his years. “I don't know, maybe I was feeling less in my shoes…  it felt a little bit new because… it was.” 

At 25 years old, calculated is a solid descriptor for the artist in front of me. On this day– having played Coachella, both coasts, Mexico, Canada, France, etc. since his last Brooklyn rendezvous– his confidence is palpable. He was younger, for sure. 

“I don't know, like, you know, [life] is a video game…. Yeah. It really [is]…  I'm living this video game… the music is my quest and it’s the mission. All the rest is a side quest, which is interesting too. But sometimes the side quest can be just a fucking wizard asking you to help him get some flowers in the field, you know?”

Time is just one multiplier in the equation that results in our lived experience. There is, of course, how you use your time. But there’s also the complication of nuance… for years, I’ve known that every decision I make, take the socks I put on in the morning, will affect all that follows. Butterflies. I’ve navigated the bizarre, at-times-twisted, often-beautiful existence that is my lifetime, or video game, with a meticulous consideration of nuance accordingly. The silly undertones to this approach are important– I like to play! And the knowledge that the universe responds and people perceive can be suffocating. So each decision carries weight, opportunity, and excitement. I’m obsessive. Passionate. Confusing. In a world of my own. Calculated– that’s how I manage to feel… normal? Kian mode.

Lewis describes Lewis mode, his life, and/or his video game as: “a pirate boat… with a parrot [and] a bunch of characters … friends [who are] also doing a bunch of [cool] stuff … Everybody's on the quest.In Lewis mode, those who carry judgment or reveal an incapacity to grow are left behind. Every semi-permanent protagonist on his journey must play in “solo mode.” He loves that his team enjoys doing their own thing, together.

I look over at my friend Vivian who came along to listen in on the chat and snap some B-roll. We hadn’t discussed it prior but she chimes in at her leisure. If anyone else did that… I would be pissed. But when she does, I feel a sense of relief. We’ve stuck by one another’s side, more often than not and most intensely as of late, doing our own thing since 6th grade. 

I prod to better understand this contrived sense of maturity and boundaries. I wonder if his is a deeper or younger or entirely unique iteration to my own. I’m repeatedly impress as Lewis rejects any notion that he is one thing or another. His responses aren’t binary. Where yes or no are the tip of the iceberg, Lewis offers everything beneath the surface.

Intentional feminine flair in your sets or brand? “I fucking hates alpha males.” “Flowers are really cool.” “There’s a … Ziggy Stardust kind of vibe but I don’t care about that era at all.” “I don’t like dudes.” 

Do you like Paris? “I like it like the taste of water. I need to drink this water. But it’s water. You can make it Fiji or La Croix or whatever– but it’s going to be water.”

Looking for love? “More for like experiences… this one moment you leave and that you will miss. Yeah… this glimpse of someone.”

Exploring other mediums? “I don't paint… maybe sometimes I would write some kind of poems… or you know, [your] way of living can be a medium as well. If I wanted to answer something, I would say that, but I don't.” 

Favorite moments on tour? “Meeting someone smoking a cigarette after the show” and the “‘Hey, let's go to this bar’ that follows and the “‘Oh, let's dance!’” and “moments like this.” 

“I haven’t been chilling so it’s cool, you know? I don’t have time to think about life in general. I’m just busy…” Vivian chimes in with, “He’s just living it.” The vibes redirect with a wind of confidence at his back… “He’s just living it,” he agrees. “[On tour] you dress different. You don’t really care.” 

“I used to shave like you. Um, every three days. Then when I did this,” motioning to his beard,  “Everyone was like, ‘Oh, it's cool. Keep it!’ … [then] you feel different and you kind of like it. It's funny because when you shave, you don't have the same face. [It changes] how you embody yourself too. But you know, like when you shave and then three days after you're not really shaved, you're like, ah, let me shave again… a bad day every three days. A bad face day. So now it's always like this. I just don't care about my face anymore.” 

Motioning towards his feet, “Like I would never find those shoes in Paris. Maybe I would see them in a shop but I would say, ‘I don’t know… yeah.’ But in Montreal, I’m like ‘Oh, let me get those shoes. It’s mojo. It’s ALL about this actually. It’s a mojo thing.” Where were we?

Vibes– we were talking about vibes. From what I’ve gathered, vibes lead to decisions, decisions lead to mojo, mojo leads to action, action leads to experience. ARRRR. Lewis knows the “vibe is liable to switch from the smallest kind of [thing].” His leg up is that he controls them, or at least looks them head on: “[Sometimes you find yourself on] a subway with no headphones, no more battery on your phone, whatever. Like a moment where you have no escape [and no choice] but to face [it].” 

I ask: “Yeah… do you value that type of thing? I know I have… or do? I’ve chased discomfort in the name of experience to a toxic extent. “Like do you…” 

Before I can finish, “You have to end up doing it. Otherwise... it’s like having a bad trip. Go and face it. Yeah…. it might be better than running away.” The laugh that follows this comment carries the weight of the world. He sees me. I see him. I consider whether I’m imagining this eye-to-eye until he prods back, “Sometimes you don't need to have problems… to be grounded.”

He reckons, “If it looks good, if I feel good, mmmm… that's just how it'll be.”

“So does the video game have a winning level or does it just keep going?” I ask.

“Happily enough. This video game is not something that you finish…. It's a long video game,” he smiles.

“And what would you call it?” I follow.

“Maybe it could be the name of this bench table… right there,” pointing at the logo on the patio furniture: L I F E T I M E . “I think this is the name of the video game. Very cool. Plus, we’re sitting on it. Yeah. Sitting on the lifetime.”

Lewis OfMan's [Interview]

Words by

Kian McHugh

2.12.2024

Lewis OfMan's [Interview]

Words by

Kian McHugh

2.12.2024
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