Lewis N. Papier
Lewis N. Papier is a pop-rock singer/songwriter based out of NYC. Lewis was heavily inspired by the Beatles and music writing between the 60s and the 80s. In addition to writing pop and country songs, Lewis has also written a full-length show titled, “Charles & Diana: The Musical,” which has been produced twice in New York. Make sure to check out his latest project “I had a Zombie Conversation.”
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
While in high school, I was one of the writers responsible for putting together our senior SING. We took notable musical theater songs and changed the lyrics to match the book which was an early incarnation of a GREASE type show. This high school experience inspired me to write a full-length musical while I was a junior at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. The show was entitled "Nobody Loves Joe but the People," a satire on the rise and fall of Senator Joe McCarthy.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Back in 2005, while holding auditions for my show, "Charles & Diana: The Musical," Idina Menzel came down and auditioned for the part of Princess Diana.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Mounting two productions of "Charles & Diana: The Musical" in NYC.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I usually come up with music first and then write the lyrics. I find that writing the music is the easy part--but lyrics are a different ballgame completely. The best songs are the ones I feel compelled to write. Like a tune I recently wrote entitled "Save Your Seat," a memorial to my recently deceased cousin.Natalie
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Indie artists can no longer make a living by selling music since it's all about streaming today. Most indie performers can eke out a living through performing at live concerts--they can enhance their worth if they happen to write that one big hit that gets radio play. Since I'm much more of a songwriter than a performer, writing a musical seems to be a better career path for me that that of a struggling singer/songwriter.
For your enjoyment, a song presented by "The Radioactive Isotopes." Lewis is not at liberty to disclose songwriting credits but guarantees "kilotons" of fun!"
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
A better question would be which artist I would like to work with in the studio to put together one of my songs. Probably Paul McCartney since he's got the voice, the harmonies, and can play a multitude of instruments. I especially like his "old-time" tunes like "Your mother should kniow," "Honey Pie," and "When I'm 64" which are similar to some of the kinds of songs I write.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I have yet to do a live show. I work in the studio with a talented arranger who adds drums and bass to my keyboard parts. I also have an amazing guitar player in Los Angeles who creates rhythm and lead parts for me. I also have an unbelievable backup singer who can do three or four part harmonies on the spot..
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
I had a Zombie Conversation. I was going for a Michael Jackson "Thriller" type of sound--all those sound effects took quite a bit of time to put together. At the end of the song, I played the backup singer's track backwards, to create the weird chorus effect (as the song fades out).
What's coming up in the future?
Might be writing a new musical based on my song, "Days of No Immunity." It's an unusual take on the history of Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine.
Where can fans can access your music.