Stephen Lewis prepares for the busy summer ahead.
It’s been an eventful year for Stephen Lewis. After making national headlines last year with an incredible story of personal triumph – overcoming battles with depression, addiction and weight-gain, the popular Fredericton musician has since been directing his new-found energy towards helping others, and channeling his creative enthusiasm in the recording studio.
“Since I’ve went public with the changes I’ve went through, I’ve been pretty busy,” said Lewis. “I’ve had an overwhelming amount of support from all over Canada and I’ve also been receiving a lot of inquiries about how I made these changes so people can make it applicable in their own lives.”
In just over a year, Lewis shed nearly 200lbs after adopting a vegan diet and giving up the booze.
“I’ve had hundreds of people tell me that I’ve helped them in some way. I’ve witnessed people who now have amazing weight loss stories of their own and regained a new zest for life. Seeing the positive impact from sharing my story is probably one of the best feelings. I’ve also been performing and talking with kids in schools a lot lately which is beyond rewarding. It’s a great reminder that music is much more than a show or something to further gratify your ego. I feel compelled to share these things with the public because it’s really my way of paying it forward for all the help I’ve received.”
Having spent most of the winter writing, recording and enjoying his new lease on life, Lewis is now gearing up to release his new album, Life’s A Garden.
“My new album is heavily influenced by the changes I’ve undergone but not in a preachy or pretentious way,” he said. “The songs vary in genre but overall it has a funk/hip hop feel with conscious lyrics. There are tracks on the album that I’d classify as ‘party tunes’ like my songs Bust a Move and Get A Little Funky, which I know will be festival favorites.
“It’s a seamless album and having this element creates a piece of work that demands attention in its entirety,” said Lewis. This album is definite summer music that will be enjoyed most with windows down, sunshine on your face, and the volume knob cranked to 10.”
Beginning with an album release show on May 8, 2015 and continuing throughout the summer, Lewis will be joined by fellow musicians Marco Lebreton (drums) and Jonah Hache (guitar/synth/vocals) for Maritime performances at Paddle Fest, Fur Ball Funk Music Festival, Mid Summer Maddness and Evolve.
“It’s an interesting concept to still be using a loop pedal with two other band members,” said Lewis. “At times it creates the sound of a six or seven piece band, which I really like. Ultimately my favorite thing to do is to make people dance. Having Marco and Jonah really helps create a bigger energy. They also guest on several tracks on my album so it only makes sense to have them be a part of the release shows.”
Lewis will continue to tour outside of the Maritimes on his own through until the end of the September playing shows and festivals throughout Ontario and parts of the United States including the back to Roots Music Festival in New Hampshire, the Just Joshin’ Music Festival in Connecticut and Ohio’s Big Kick It Festival.
“I’ll be doing all my international and Ontario shows solo and I couldn’t feel any more thankful for the relationships I’ve made with friends and fans in both areas,” he said. “I will be playing at venues all over Canada and The US in between my festival dates and to say that I’m excited would be a complete understatement. If it wasn’t for the amazing amount of support I’ve received from friends and family these shows simply wouldn’t be possible.
Without a doubt, Stephen Lewis 2.0 is a positive force to be reckoned with.
“A musician is only as good as his audience,” said Lewis, “and I feel blessed beyond measure to have a huge support system in my corner. Before my father passed away he told me to always follow my dream and to take my music as far as possible. Whenever I have a stressful moment or start to question what I’m doing, I remember that conversation he had with me from his hospital bed. It quickly reminds me that anything worth having is worth working for and that he would want me to try my very best. Without his blessing and the huge amount of support from my mother, I wouldn’t be doing any of these shows. My mother really is my #1 fan and whether she realizes it or not, she is my unofficial manager. She always told me to dream big and every time something amazing happens for me it happens for her too. To say that I’m lucky just wouldn’t be a true statement. I’m definitely blessed with the love of a great family, great friends, and an undeniable desire to make the impossible dreams a reality.”