Lee Lewis

Something Burning (Bright Antenna Records)

Contact Sam McAllister about Lee Lewis

Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Lee Lewis announces his debut EP, Something Burning, out April 24th via Bright Antenna Records, and shares its lead single FUL.” The fabric of Lewis’ lyricism is 100% his experiences — a young Black queer man learning accountability in romantic relationships. He touches on universal themes of heartbreak, abuse, yearning, and the recklessness of surface-level connections. The stories, though relevant to many, are also specific to his experiences as a queer man: dating closeted men, navigating a competitive dating pool, and being seen loving a man in a world that still does not make it safe to. The darkest of themes many would repress — he boldly confronts. But granting himself and those who connect with his timely messages space to free emotions is invaluable work.


The opening track of the project, “FUL,” co-written with Joseph Luca and Hope Shorter and produced by Jon Joseph, is an acronym for “fucked up love” and it speaks to Lewis’s yearning to feel something, even if it’s not healthy for him. “‘FUL’ is the kind of the song that gave me some real momentum in terms of a sonic direction, writing, etc.,” says Lewis. “I was absolutely desperate for the type of romance that was truly bad for you. The type that everyone says avoid. I blame my Venus in Scorpio, I guess. I was desperate for someone to come in and shake up my boring life at the time. Mind you, this was around the pandemic, everyone’s lives were boring. And believe me, years later I got what I asked for; a song that I’m proud of and a failed situationship akin to the lyrics of the song, that threw me for a loop. I really manifested on this one.”


Across Something Burning, Lewis takes his self-destructive patterns from his mid-20s and tosses them to a flame. Ashes forming from his sacrifice symbolize heavy burdens he has transformed into seven songs detailing lessons learned. As Lewis sets his past ablaze, he’s cleared a path for his rebirth. The complex encounters that make up our humanity drive Lee’s creativity. Deep shadowy pop soul are the grounds where he’s lit his match.


“I want to tell my stories because I haven’t been able to — and it feels really good,” says Lewis. “I feel full and complete by being able to finally do it. I hope that it resonates with people but I am doing this for me as well. I’m trying to heal from mistakes and heal from past trauma.”


The Los Angeles native is new to knocking down taboos in pop music storytelling but isn’t new to the hard work it takes to craft music. Raised in the historically Black neighborhood of Ladera Heights and coming from a family of academics, being musically inclined came by surprise. Enrolling in the prestigious Colburn School of Performing Arts at a young age, a vocal teacher encouraged him to pursue classical music, where he refined his baritone voice to one day join the professional opera ranks. After high school, Lee landed at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music to study classical voice.


Under the guidance of producer Joseph Luca, Lewis learned to sing with a variety of textures and degrees of softness to maximize his voice in the studio. His hard work shines through as his smooth riffs and runs have the magic to soften even the most hardened soul. Something Burning also provides real and fervent instrumentation, which he collaborated on with producers and songwriters who are also his friends. Lewis performs his best work within a community of Black and queer creatives, which he hopes to expand as he hooks fans looking for new vulnerable storytelling in soul music.


A rising star gaining popularity at a time when Black artists are reclaiming genres that they created but were excluded from in the mainstream, Lewis believes that Black musicians should have the freedom to take up space and create music that truly represents their diverse perspectives and talents. “I just want to exist in both spaces, both the pop super commercial world and the world of R&B/soul. Black artists should be accepted in both.”


    Apr 29, 2024
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Bardot