Interview with musician Mr Bewlay

Who is Mr Bewlay? And why did he write a song about sharks? What is behind the androgynous persona? In the following interview the artist answers all these questions, and more. 

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Mr Bewlay is an art-pop artist based in Cardiff, Wales. He was previously a participant in the 2020s Forte Project, an artist development programme in South Wales, helping musicians to kickstart their career. His participation accelerated his success, and helped him become a prolific performer and songwriter. 

In this interview he gave some insight into his musical process, offering us a rare peek behind the façade. 

What is something that you would like to be remembered by?

I think generally I’d like to be just remembered at all really. With the advent of the internet anyone who has produced anything automatically gets a chance to be remembered, however I would like to be known as someone who has worked hard and created music that was unique and told a story. 

Why did you choose music as your career path?

I am a natural born performer and initially, I tried to pursue acting. Then I got sick of people telling me what to do. Music gave me the freedom to write my own stories, act my own characters and express myself in a very malleable artform. 

Who are your biggest musical inspirations at the moment?

So, I just completed a synth-wave trilogy of singles which were influenced by the retro wave/synth wave sounds, which were prevalent about a couple of years ago. I did that due to the limitations of lockdown and having to record in my own space with limited resources. Currently I am writing and recording music in a new style, influenced by bands such as Wavves, Sleaford Mods and Shame. It is a lot more post-punkey and a lot more aggressive, which contrasts my previous work.

What is a moment or an achievement that you are the proudest of?

There is not one moment in particular, it is more of the collective output. The regularity and consistency of my releases and the professionalism of the content I create is not just what I have aspired to do but also something that I feel like I am continuing to achieve. 

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What is a musical genre that you often listen to, but is different from your own music?

I listen to a lot of jazz. In some songs that I have written, I have tried to inject some of the more beautifully chaotic elements and improv that those jazz performers accomplished. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I can pull it off enough to be able to go down that route. However, I surround myself with musicians whose talents far exceed my own and hope to one day collaborate with them to further expand my repertoire. 

What inspired your latest song, Wobbegong? What is the story behind it?

The lyrics were written two years ago, and I struggled tremendously in getting what I heard in my head into sound. With the help of the talented producer Dai Griffiths, we managed to construct something that sounded even better than what I had originally thought of. The song lyrics take a satirical look at old white men’s pursuit to stay relevant. Although many people may take the song lyrics too seriously, I took the Randy Newman approach of playing with my audience’s expectations. The song is also about sharks. 

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Photo credits: Ceri Vale

Talk about some future plans, and things that you look forward to with regards to your music. 

This month I am celebrating the second anniversary of all things Bewlay and am putting on a bespoke event featuring some of my favourite local artists. In addition, new music is being recorded and is set to be released sooner than you might think. Plus, with live shows being back on again I’m expanding my reach in a more face-to-face manner. Stay tuned – even more amazing stuff is set to be released!  

Name 3 songs that you had on repeat in the past few days or so and why you like them.

To be honest, due to my recent schedule a lot of the music I have been listening to has been my own demos in preparation for studio time. However, the songs ‘Porsche Majeure’ by TVAM, ‘Cherry On Top’ by Lou Hayter and ‘Stay For One More Night’ by Goodvibes Sound have really got my brainwaves going. Saying that, there are a multitude of amazing music being released every day and there’s not enough time and space in this interview to name them all. 

What is a question or topic that nobody asks you or brings up, but you'd like to talk about?

Nobody ever asks me why ‘Mr’. It could have been easy enough to simply use a first name or just Bewlay, but I have always liked playing with gender-bending and it seemed appropriate for myself as an effeminate individual to give myself the title of ‘Mr’. 

You can find out more about Mr Bewlay through the following links:

The music video for his latest single, ‘Wobbegong’, can be found here.

Header Image Credit: Sian Adler

Author

Zsofia Pasztori-Kupan

Zsofia Pasztori-Kupan Contributor

Hungarian girl living in the UK. Final year Popular and Commercial Music Student, aspiring journalist, podcaster, and feminist who loves to read.

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