Philadelphia native and indie-pop musician Payson Lewis is breaking into 2021 swinging with his latest single, Only Yesterday. Only Yesterday is a single about reliving your past painful journeys and learning to accept these experiences to heal and achieve a new normalcy. Payson’s indie-pop style and phenomenal vocals are on perfect display with Alex Balderston’s driving bass, Rob Humphrey’s steady drums, Erik Carlson’s rhythmic guitar and a feel good horn section. Drawing on the influences of his youth and in an attempt to inspire positivity, Payson delivers an energetic blend of throwback nostalgia and modern edge “On Yesterday” to benefit the world at large.
A Philly kid born and raised, Payson taught himself to sing and play piano by poring over his big brothers’ CDs and learning by ear. Eventually, he moved west to continue his evolution as a musician and songwriter at USC and find his place as an artist in LA. Payson’s soaring vocals and natural knack for dynamic performance landed him instant success and led to a Top-4 finish on NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” Since then, he has used his diverse musical skill set in performances all over the world; lending his voice to symphony orchestras in Taiwan and Korea, starring in theatrical performances in Chicago and Las Vegas, and singing on multiple major motion picture soundtracks. He’s even scored roles acting on TV shows including Jane the Virgin, The People vs. OJ Simpson, and How I Met Your Mother.
Welcome Payson! Let’s start off with you telling us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised just outside of Philly. Eventually, I found my way out to LA, at first for acting, but have been here making music now for about 5 years now. Always a Philly guy at heart, missing all that brotherly love. Trying to do my hometown proud out here on the west coast. As an independent recording artist, I’ve been trying to find my own lane. Representing a slice of pop music that is underserved these days. My music is band driven and organic, recorded live with real musicians, real heart, real emotion and personality. I try to make music for the everyman…a reflection of where I come from.
Tell us about your new single, Only Yesterday.
“Only Yesterday” is a song about dealing with loss and finding a way to recover. Despite the constant reminders and memories of what’s now past, willing yourself to get up and start over. I wrote this song about the way we’ve all been dealing with tragic loss recently. Globally, we have all had to give up things in our lives that we had become accustomed to. It’s been hard. It’s even been traumatic. We’re reminded daily of the lives we used to live… But at the end of the day, the only way forward is to get up, blaze new trails, and reinvent ourselves in the new reality in which we’ve all awoken.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I think like most artists, I draw from my own life and those around me. I try to identify universal truths or experiences that we all share. It’s important for me to find these commonalities because I think that’s what makes music so unique and special. It takes these feelings we share and finds new ways to express them and different levels on which we can relate about them. So I’m a constant and keen observer of life. I tend to be extremely empathetic because I’m always putting myself in other people’s shoes and seeing what I can learn from them. You’d be surprised how much we all really have in common when you boil it down. It’s these intersections of universal experience where I focus my intention and draw most of my inspiration.