Artist To Watch: Remi Lewis On Balancing Modeling And Music Careers
Music may be her first love, but there’s no doubt the fashion industry loves Remi Lewis. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter turned model recently landed campaigns with American Deadstock, Cobra Shop and Milk Makeup all while continuing to produce heart-rendering music. Here, Lewis talks about making the cross over from music to fashion, her future career goals and her best advice for other young artists.
What were you up to before becoming a solo artist?
I began writing a full EP when I was 13 years old, and I did complete 5 songs. I don't really remember myself before music. I was too young to really be doing much else but being a regular kid and going to school.
When you first got started, did you know exactly what you wanted to say with your music?
I always felt like I was a tortured soul destined to write songs about being lost and not really fitting in. It's so funny because I was even writing about this when I was 13 years old. My mom would ask me, "Like girl, are you good?" And I would respond, "Yes, mom! It's called art. Let my creative juices flow." I definitely think that my creative mind is sometimes separate from my regular mind.
Who do you find most inspires you to write songs?
I think Amy Whinehouse, Frank Ocean and King Krule inspire me the most lyrically. I think they're all actually so different, but I definitely refer to each of them when I need inspiration. They've made me cross boundaries in songs and definitely steer away from classic pop radio song lyrics.
Has living in NYC influenced your music career at all?
I grew up in London but moved to NYC when I was 9-years-old. I think moving to NYC was the best thing that has ever happened to me because it definitely made me believe anything is possible. It's so easy to connect and expand as an artist here. I'm often inspired by my surroundings, and I have been opened to so many different kinds of opportunities.
Double fire: For you, what’s the best AND worst thing about the music industry?
I think the best part is the creativity and passion that comes with it. The worst is the music that feels so processed and phony, like someone didn't put any kind of real passion into it.
When you’re not creating your own music, what do you like to jam to?
I just got Apple Music, and it's basically my best friend. I can listen to anything I want. I've discovered so many bomb ass songs on there. I bump Amy Whinehouse, Frank Ocean, Gorillaz, Kendrick Lamar, King Krule, Kelis, N.E.R.D., etc. My favorite song right now is Solid Wall of Sound by A Tribe Called Quest. I listen to a variety of music, but I particularly love the whole 90s/early 2000s R&B phase.
Along with producing super catchy tracks, you also have some serious style. What are your ingredients for a killer outfit?
I love adding color to outfits. I like yellow! Sometimes, I go for a Legally Blonde/ Paris Hilton look, and sometimes, I look like someone's skater boyfriend. I love to change it up, and I definitely think outfits grab the most attention on social media nowadays.
On Instagram, it looks like you’re modeling for clothing brand American Deadstock. Tell us about that collaboration.
I really love the people behind American Deadstock. I have such a good relationship with Wade, the founder; we are constantly communicating about upcoming shoots and social media opportunities for each other. I think AD definitely captures my style, and whenever I model for them, the pictures are my favorites. They definitely go for the BRATZ/ Y2K looks... Also, how can you go wrong with those cute tube tops?
After working with AD, are you interested in pursuing other modeling jobs in the future?
Yes! I love modeling for brands I really like. I definitely see myself continuing my modeling career because I'm constantly getting DM's and emails about new jobs. I want to sign with an agency because it can be difficult to manage myself. I would love to model for Converse in the future.
What’s your fav label/brand to shop atm?
I love American Deadstock and The Cobra Shop. Brands that sell really cute, '90s style clothes give me life. I love searching Depop for cute thrifted pieces. I'm also really into Dickies x UO because they have the cutest overall dress that I'm dying to buy!
In your career, what are you most proud of?
So far, I'm very proud of my songs because I've written all of them myself. When you hear the final product, it's like wow... I did that. I also am very happy with my music video for my song, Wonderland. It really came together and was exactly what I had envisioned. Modeling wise, I'm proud of my shoots with American Deadstock, The Cobra Shop and Milk Makeup because they are brands I've always envisioned modeling for.
What’s your biggest regret?
I don't think I've made it yet in my life, but I think missing out on certain things sucks. It happens, though.
What would you say to other young artists looking to break into the music industry?
I would say network and find other people who want to create music, so you can create different things with different people. It's all experience, and it can open your eyes to things you never thought you'd be into.
And what are your plans for the future?
I plan to attend a liberal arts college and continue pushing my music career forward. I hope to release lots of new music and to go on tour in the near future.