SG Lewis was always at the party. That’s how the musician, producer and performer sees the popularization of dance and house brought on in part by Beyoncé’s Renaissance or catchy TikTok tracks like DiscoLines’ “Babygirl.” “It’s funny because I hear this a lot at the moment,” SG Lewis told the Daily Californian. “It’s like being at a party, and all of the sudden there’s more people in the room, but you’ve always been at the party.”
Meaning, you’ve probably heard an SG Lewis track (or remix) before. In 2018, Lewis released two tracks with Clairo, “Better” and “Throwaway.” Heard of Dua Lipa or Tove Lo? He’s credited on Future Nostalgia’s “Hallucinate” and on Dirt Femme’s “Call on Me” and “Pineapple Slice.” He’s also released punchy remixes of The BeeGees “More than a Woman,” and more recently dropped his own record, AudioLust and HigherLove.
For the artist, there won’t ever be a time that a four-four kick drop won’t make people want to move: “Like it’s such an undeniable part of human nature to want to go and dance.” He’s not wrong.
Perhaps Lewis is merely manifesting a long and prosperous career, but there’s a slow burn behind dance music — and it’s stars — that keeps them everlasting. Lewis notes these artists often come up in their bedrooms, making beats on laptops with a vision to connect their music to others. And while an untz-untz beat in the club isn’t always the most emotional, Lewis has a knack for giving the booth soft edges.
You’ll always remember where you were when you heard a song for the first time, and Lewis recognizes how important that is in regard to his upcoming Coachella performance. Now, a California local, he feels as though he has something special to give to his home crowd — which he’s been playing for since his first appearance at the festival in 2016.
“I think that the Coachella crowd has watched me grow [and] I’ve kind of grown with them. So I think they have an understanding of exactly how much it means to me, and kind of as a result, people know that I’m excited to be there,” he gushes.
He’ll be sure to play his new record, a 15-track album split in two parts. The first is an ego-driven representation of love, and the second half explores a deeper, more actualized relationship with the feeling.
Although his favorite track on the record is constantly changing, for a while “Lifetime” reigned supreme. The single is easy to listen to (and sweet as pie), with Lewis’ vocals sounding angelic over a few chord progressions. It’s important, he says, to create music with somewhat of a deeper meaning or emotional layer, given the industry’s readiness to move on overnight.
“It’s just like a result of where we’re at in technology,” he notes of the billions of songs available to stream, highlighting the necessity of an emotional anchor in order to stand out. “I’m just really focused on making sure that that kind of deeper emotional connection exists when I’m making music.”
Certainly, a bouncy pop-track with Tove Lo isn’t meant to elicit tears (unless, it does). Lewis’ music however, serves as a time capsule — maybe it’s reminiscing on last night’s dancing, or remembering a time in life when his music resonated is just as important. You’ll always tap your feet upon listening, bop your head and hopefully, your spirit will be transported to the dance floor.
Another genre of music Lewis (among others) can’t get enough of? 70’s, American Yacht rock. Yes, that’s correct; the music of dads, those who love to barbecue. It’s as wickedly cool as it is relatable, and the artist cites the era’s stronghold on songwriting, soul and commitment blending into his own practice.
“You know, the songs are very like, heart-on-sleeve and the melodies are big and the sentiments are very grandiose,” he states. Tracks like “Missing You” relay Lewis yearning for a past lover and “Something About Your Love” swooning over a relationship. In a sense, his new record does just that: He wears his heart on his sleeve while connecting emotionally with his lyrics and sonically to the listener in his I-need-to-get-up-and-dance-right-now beats.
This weekend, he’s most excited to see fellow producer, the ever-mysterious Jai Paul perform alongside the likes of Frank Ocean and BlackPink. Coachella is at the forefront of Lewis’ mind, with his performance as a figurative stepping stone into the next stage of his career. And with his name in an even bigger font, festival-goers can expect a bigger performance.
“Coachella kind of acts as this flag in the ground moment that kind of represents a lot for the artists that play it,” he said. “So I’m definitely taking it very seriously. And the slot that I have is one that I’m really excited about.”