Dean Lewis’ Apple Music score
DEAN Lewis has become the second Australian musician to be chosen to be Apple's Up Next artist.
The prestigious global campaign gave Amy Shark an international boost, and has helped launch the careers of Billie Eilish, H.E.R and Khalid.
Lewis's Up Next film launches on March 27 and he will be promoted worldwide for a month. His song Be Alright is No. 25 on the US Billboard chart this week and the singer performed on Jimmy Kimmel's US talk show last night.
"Everyone wants to be chosen for Up Next," Lewis said. "You get on a billboard in Times Square and in Los Angeles! This helps get your name out there on a huge scale. Five years ago or less it felt like there was no way of breaking out of Australia. It's an amazing experience."
Apple flew a creative team to Sydney to film Lewis (on an iPhone XS, not a professional camera) performing songs including his global breakthrough Be Alright, as well as new single 7 Minutes and Stay Awake from his album A Place We Knew, which is released on Friday.
As part of a short documentary, Lewis also returned to grandmother's house, where he revealed had sheepishly moved to write songs, unsure whether he would ever make it in the music industry.
"People know my song but they don't know the guy who sings the song," Lewis said. "This is a way to tell my story, so it's a real honour."
Zane Lowe, music master at Apple Music's Beats 1, said he has been poised to include Lewis in the Up Next program for almost two years.
"It was never a case of if, it was always a case of when with Dean," Lowe said. "The pace of streaming now means artists can achieve really considerable things in a short amount of time. With Dean we knew right from the start that he had the songs. You saw the reaction he had with Waves and Need You Now and Lose My Mind. He was moving in that direction.
"With a songwriter of his calibre, it was just a matter of waiting for the right song. He's a great writer and a great artist, he's got a great work ethic. He's a well rounded artist who wants to put in the work and reach people."
Be Alright, which hit No. 1 in Australia (going six times platinum) and No. 11 in the UK, has slowly been climbing the US chart - where songs can take up to a year to peak.
The song's global streaming figures are astronomical, which are now crossing over to American radio charts - the song just topped the US Adult Top 40 chart.
"There is a universal appeal to a great song," Lowe said. "There's always going to be room in peoples' hearts and lives for songs like the ones he's writing. The classic and obvious example is Ed Sheeran who serves the purpose of the song every single time. Dean is like that.
MY NEW SONG ‘STAY AWAKE’ is officially out now🧡 it’s about trying to hold onto someone who is thinking of leaving... It sounds happy, but if you listen to the lyrics you’ll realise it’s not 😩 HOPE U LOVE IT 🧡🧡🧡https://t.co/QxMoIOSTm9 pic.twitter.com/pSzWuEq2Mx— Dean Lewis (@deanlewismusic) March 18, 2019
"He fits into that environment. I'm sure a Dean Lewis song isn't that far removed from an Ed Sheeran song on peoples' personalised playlists if that's the mood they're looking for. That music travels far and wide. He's definitely resonating. Dean Lewis is showing the world what it sounds like when an Australian person gets their heart broken."