The untold truth of Lewis Capaldi

Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi is his own favorite one hit wonder, or at least that’s what he tweeted in September 2019 when his single “Someone You Love” graced the top of the UK Singles chart for a whopping seven months, according to Billboard. That statement was completely selling himself short, though. The star’s debut Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent landed the 20-something singer a Grammy nomination, a feeling which he likened to “eating a whole chicken parm” and watching Game of Thrones, and the album eventually racked up more than 1.3 billion streams, according to Rolling Stone. “Someone You Love” became a genuine stateside crossover, scoring the artist a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100. At the time of this writing, his debut has spent 66 weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 20 in December 2019.

Capaldi’s success seemingly came fast and out of nowhere, in part because of the artist’s heart-wrenching love songs and infectiously hilarious attitude. Even with his newfound fame, Capaldi isn’t afraid to show the more unflattering sides of himself. In fact, he revels in it, proudly plastering an awkward post-shower selfie on a Billboard in the London Underground and declaring himself “The Scottish Beyonce.” So, who is Capaldi, the wholesome type of celeb who’s more likely to make headlines for his bromance with Niall Horan than rock star behavior?

Lewis Capaldi discovered his creative vision in grade school

Unlike most artists who take years to realize their vision, Capaldi knew who he was right off the bat. According to Rolling Stone, the singer-songwriter began booking gigs in pubs around Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland when he was only 11 years old. His strategy was well-thought for a kid. The star would perform cover sets, sneaking in a few originals in hopes that the audience wouldn’t mind. He never desired to have a full band or an elaborate show, the kind of thing artists dream about when they finally have major label funding. Really, Capaldi was just being himself.

“I’ve always been drawn to someone standing with a guitar, singing a song they wrote,” he told Rolling Stone. “My first gig was me sitting with a guitar, and now you can see me standing with a guitar at an arena. Maybe all that’s showing is I haven’t evolved since I was 11.”

Per a profile in The Guardian, Capaldi’s talent didn’t go unnoticed for long. His future manager, Ryan Walter, discovered his SoundCloud account and reached out, which prompted Capaldi’s “immediate reaction” of “f**k off.” We told you he was a charmer! Things snowballed from there, and though Capaldi was unsigned, his single “Bruises” racked up an unprecedented, near-28 million Spotify plays. Shortly after the streaming success, he signed two major label deals — one in the U.K. with Virgin EMI and one in the U.S. with Capitol Records — shortly after.

Niall Horan gave Lewis Capaldi's career an invaluable boost

We all get by with a little help from our friends, and Capaldi owes some of his fame to his A-list pals. The singer-songwriter was relatively unknown when One Direction alum Niall Horan tapped Capaldi as a supporting act for his 2017 album, Flicker, on the two Glasgow dates of his Flicker World Tour. This is where the pair’s bromance was seemingly cemented.

According to Express, Horan’s cousin turned him on to Capaldi’s music, and it was pretty much friendship at first sight. And there’s nothing quite like christening a brand new bromance with some pints, right? In a friendship test the pair took for Glamour, Horan admitted, “First time I met him, I just thought he was a lunatic. It was Saint Patrick’s Day. We’d a few beers … And we got very drunk, and then we both played a show the next day, which was fun.”

Capaldi claimed his music was “doing f**k all” when Horan reached out to him. Now the pair are the kind of friends that kiss on camera. According to Express, Capaldi was meant to support the One Directioner on his U.S. and Canadian tour in May and April, though of course, the dates were postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 Grammy Awards served Lewis Capaldi some humble pie

There was a lot of drama surrounding the Grammy Awards in 2020. Mainly, this revolved around the fact that the Recording Academy put its first female president and CEO, Deborah Dugan, on administrative leave following misconduct allegations hurled at her by a senior female member. It was slightly less eventful for Lewis Capaldi. In fact, it served as a major ego check because it was clear his superstar status hadn’t quite caught up to him when he attended the televised ceremony.

Capaldi was nominated for Song of the Year, yet there was still a mix-up over his identity with some of the event’s support staff. This came even after he tore up the red carpet only to lose to Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.” “A lady at the Grammys has just come up and offered to take my seat because she thought I was one of the people who sits in the chairs to fill them when someone gets up to use the bathroom,” he tweeted during the telecast.

Clearly, the “lady” wasn’t aware of Capaldi’s No. 1 single. She also wasn’t aware that he’s the kind of guy who basically wrote the textbook on a well-placed self-own, as evidenced by the calculated inclusion in his tweet of six laugh-cry emojis. 

Lewis Capaldi is living with his parents

While most celebs are quarantining in their mansions or getting criticized for renting mansions — *cough* Rita Ora *cough* — elsewhere, Lewis Capaldi relocated to his childhood home like a kid on break from University, and it’s not going well. Per an interview in Billboard, Capaldi doesn’t have a lot going on right now, much like the rest of the live entertainment industry, which remains more or less shut down. His parents, however, are essential workers, and they’ve been heading out to work each day, picking up Capaldi’s slack.

“They both spend long days at work and come home to their 23-year-old son, who’s essentially unemployed at this point, to see him in his underwear, cheesy Doritos all over his stomach,” he said, adding, “It’s not a pretty sight to come home to after a long day of working hard.”

According to Rolling Stone, Capaldi has been doing what most unemployed 20-somethings are doing — having Zoom calls (or, rather, “virtual songwriting sessions”), walking around his house, listening to Green Day, and annoying his mom and dad. “I’m ready to literally fight my parents,” Capaldi told the magazine, adding, “It’s gonna come to a showdown between us before the end of this, and I’m quite glad for it.”

Capaldi can at least look forward to working one night (even that means he’s just watching TV). The star was nominated for best new artist at the MTV VMAs, which airs at the end of August 2020.

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