Al Lewis first came to prominence when he took part in the Song for Wales competition. Since then he has released two critically acclaimed albums and has established himself as a formidable live performer.
Your biog says you as a 'relative latecomer' to music. What were you doing before you became active in music and what was it that made you get involved?
You took part in the 'Song for Wales' competition and your song "Llosgi" came 2nd. How did you approach writing that song and what was the experience like of taking part in the competition.
You first album was in Welsh, 2nd in English. What determines the language you choose to sing for a particular track? What differences do you experience when you sing in English and Welsh?
The Welsh stuff tends to have more of a Band feel - as it's easier to get gigs and radio play in the Welsh scene if something had a beat behind it and potentially people can dance to it - or have drinks and socialize :)
Who are your musical influences and how do they impact on your song writing?
They fluctuate - but the main-stayers are Bob Dylan and the Beatles. I also love James Taylor, Neil Young, John Mayer, Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, John Martyn..........
Your latest album "In the Wake" has received positive reviews. Tell us about the making of the album and in what way it differed from the recording of 'Sawl Fford Allan'.
As budgets these days rarely allow for me to go in to a studio in one big block - this album 'In the Wake' is comprised of the best of several different sessions spanning over the last 2 years. As I mainly write the English stuff by myself or with Sarah I think there's a different feel to 'Sawl Ffordd Allan', in some ways it's a lot less 'mainstream pop' and more 'singer/songwriter'.
One of the highlights of the new album is "Tangent". What is the background to that song and what does it mean to you?
It's one of the most personable songs on the album - I think its best described as a song about what we say in Welsh as 'Hiraeth' - longing...
You have been working with Sarah Howells from Paper Aeroplanes this year. How did that come about and what it was like recording with her.
We met in 2008 as we had been using the same drummer for quite some time and he invited us both down to a gig he was doing with another band down in London.
I think we clicked as we were both singer/songwriters from Wales who'd moved to London for our music and who liked the same kind of people and things.
Are there any artists that you would like to work with apart from Sarah?
You spend your time between London and Cardiff. How do they differ and what are the best and worst aspects of each?
London - The franticness and the feeling that something's always going on - is both a positive and negative. Sometimes I wish I could escape the buzz/ hub hub for a little rest-bite
What are your plans for 2011?
Sawl Fford Allan (2009)
In the Wake (2010)
Misty's Big Adventure
Jam with RoBina
The Rumble Strips interview
Battle of Land and Sea