When Gamal Lewis was in the tenth grade, hip-hop producer Salaam Remi gave him the nickname that has stuck with him to this day. Then an aspiring rapper, Lewis worked under Remi for a few years.
The Miami native comes by his love for soul and hip-hop authentically. Lunch was raised in a musical family of Jamaican descent and grew up listening to reggae and Motown, as well as to James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Prince, and The O’Jays. His father Roger and his uncle Ian were founding members of the legendary reggae band Inner Circle, so we guess you could say that music runs deep in his veins.
In fact, Lunch caught the bug for performing himself at age 13 when he and his friend wrote a song that became a neighborhood hit. It was called “Living in America” and it was released around the time of 9/11. Now, after releasing his debut single, “Bills”, he’s looking forward to launching his career as an artiste.
Find out what he has got planned in our exclusive interview with him:
Hey Gamal, good to be speaking to you. Where are you right now and what are you currently up to?
Hey! Good to be speaking to you. Well right now, I’m actually in my studio right now finishing up my EP. It’s coming out in a few weeks.
I watched the video for your debut single, “Bills”, and I thought it was hilarious! Care to tell us what inspired the song and the music video?
“Bills” was kinda like..I had moved from Miami to Los Angeles. And you know, I’ve got my apartment but I had to come out here and I left everything that I loved back home. I had to kinda think for myself and I had all these things piling up on me so when I wrote the song, that was kinda the first thing that came to my head when I heard the producer play me the beat. Like, I got “Bills”, and it worked because the song came together really cool. The music video was, I like the acting I did in the video where I played different characters in it and there was a lot of animation, we just put it together and that came out really cool too. It was fun to make!
You’re a songwriter and a producer as well. What made you go into releasing music as an artiste?
It was kinda organic how it happened – I was actually in another session working on a song for another artiste before I did “Bills”. I was always working on artistes’ stuff and it just kinda came back full circle. “Bills” was kinda like that thing where I did the song and everybody was like, “You should release the song!” So that’s exactly what I did.
Usually, that process is reversed – people are an artiste first then songwriter/producer second. Has it been challenging for you so far?
The funny thing is..not really because this time around , you know, with me and Ricky Reed, and my whole crew, I get to write about the things what I want to write about, I get to do the kind of music that I want to do. And it’s easier for me because I’m a songwriter/producer first then artiste second so it has been really cool!
Most of your songs have been very “feel good” so far. Would you want to eventually venture into working on something that’s of a different genre?
Yeah definitely! When it comes to me and music, I’m listening to so much stuff that I can’t wait for the EP to get to everyone because people are gonna see that I’m just into a lot of different things like hip hop, jazz, and stuff. It’s going to be really fun and I can’t wait.
Do you have a personal checklist of producers and artistes that you’d like to someday work with?
There’s a lot of people! I just love anyone collaborative and there are so many people in the game right now hat I admire, who I really think are really dope. I love what Ed Sheeran is doing and I love what Kanye West is doing, and so many more. You know, they just gotta make good music and I’m down to do anything, really.
What is the greatest misconception about the music industry? Is there anything that you wish people knew about how it works?
Yes. I don’t think people really understand the work that goes into a lot of the songs – it’s just a lot of the touring and the amount of work that goes into the music. When people see somebody on TV they think it’s all about being glamorous and being in the limelight. But you know, for artistes like Rihanna and Bruno, they put a lot of time into their music, be it writing or performing. It’s a lot of hard work and people don’t realise that.
And what do you currently have planned for the rest of 2015? Any interesting projects that you can talk about?
Well, I’m finishing my EP now and it’ll be out in a few weeks. I can’t get the music out to everybody so that they can have some fun with it and make some memories with it in the summertime and all. And then I hope to get an album out by the year-end!
Last but not least, leave a message for all your fans in Malaysia!
Thank you guys for all your support and I can’t wait to come out and have some fun and to get to know everybody!
Special thanks to our friends from Sony Music Malaysia for making this interview happen ;)
We’ll leave you now with the music video from Lunchmoney Lewis’ latest single, “Bills”.