Feeling a little blue? Well, here’s Louis III to cheer you up!
The Croydon-born singer-songwriter releases his highly anticipated solo single 'Sad on Sundays' which is out tomorrow. Ahead of the drop, Maisie Daniels caught up with Louis after a fun shoot in the F Word studio where they discussed his new track, ways in which to tackle the Sunday Scaries, and Louis described himself as a pizza; a question that became more philosophical than once imagined! It's definitely something to dip into... (Louis, I told you I was cheesy!)
Maisie Jane Daniels: Hey Louis, how have you been since we last met?
Louis: I’m good, I’m getting really nervous about the release [Sad on Sundays] now. I get super nervous and I start to overthink it all and am like ‘what if nobody likes it’, ‘or doesn’t listen to it…’ all my thoughts come to life.
MJD: Awh Louis! I think that’s part of human nature but I have no doubt it’s going to be amazing for you! Speaking of the release, can you tell me what it’s all about? L: It’s about feeling sad on Sundays but really it’s about that feeling that something has to come to an end and not being able to let go, and then not even being able to enjoy it whilst you’re in it. I wrote it about a year ago and it’s a feeling I get so intensely and I’m always like ‘what’s wrong with you, why can’t you just enjoy this holiday without thinking it’s going to end’ and ‘Why can’t you just enjoy the weekend?’ I hate Sunday’s… it’s not just the title of the song, I can’t stand them because it feels like it’s the death of the weekend. And when have you ever been able to enjoy going out for drinks on a Sunday…
MDJ: Yeah, the old heebie-jeebies come in!
L: Literally! So it’s about that feeling. And that’s what I thought when I first wrote it and I sat with it for about seven months and I thought ‘this feels really good, this song’ but then I was like ‘so what does that mean as a song’. So I’ve had to be a bit more honest with myself and have to be like, as interesting as that idea is, why did I write that? And I realised it’s also about how I feel about relationships. At the end of a relationship, that feeling when you know it’s coming to an end and you’re with each other, and you’re still able to do all those things together but you both know you are going to move on from it. And there’s a real melancholy around that, and that’s what I found in the last month of my relationship. So I added that into the song, as that was at the heart of what I was talking about.
MJD: I think it’s going to be interesting to learn how others interpret it and how the notion of being "sad on Sundays" can trickle down into other elements of life. I know I have anxieties at the end of a day where I worry I haven’t done enough with my precious time of earth… bit of an overshare but there you go!
L: It’s exactly that! It’s the pressure of an ending, which means that you can’t enjoy the middle bit because all you think about is the ending but I think that’s such a normal thing but it’s so destructive. I’m getting it now as well as I start to think ‘you’re going to be thirty one day soon and what have you done? How have you used it?’ And that’s no different to going on a week's holiday and being like ‘it’s going to end in three days’… just enjoy yourself, Louis, stop overthinking!
MJD: I do think there’s such a comfort in knowing you’re not going through these emotions alone and I think that’s what this song will provide.
L: That’s why in the chorus it asks that - “is this the same for you?” As surely I’m not the only one and I guess that’s what I do music for, to get that feeling of “oh, me too!” And the best songs I enjoy writing, and listening too, are the songs where you have these little details that are so universal and make someone go “me, too!”
MJD: Yes! So let’s take that further to chat about social media - I’m in the presence of a TikTok star!
You have a wide spread following and I loved the renditions you do, for example “SoSick” which is about living our lives on the internet. I thought A) It’s funny and B) it’s relatable. Do you think it’s that that sparks your ever-growing following?
L: To be honest, I think that’s what the internet has come down to. What TikTok is about is relatability… not just as in ‘oh they could be my best friend’ but taking an idea and making it into a new situation where people can think “oh that’s so clever…” The stuff that does well on TikTok is the stuff that has that self-deprecation.
MJD: I like that you use your social media platforms to share some of your views, in particular your rendition of Lily Allen’s 'Fuck You' (go check it out, folks!) about Liz Truss was *chefs kiss* great. Do you think it’s important if you have a following to put your views out there?
L: Yes I do, and sometimes I’m like ‘why have you done that’ [laughs] and I go to myself ‘well it’s because it means that you can talk about issues that you care about and you have an audience for that’. There are some people that care so passionately about causes and social justice but they don’t have a platform and it’s also really hard to make people listen, so if you’re able to be creative but also talk about things that you really deeply care about then that’s great. I am obsessed with politics but you won’t want to talk to me at a party about it [laughs] because I’ll just bore your brains out but on social media you can make it interesting and you can be cutting, and you can put a spotlight on issues but I think you’ve got a responsibility to do that, if it’s what you care about.
MJD: Social media is obviously a great tool for reasons we’ve just discussed but do you feel the pressure of it as well?
L: Yeah. And you know what, someone asked me this the other day and I was with my sister - she also works in the music industry and knows me so well - so she calls through my bullshit. I said ‘you know what, I think I’m okay!’ and she said that that’s a complete lie because I know you feel the pressure of having to “feed the beast” and that’s really the pressure I feel.
You feel like the world moves on without you if you’re constantly not grabbing people's attention, spewing to them, and keeping a presence there. You have to constantly feed it and there’s a low-key pressure on that because it’s the idea that you’re missing out. Or if you take two weeks out because you’re not feeling happy and your followers are going down, or something happened in your social life so you actually can’t post. And the world moves on without you, the algorithm won’t treat you in the same way… and it sounds stupid but there’s that low grade pressure that comes with social media. As well as the pressure of being judged but for me it’s ‘how did your last post do?’ ‘When’s your next post?’
MJD: It’s something you don’t want to think is a thing but it’s becoming more and more in-built. How do you learn to detach from the screen?
L: Two hours in the morning is my favourite time of the day (and this is going to sound so boring) but I wake up early, I go to the gym, I’m not on my phone and then I’ll meditate in my room, or in a park for ten minutes and that sets me up right! And if I don’t do that, then I’m in a spiral for the day. And, the weird thing is, if I don’t do that then I’m on my phone more.
MJD: It’s important to find focus and enjoyment in other things
L: I don’t watch too much TV, only like a series that I really wanna watch but I do just scroll from Instagram and TikTok sometimes… [laughs]… it always gets me when I’m hungover! That’s when I’m weak to it and I’m like ‘put it in my veins!’ I’m stronger in the week.
MJD: Your last show was at the Pizza Express Jazz Club show in Soho. I was sad to miss it - how was it?
L: I was so excited at the venue! And I also heard about the venue before because it was always like the ‘gay’ Pizza Express [laughs] because the one on Dean Street always had the pride flag. And this was the Jazz club where Amy Winehouse and lots of other famous people had performed and it was good! It was the first time that I really did an acoustic set where it was just me and a pianist and it made me fall in love with some of my songs again, and it made me re-do some of the lyrics. Two songs, which were written about my ex-girlfriend at the time (so they have female pronouns in them) so the track that I sing along live to has a bit of backing vocals for the chorus and I can’t change the lyrics to it… so it has the pronouns she/her but at the moment I’m dating a guy and I was practicing the song and I was like ‘you know what, to emotionally connect to the song at the moment I want to change the pronouns to he/him’. So I was able to do that and it was nice to go back into the song and do it that way.
MJD: It’s nice your music can evolve with you. Speaking of pizza… if you were a pizza what kind of pizza would you be and why?
MJD: So this is you as a pizza, not what you like…
L: I’m definitely a tomato base, I’m not a BBQ base… I don’t feel like a BBQ base. I feel a bit garlicky because I’m very very pungent… like, I really smell.
L: No! I feel like it’s one of those questions that’s a trick one [laughs] let me break it down. Am I traditional? No. So I’m not a margarita but I’m also not a spicy Diablo or anything. I like to have fun with things, and I do like to flip things on their head… so maybe I’m a Calzone!
MJD: Oh my gosh- fantastic! You have given so much to this answer [laughs] and I love it!
L: [Laughs] Calzone because I’d wanna flip it round! What are you?!
MJD: Oh I dunno [laughs]. I think I’d be a soft crust because I’m a big softy… I’d definitely be cheesy - packed full of cheese!
L: [Laughs] you know what? I think it’s important to think about what dip you’d have because that tells a lot about a person. Coz I now think that people who eat pizza by themselves are psychopaths. Imagine sitting down and having a whole pizza without any dip…
MJD: Ah yeah, you’ve got to have a dip, or at least some garlic oil. I’m a mayo girl.
L: I’m a garlic butter person. But also yeah, I’m gonna bait myself out here but one of my favourite meals is pasta, ketchup and butter… I think it’s a regression thing where I used to have it when I was quite young so it makes me feel like home.
MJD: I’ll be sure to try that…
L: That’s such bullshit
L: I want better for you than that.
MJD: What made you want to get into music?
L: I’ve always sang in some form but I went from being quite sensible when I was younger to then just not giving a fuck [laughs]. I think I grew up backwards a bit and only started to let go really at university and I thought even though I love acting and performing, I can’t be a singer. And at school I was like ‘I’m going to work really hard and be a lawyer and earn money’ but then I know people that are lawyers and they hate it. I studied quite a serious subject - I studied Latin and Ancient Greek at Cambridge, and thought I’d go into law after that but then I started singing at the college May Balls, and I wrote a song and put it on SoundCloud, and out of nowhere I had all these labels and managers contact me and I completely faked it! I pretended I could make music and slowly I wasn’t really faking it anymore and that became what I was doing, alongside fashion stuff and modelling.
MJD: Fake it until you make it! What’s next after the track comes out?
L: I have a few more collaborations coming up. I love doing dance music and all the kind of writing I do for other artists is dance music, so I have a track coming out in October with ManyFew and Joe Stone and then what I’m really looking forward to is dropping single no.2 on the EP in a couple of months - Sad on Sundays is the first track on my first real body of work!
MJD: ‘Happy on Mondays’?
L: [Laughs]… yes that’s the other side of it. A movie will come out shortly afterwards…
MJD Let’s talk about the shoot with us! We had such a fun day painting you blue and all-sorts and I love how involved you got with it creatively… L: I do know there’s some artists where when it comes to their video treatments they’re like ‘show me ideas and I’ll choose’ but for me I want to get involved in absolutely everything. I enjoy it all so much, I enjoy the fashion side, the creative side, coming up with treatments. And when I’m writing a song, I can see it, it’s such main character energy but I see the VMA performance… because you have to! You have to create the world, even though it’s just a small, tiny idea and a good song to me is one that already has an aesthetic to it, the feeling is also visual. And also I used to be so 'I’m trying to be something’ and now I’m like ‘fuck it, why can’t I be cringe and funny on TikTok and do this wild idea for a shoot’. I like having fun!
MJD: It was so much fun so thank you for letting us be a part of that with you. Let’s do a quick fire Sunday-related round:
Go-to roast dinner?
L: Chicken. And nut roast is a crime against vegetarians.
Thick or thing gravy?
Oh, really.. I feel different about you now [laughs]
L: Thin but tasty! The thick one is just a thickening agent…
Fav Sunday boozer?
L:The Royal Oak! Good roast, good vibe
Fav place to go on a Sunday?
L: In truth, my bed! But if I’m designing it, it would be the gym, Columbia Road Flower Market, a walk, pub… yeah the dream!
MJD: How do you fight the Sunday scaries?
L: Therapy. It’s so unaffordable though, it’s a travesty. And the waiting lists are long on the NHS.
MJD: Yeah, the waits are over half a year on the NHS L: It’s good for people to know that it is an actual option and being aware that it can take months and also there are lots of training therapists that are a lot cheaper - my mum is a psychotherapist and there are lots of organisations that give supportive therapy that can hook you up with training therapists for a quarter of the price! So therapy, having someone you can call and talk absolute shite with, and the people who you find you do still enjoy yourself with, even if you’re feeling down, they’re the ones that I find to expose yourself to the most.
MJD: What’s your favourite F - word?
L: Fruity! It can describe everything. What’s yours?
MJD: Oooh you know what no one has ever asked me! I have to say ‘flump’ - I like that it sounds nice and cushiony…