Rural Huddersfield has found itself at the epicentre of a city metropolis, thanks to two-piece act LewRey.
Bringing urban, electronic sounds to even the most remote parts of the Holme Valley, the pioneering duo has proven that one does not have to be within spitting distance of all nightclubs to feel part of a scene that far transcends country fairs and farmers’ knees ups.
Formed just under one year ago, Lewis Reynolds and Ian Walker have found few barriers to taking their music from the countryside to all edges of the UK.
It is the latest project for Lewis, 20 and Ian, 19, whose friendship has been strengthened by making music together since before their teens.
Creating electronic compositions through fusing experiments with vintage drum machines, analogue synthesizers and classical instruments, they push the boundaries of their own diverse musical backgrounds.
Ian, who provides drums, electronic beats and does the sound engineering for the pair, quit university after realising their potential at a jam session in Holmfirth just before Christmas.
“I could hear the potential in his (Lewis’s) sound and after practising together in this new style I decided it was worth putting university on hold to see if we could make it work.”
In several months they have already become a well-known sight on both Huddersfield and northern stages, where they have supported acts such as DJ Fresh and Huw Stephens and have started to make a name for themselves in London and Edinburgh.
It is due to Lewis’s soulful, powerful singing, which at times evokes post-dubstep icon James Blake along with Ian’s infectious drumming and electronic beats.
But keen not to be pigeon-holed, they have no fear of exploring the gamut of musical genres, which allows their songs to drift seamlessly from down-tempo ambient electronic beats to hip-hop, jazz and catchy, pop-like choruses.
“Coming from different backgrounds has been a fantastic asset because we use our own knowledge to fuse new ideas together. It’s been quite a journey so far,” said Ian.
“We’ve gone from practising in our living room to headlining shows – it’s quite surreal but it’s given us the confidence that we’re going in the right direction.”
At the same time, they have proven that musicians do not have to rely on big backers or management to make their
“All the funding for what we do is coming from own pockets,” Ian added.
“It’s been a commitment but shows it’s achievable to get on the ladder without a manager or being signed.
“We just put in time and effort and think that due to that we’ll be able to keep pushing ourselves until the opportunity to get signed comes along.”
The biggest boost to their act came a few weeks ago, when they travelled to London to record videos ahead of their debut EP release, called What’s Up.
“We had a great time and the team recording us described us as the next Script – that was massive to hear.
“For this release we’ve gone for a more poppy feel, with r’n’b overtones and stripped back drums and we hope to release the first video from it, Halfway House, in early 2015.
“James and Coldplay have been big influences for us in it.”
There is no stopping the duo now, who have revealed that they are ready for their first album.
“We want to wait until we have the right level of awareness to release it – we’ve already got some festival spots booked for 2015, including at London’s Food and Drink Festival – we hope that next year will just follow on from the success of this one.”
But they say that it is those closest to them who have helped them get to where they are today.
“We wouldn’t be here now without the support of our parents who have put up with our noise and our music teachers at Shelley College who organised Shelley showcase, which meant that we got to play in front of two to three thousand people while we were studying there – it gives you the sort of confidence that’s just hard to find at a young age elsewhere.
LewRey will launch What’s Up at the Holmfirth Picturedrome on December 11.
- To find out more and hear their music, go to www.facebook.com/lewreymusic or soundcloud.com/lew_rey