In a particular scene in the documentary titled “How I’m Feeling,” Lewis Capaldi jokes with the UK record people that even if he makes a bad album, it is up to them to make it a hit. The joke was dark, hinted at his fears and was funny because it was true. Marketing is important in what reaches us and what we end up liking as an audience, and the concerned department should have remembered that when putting together this documentary.
We love Lewis Capaldi who started playing when he was 9 and went to gigs as a teenager. It would be a while before he got noticed, but once he did, there was no looking back. It’s a sweet story, one that Wikipedia summarizes in a small paragraph but that the documentary elaborates on for 30 minutes. Lewis Capaldi’s songs give you all kinds of feelings, but his life’s story itself is pretty much run-of-the-mill. But that is not his fault. It is the marketing people’s fault for not making a better documentary, or at least putting together a better edit of this documentary “How I’m Feeling Now,” that would have hooked us in as strongly as his songs do.
There isn’t much to comment on for the documentary because it reveals close to nothing. We cannot criticize Lewis’ story, at least the parts of it that he chose to reveal here, because that is simply real life, and we can’t control any part of it. Regardless, Lewis Capaldi comes off as genuine and likable, so none of our complaints are regarding him. The thing is, artists are used to putting their pain on a public platform, if not directly, then through what they make. That is why we strive to learn so much about artists, as their fans and their audience, to get a better perspective on their words and find ourselves in them. An artist creates to find validation for what he thinks and feels, and an audience consumes art for the same reason: to be able to connect with someone in a way that elevates the human experience with romance and meaning.
But of course, it is the artists’ prerogative whether they want to share something or not, and we cannot cross the boundaries they set between themselves and the world. But in that case, the marketing for Lewis Capaldi’s second album should have been different. It could have been a few interviews, a few Instagram campaigns, or maybe some Tik Tok challenges. Because this documentary was as boring as it could be, and, as we said before, it was the dramatization of his Wikipedia page. This is why we want to know how involved Lewis Capaldi was in the conceptualization of the documentary. Going by his Instagram posts, he seems to have a far better grasp on what is entertaining and engaging than whoever edited his story.
For anyone who might not have known anything about Lewis Capaldi except his songs, some revelations are funny, like the fact that “Someone You Loved” was not about his ex-girlfriend, Paige Turley, who was on Love Island, but his grandmother. We also got to know that he was called the Scottish Beyonce. Finally, when he starts living with his parents, he is no different from the rest of us, who become completely dependent on them for our survival when we are with them. No? Just us and Lewis Capaldi? Alright.
We were also made privy to some of his mental health struggles, his hypochondria, and his diagnosis of Tourette syndrome. He has had a rough few years and has come out stronger because of them. Through this, we saw a very vulnerable side of him—the only one he allowed us to see. However, we could glean a few more things, one being how he is quite the dreamer. Maybe that comes with an artist’s territory, but we never knew that they could feel envious of the realists. We suppose it makes sense. After all, it is not easy to find poetry in the mundane. Spinning tales in one’s head with the added pressure of making them palatable to the masses does come with a high level of pressure because if it does not work, it raises questions about the capability of the artist themselves. For someone who attaches value to their work, these are really high stakes. Lewis Capaldi faces something similar since his single “Someone You Loved” was a smash hit, and if he is not able to deliver similarly with his next album, he will be in danger of being sidelined as a one-hit-wonder. Nothing is more offensive than that.
But the point remains that we still don’t know enough about an artist who has given us one of our favorite songs in the past. But that is not a problem in our eyes. He is entitled to his privacy and what he chooses to put out there, and that is why it was up to the marketing team to figure out a different route to get people interested in the upcoming album. Why is it that in the entirety of the one-and-a-half hours of runtime, we saw less than five minutes spent on the second album? Additionally, enough was said about the inspiration for the first one, but why was nothing said about what is coming up in barely a month (the second album releases in May 2023)? Lewis Capaldi was very likable in the documentary, but he was really let down by a lazy idea and some less-than-enthusiastic editing. We hope his song is good enough to make up for this lukewarm marketing.