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Shot by Jesse Tachibana


When Lewis isn’t jamming out on keys with electronic pop six-piece Mel Blue (who Triple J’s Declan Byrne described as “future stars of the Aus music scene”), he’s crafting music videos for local artists like Lola Scott, Thunder Fox and Bronte Public House. You’ll notice Mel Blue’s own music videos (Yesterday, Wake Up Call, Endlessly) have immaculate retro-nostalgic vibes and a stunning production quality — that’s the Lewis Clark trademark.

Jess Lord chats with Lewis about the art of music videos, musicians who look like models, getting started in Sydney’s creative scene (by sliding into many DMs), and the rising local legend that is Chippo’s Goodspace.

Clockwise from top left: Lewis shot by James Healthwood; Lewis shot by Conor Rancan; Lewis shot by Conor Rancan; Lewis with brother Spencer shot by Miles Fisher; Lewis shot by Connor Sprague; Mel Blue shot by Jack Evstigneev

Interview with Jess Lord

You’re involved in both music and filmmaking. What has been the highlight of your creative career so far?

I’ve definitely loved being a part of Mel Blue, especially over the last year or so, which has incorporated both sides of that coin [music and filmmaking]. Being able to play the live shows and do an interstate tour with the band, as well as making music videos with them to support that stuff has been cool. To answer your question, maybe the highlight has been the music video that we made for Wake Up Call, where we brought all our friends in — there’s a few familiar faces from around Sydney in there — and just had some fun.

How easy did you find it to break into Sydney’s creative scene?

I was nervous, for sure. I was nervous about being young. Coming out of high school, where you’re sitting on top of the world, and then starting back at the lowest rung on the ladder was definitely scary. But you just take a deep breath and put yourself out there. In terms of how I was received or how people helped, I think the Sydney scene was really accommodating. People I reached out to for guidance were really generous with their time; I think because as creatives, we all love talking about ourselves. For example, I was obsessed with this DP Jack Shepherd, who does
all of Lime Cordiale’s music videos. I sent him this nervous email, and was like, “Hey man... I think you’re really cool”, and he was like, “Oh, dude, what the hell? How did you find me? I’m not cool, what the fuck?”, and I was like, “Can we have a coffee?”. Next thing you know he’s like, “Oh, actually, why don’t you jump on the next Lime Cordiale music video as a second AC”. So there you go. And I did. And it was cool. It was such a cool experience.


That’s so cool! So, where do you get your ideas for music videos?

Usually when I hear a song, I imagine what scene in a film it would be under. Like, is this a tender moment? Is this a coming of age moment? Is this the start of a hero’s journey? That’s my first thought and is the most immediate, subconscious thing. With Endlessly I was like, someone’s just got to go nuts to this — that Trainspotting vibe, a bit edgy, a shaved head. And there was never any doubt that Spencer [Lewis’ brother] was playing that part. I was like, “You want to shave your head in a music video?” And he was like, “When do we start?”

How do you think music videos can contribute to music?

I love that you asked that. I think they immensely contribute to music. Like, I was a massive nerd growing up. If I liked a song, pretty much the first thing I would do is search up the name of the song and see what music videos were out there. It totally shapes the way you see or the relationship you have with the song. I mean, every song obviously has a story. I think music videos are a new development on that story. It does that not only for the song but also for the band in that it can give a bit of personality to a band that you might not otherwise see. And if someone does a good music video, like if someone puts a bit of effort in, it’s awesome, and it will stick with you.

In music videos, musicians often double as models and actors. Do you think that there’s pressure for a successful musician to be beautiful and capturing as well as just making good music?

Ah, wow. Beautiful? I’d maybe not say beautiful, but confident. I think there’s definitely a persona. We kind of assume that every musician is kill- ing it and at the top of their game; at least that’s how they outwardly show it. In music videos, I mean, naturally there’s a performative element of that, but I wouldn’t necessarily say beautiful, no. And anyway, I think physically, “beautiful” can mean so many different things.

What do you think are some of Sydney’s hidden cultural gems?

Definitely one I would say is Goodspace in Chippo, which is above the Lord Gladstone Hotel. It’s run by an ex-UNSW art and design student, Chris, who approached the pub and basically said, “Look, if you’re willing, let me use the space (which was otherwise empty) as an artist-run initiative for galleries and live shows”. Mel Blue has played there. It’s a versatile, multi-platform kind of space for creatives to approach Chris and say, “Hey, can we do this?”. And it’s all free. Artists don’t have to pay to exhibit art there and they don’t take a commission. So artists can keep 100% of their profits. It’s a really good grassroots kind of opportunity, which is cool.

What are your top 5 music videos?

1. MOONSTONE / Golden Vessel
2. Blue Song / Mint Royale
3. Maybe You’re The Reason / The Japanese House 4. Houdini / Foster The People
5. No Surprises / Radiohead

Who do you think is the most exciting young and emerging creative in Sydney right now?

Charlie Waldren (Poolroom.)

Musician / Producer


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