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Lewis Capaldi says that his latest album, Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent, is “a record that I love,” but his feelings of being an imposter and his Tourette syndrome may eventually make continuing in music impossible.
The “Before You Go” artist opened up about the challenges and pressures around producing his second album — impacted by the pandemic — as well as his upcoming Netflix documentary, How I’m Feeling Now for The Sunday Times.
Speaking to his current experiences Capaldi revealed he’s had a rough few days with vertigo, which got so bad he had to call NHS 24, Scotland’s national telehealth and telecare system. “I needed to hear that something is not terribly wrong with me,” he said of the decision. “My Tourette’s I can deal with because I know that it’s not life-threatening. The vertigo I think is because I’ve had bronchitis, and I’m coming off the anti-anxiety medicine Sertraline. I also have an ear infection. It’s an amalgamation of lots of exciting ailments.”
Later in the intervew, Capaldi addresses how his mental health, which includes things like the aforementioned anxiety and his increasingly present imposter syndrome, is affecting his ability to make music. That includes work on his latest album, “a record that I love” whose songs he “can’t wait to play” live.
“It’s only making music that does this to me,” he says. “Otherwise I can be fine for months at a time. So it’s a weird situation. Right now, the trade-off is worth it. But if it gets to a point where I’m doing irreparable damage to myself, I’ll quit. I hate hyperbole but it is a very real possibility that I will have to pack music in.”
He added that when it comes to getting onstage, his Tourette’s is also presenting challenges, and in ways, stealing the joy from the thing he loves most about making music. “My tic is getting quite bad onstage now,” he says. “I’m trying to get on top of that. If I can’t, I’m fucked,” he said. “It’s easier when I play guitar, but I hate playing guitar.”
Capaldi later elaborates that, unlike other famous entertainers, for him the fame element of his profession isn’t actually what is impacting his mental health. Instead, it’s the expectations around his work.
“Being famous is easy. You’re out and about and people say hello. What’s hard about that?” he told the outlet, laughing. “The pressure of the job is the problem. The mammoth tours of enormous venues. The expectations upon me. That’s surely anxiety-inducing for anybody, never mind a huge hypochondriac like myself.”
On a separate note, Capaldi shared a few anecdotes about recent fellow celebrities he’d FaceTimed with during St. Patrick’s Day festivities. That includes Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who sent a sweet, if delayed, response.
“It was when I got home that I made an idiot of myself. I FaceTimed Chris Martin, I think, to ask if he wanted to come to an afterparty,” Capaldi recalled. “Thank God he didn’t reply. I don’t even know him. I met him once and he was sweet enough to put his number in my phone. He put it in as Chris Martin (Coldplay), as if I might forget who he is.”
But Martin did respond, and offered Capaldi his ear if it was something “urgent.”
“I woke up the next day and he’d sent me a long, lovely note back, saying he was in Brazil and asking if I was OK. ‘If it’s urgent, phone me, much love,’ he wrote,” the singer said. “Naturally, I spent the whole day riddled with anxiety.”
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