SINGER Lewis Capaldi says the stress of coming up with a second hit album has made his Tourette’s symptoms worse — and could force him to quit.
Now the 26-year-old Brit Award winner is scared fans may mistake his intensifying on-stage tics for drug abuse.
Rory DewarSinger Lewis Capaldi reveals his Tourette’s syndrome could force him to quit the music industry[/caption]
instagramThe star, 26, is also scared fans may mistake his tics for drug abuse[/caption]
And the star has warned “it is a very real possibility” he will have to give up music if it continues to make his condition deteriorate.
Showing visible Tourette’s symptoms while speaking at his favourite Glasgow pub, Lewis told The Sun: “You can probably see it now — I’m twitching a lot ahead of this record. It’s weird because I wasn’t doing it as much on the first album, but I wasn’t as stressed.
“There’s a lot more going on in my life now.
“The biggest thing undoubtedly is second record pressure. It’s triggered by stress, anxiety, and excitement. Basically, any strong emotion, you’re f***ed.
“As long as I numb myself to the world . . . Funnily, when I’m hammered, it doesn’t happen at all. But I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t got the better of me recently. It has.
“There are times it has been really bad and I’ve wondered whether I can continue to do this with the stress, anxiety and Tourette’s. It all comes as a direct result of doing this job.
“Before, in my life, I was OK — it was never a thing. If I was a fishmonger, I’d have been fine.
“I’m not in control of it at all. There have been times in recent weeks on stage where it’s been really bad, but I have to just get on with it — as lots of people do with other things.”
Lewis went on: “The truth is, I’m not banging loads of gear down. This isn’t drugs, and I’ve had that accusation on nights out. People have asked me directly, ‘Are you on drugs, is it cocaine?’ and I saw a few tweets knocking around after shows with people saying ‘He’s on drugs’ — and that wasn’t the case.
“If you think I’m going to take drugs and then come out on stage in front of 15,000 and then try to do a show — I mean, obviously, I wait until afterwards. That’s a joke.”
The self-deprecating Scot appreciates he does not have a “real job” and enjoys “a lot of privilege and luxury” despite the challenges fame brings.
But he added: “If it got to a point where my quality of life was drastically diminished, I’d just have to quit.
“I just have to take it as it comes for the next couple of years, and hopefully it settles a bit.
“But I feel a huge amount of pressure over this record — and I’m a bit obsessed over stats at the moment, watching how everything is going and questioning things.
On telling the world of his condition last year, the star said: “I’m quite a self-centred person. I never thought about other people when I raised this, I was just trying to take it off my own shoulders.
“But actually it has been nice to see a response from other people who have it. I got an email from a woman whose son is seven. He’s really stressing out.
“I had small things when I was younger. I’d close my eyes a lot, make wee noises, clench my fists. But it was that tour in 2020 when I started to notice it and struggle.”
Relaxing at Tennant’s Bar, in the city’s West End, Lewis is clearly a well-loved local hero.
Drinkers offer a quiet nod and the friendly landlord acknowledges his star customer with cheery familiarity.
Lewis has never strayed far from his roots, despite global stardom.
PALewis reveals: ‘The truth is, I’m not banging loads of gear down. This isn’t drugs, and I’ve had that accusation on nights out’[/caption]
The stress over his second album made Lewis’ symptoms flare up
He still lives in a flat nearby, despite buying a much larger “celebrity mansion” a couple of years back outside the city.
But this week, the intimate details of his life will be laid bare when his Netflix documentary, How I’m Feeling Now, hits screens.
It features home-shot footage of life with his parents and in the studio producing his new record.
There is a funny scene which sees him tell off his dad for “constantly dropping my name to get your own way”.
And a hilarious email exchange sees Sir Elton John threaten to visit him at home if he does not overcome his self-doubts.
But there are also moving admissions about his battles with the tougher side of fame, and the pressure of replicating the success of his first album — Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.
Lewis said: “It is odd. I feel very grown up watching it back.
“I still think I can be a juvenile idiot, but I’m attempting to line things up — and probably failing quite miserably at it.
“It’s quite a depressing documentary if we boil it down! I watched it back and I was waiting for a scene at the end where I died. The first draft was even worse, it felt almost posthumous. But they managed to find a story which I didn’t see myself.
“Initially, when I was first approached, I thought it was going to be something very different. I thought it would be funny.
“I had no want to do a documentary about myself, really, but they came to me and, at the time, I was supposed to be going off on a big sort of victory lap tour of shows and festivals in 2020.
“I thought it was a hero documentary — but what it actually became was, ‘F***, I’m really back to square one here for the second record’ and in a place where I was mentally tired. Initially, I didn’t want my family in the documentary either, but in the end they’re actually the best bits of it. I’m glad they were in it.
“The stuff we say about each other, and to each other, which we perhaps never would have done.
“What is funny though is when I listen to myself talking in this documentary, I’ve suddenly developed this tone. I’m all calm and considered — it’s a documentary voice! I don’t know where it’s come from.
“It’s been a cathartic experience, but that can be a painful experience too. But I could do without a camera following me everywhere.”
He adds: “Fame in general is quite embarrassing. I had to come in here, in this pub, once with the cameras and I was so mortified. If I was watching on I’d have just been like, ‘What a knob head — he’s changed’.
“I was at the Brits recently. I got out of the car and a load of kids are hanging out with cameras and I suddenly start telling myself, ‘Oh, it’s not for me, they don’t want my picture, they’re waiting for Harry Styles’.
“It’s impostor syndrome, and it’s a very real thing for me. It’s wild, but the documentary really triggered that.”
But the biggest pressure of fame is a relentless fear that he could make a devastating misstep.
He explained: “It can be difficult forming new relationships. I’ve done it though. I’ve had great relationships, but the hardest thing is you’re scared all the time.
“I feel a wee bit terrified, all the time. So if I’m walking down the street and I notice somebody looking at me, suddenly I start doubting what I’ve just done or wishing I’d done something else, that sort of thing. It’s hyper self-awareness.
“I’m pretty good at self-analysis, but not quite as good at self-censorship. I’ve got away with it so far, but who knows.
“I like to think I’m sort of alright, for the most part, but also nobody ever seems to ask me about controversial issues.
“I like that too, by the way. I don’t suddenly want to talk about important things — but also who the hell cares what I think about a difficult subject?
“Every time I go out boozing properly, I have a panic attack the next day about what I might have said or done that is going to come back to haunt me. Maybe someone filmed me being obnoxious.”
But in trademark fashion, he adds: “It’s not all bad. Obviously, the best thing is having loads of money and success to enjoy! Although, I used it to buy a stupid big house and I don’t even live in it because it’s too much effort to tidy. That’s not very showbiz, is it?”
Lewis has stressed how important creating his documentary was for him following his diagnosisSome details of his life will be laid bare in the documentary
That tricky 2nd album
LEWIS’ second album Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent, out May 19, will see him deviate at times from his trademark sound.
But he admits he was reluctant to “reinvent the wheel” as he seeks to replicate sales figures.
He explains: “I love the album, I’m massively proud of it and everything we’ve done.
“But there’s no getting away from it that a second album can be make or break. People have f***ed it up on record two before.
“There’s one track with a sort of 80s vibe, like a Prince knock-off. There are plenty of ballads too. I’m trying to give people what they seem to want!”