When Lewis Capaldi isn’t onstage, performing his Billboard Hot 100-topping breakthrough hit “Someone You Loved,” he can be found posting hilarious videos on his Instagram or cracking jokes in interviews — like when he told Billboard‘s Pop Shop Podcast back in 2019 that he could “punch a lion in the mouth” he was so happy about going No. 1 in America.
But in his new Netflix documentary Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now — arriving Wednesday, April 5, on the streamer — the Scottish singer/songwriter gets far more serious than we’ve ever seen before, opening up about his own mental health issues, his Tourette Syndrome diagnosis, and generally feeling “imposter syndrome” for his seemingly overnight success in the music industry.
“I didn’t want to make a documentary, if I’m being honest,” Capaldi said in a new interview with the Pop Shop Podcast (listen below). “But the idea was brought to me and it sounded really fun. … I never sat down and went, ‘People need to hear my story,’ you know? That wasn’t my thought process. … It was never a life’s ambition. But I’m really happy that it’s been made.”
In fact, he had a much different vision of the project when it was first brought to him. “This is late 2019, prior to COVID,” he recalled. “So I’m thinking in my head, ‘This documentary is going to be fireworks! I’m going to be onstage in front of hundreds of thousands of people! I’ll be on tour! I’m going to be killing it! My life’s gonna look amazing!’ And then obviously COVID happened, and all that went away. But we still had committed to make this documentary, and I was like, ‘Oh, God, this is going to be a really, really boring documentary!’”
The film is far from boring, though, taking fans on a roller coaster of the epic highs and unimaginable lows Capaldi has experienced in the past four years. “When I saw the first draft, it was so depressing,” he said. “I was like, ‘Do I die at the end of this? Is that what happens here?’ It was that sad. But I am really proud of it and I’m really happy that it’s coming out and people are gonna see it. It’s a very nerve-racking thing, though, because it is quite vulnerable.”
In the film, fans also get glimpses of his friendships with Niall Horan, Ed Sheeran and even Elton John, who sends Capaldi a sweet note to reassure him that he deserves all his success.
“I had told Ed about the ‘imposter syndrome’ thing, and then Ed told Elton — which is mental to me that Ed Sheeran and Elton John are having a conversation about me when I’m not there,” Capaldi told the Pop Shop. “And then Elton messaged me, like, completely out of the blue.”
As for Sheeran, Capaldi recalled having “the most open and honest and really sort of amazing conversation” with him just last week, while Horan has “gone from being ‘Niall Horan, One Direction’ to being a very dear friend, and I love him. He’s been amazing for like general day-to-day stuff. Niall’s great for if I’m wanting to buy a couch, do you know what I mean? He’s a very keen eye for interior design, does Niall.”
Listen to the full podcast to hear all about Capaldi’s sophomore album, Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent, which is due May 19, and his experience working with Swedish pop mastermind Max Martin for the project. Plus, we hear about the monumental kick-off of his U.S. tour last week (find dates here), starting at Nashville’s Ryman Theater where the Grand Ole Opry films (“I was sat in the bathroom, taking a dump, and I was like, ‘Whoa, Johnny Cash has probably taken a sh– in here!’” Capaldi quipped).
Also on the show, we’ve got chart news on how BTS’ Jimin debuts straight in at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with “Like Crazy” and how his album FACE starts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Plus, the top 10 of the Billboard 200 is packed with debuts, as the latest albums from Lana Del Rey, Luke Combs and Fall Out Boy all arrive in the region. We also chat about Dua Lipa’s just-announced role in the upcoming Barbie movie and we remember legendary record executive Seymour Stein, who died Sunday at age 80.