Lee DeWyze calls himself “someone that lacks in the sleep department.” The silver lining, of course, is that it provides more waking time to write songs — such as his new “Night and Day,” premiering exclusively below before its release on April 12.
“I like to write in the moment, and this song was that,” the American Idol season 9 champ tells Billboard about the airy, ethereal track. “I’ve been writing early in the morning and late at night. I think the song really touches on a lot of very different things, but for me mainly it speaks to walking that line between reality and your subconscious, and I think one of the places you experience that the most is in sleep. Sleep’s the only real escape; That’s when you mind kind of wanders and goes to these different places. That’s what ‘Night and Day’ is about.”
DeWyze says “Night and Day” is also “the beginning of what I would call the culmination and collection of music for this upcoming year,” an output that will include an EP and, he hopes, a new album to follow up 2018’s Paranoia. “We’re going out on tour (starting April 21 in Salt Lake City),” DeWyze says, “and I really wanted to give people kind of a taste to what to expect from me. This song really represents where my songwriting is as well. Through the years I’ve been able to do a lot of different things, whether it be writing for records or for televisions shows or movie trailers, and I’ve been able to do a whole spectrum of things that are all encompassed in this song and this music I’m making now.”
DeWyze doesn’t have hard and fast dates for any other releases, but he will be playing some of the brand new material in his shows to give fans a further taste of what he’s up to. “I don’t want it to seem like, here’s ‘Night and Day’ and here’s some other songs,” DeWyze explains. “I feel like all the other songs I’ll be releasing have a really unique life of their own. ’Night and Day’ is that first open door to what my music is going to be. This music for me is really something special, and I’m very, very excited for people to hear it live.”
Don’t ask DeWyze what he thinks about the new incarnation of American Idol on ABC, however. He’s not watching. “I always appreciate my experience and everything on there, but that was a different kind of journey,” he explains. “Whether I was ever on American Idol or not, the core and the heart and what keeps me motivated and energized about music is creating and writing and performance. That will never change, Idol or not. I put songwriting in front of everything I do. That’s what I love about music and what I’m most passionate about.”