b. London, England. The blend of jazz, folk and chanson favoured by this artist can be traced back to the musical influence of her grandparents, one of which played jazz-influenced guitar and the other worked as a choral scholar. By her early teens Lewis was performing in a jazz trio around her native London, and recorded a demo tape with legendary producer George Martin. In her late teens she relocated to America to study at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College Of Music, switching from her first love of jazz to earn a degree in Songwriting and Composition. After graduation Lewis moved to Los Angeles and began establishing a presence on the city’s thriving songwriting scene. A roughly recorded EP, Beautiful Mess, of her songs was released in 2001, and was sufficiently impressive to land Lewis a contract with the LA-based Cheap Lullaby label.
Released in 2005, Tangos & Tantrums unveiled Lewis as a fluent cabaret singer with the album drifting by on a bed of jazz, folk, salsa and ragtime. Lewis’ sweet, sensual vocals provided an immediate entry point for many smitten critics, but it was her highly literate and frequently risqué lyrics that gave the collection added impetus. The album was highly fêted in both Lewis’ native England and her adopted homeland of America, and prompted the recording of a second collection for Cheap Lullaby. Released at the end of 2007, Translations was another beautifully realised album that confirmed Lewis as a modern-day chansonnier of considerable talent.