Lewis Budd: Isolation Selection

The second week of Lockdown has arrived – although it feels like we’re about a month and a half in, it feels like we’re finally settling in – let’s see this through and get out of it on the other side.

Lewis Budd is a Journalist and Promoter, he’s chief editor over at Smile End – a South London based independent platform that much like ourselves shines a spotlight on new and exciting alternative music, bringing it to the forefront through promotion and written critique.

Today, amidst another lengthy FIFA session while isolating in Devon, Budd provides us his Isolation Selection. It takes us back to Tuesday Indie Club nights at The Underground in Stoke if we went to Uni in 2019 – grimy as fuck, but we wouldn’t miss it for anything. £1 whisky anyone?


These really are unprecedented times, how are you, how are you all feeling in all this?

I think many are feeling the same, but strange is probably the easiest way to explain it. On the one hand i’m happy that there is a nationwide limbo to reflect on progress and all that malarkey, which is always nice to look back on and helps me visualise a rough game plan for the next twelve months, but who knows when and if things will return back to normal, which is obviously quite unnerving. 

Can you quite comprehend the impact this is having on the music industry? 

If you work as a freelancer, it’s going to be a challenge that’s for sure. It’s safe to say that there is not much guidance on how to survive a global pandemic in any music business related guru books, so i think we’re all in the same boat on figuring this mess out. 

What was it Bear Grylls said though? Improvise, Adapt, Overcome? There is definitely loads of scope for new artists to really nail down a solid route to releasing tunes and gain some serious traction. I also saw a stat that said independent radio (shoutout Boogaloo & Hoxton if you haven’t listened already) listenership is on the rise alongside a micro-boom in podcasting. I haven’t stopped listening to Crouchy’s podcast on Spotify since lockdown 

I know at this stage it’s perhaps not the most important of things to consider, but do you think when all this is said and done, the foundations and the nature in which the industry runs will change??

On a personal, small scale level: power to the DIY labels and grassroots innovators! Have you seen how many people bought tracks on bandcamp a few days ago? Let’s hope this reflects the power of maintaining an engaged audience and the rewards reaching out for help can nurture – more of the same in the future please! 

How has your work been affected personally by this?

Personally, the pandemic has cancelled every gig I had planned to put on over on with Smile End over the next 4 months, which annoyingly restricts the scope smaller artists desperately need to build confidence and momentum when playing live. I’ve also lost my bar job which was my main source of income, and have been forced to move out of my uni halls in London and back to rural Devon. Fingers crossed on September being a safe date for reschedules and normality though.

Although from a journalist stand-point, my work as an intern at Gigwise has seen larger scope with publicists and artists working harder than ever before to push their new music, which is class. I’ve never had so many people pitching their tracks at once which is really refreshing. Thankfully most of this can be achieved remotely. 

Talk about your playlist for us, what does it represent for you?

Not going to lie to you, this playlist is a bit of a botch job of tracks that I’ve had on repeat over the last couple of months and a sprinkle of new ones that I hope Steve Lamacq would be all over. The playlist represents bands that my mates have recommended, or artists I’ve chain-listened to on recent late night FIFA sessions. Either way, I hope you enjoy it. 



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