The Sound Cafe
Martha D. Lewis Finds Hope Again + Tackles 'The Growing Thorn' Of Greed On 2 New Singles
By Angie Lemon.
Powerhouse music maker, singer-songwriter and mentor, Martha D. Lewis has two new singles being released on 25 February 2022: DAWN + LIARS CLUB. Infused with jazz sensibilities and art-pop , these two singles are an exciting new direction for Martha’s cutting-edge new album, ALL THAT YOU SEE whose international release date is 8th April 2022.
To create dynamic production for her new art-pop song-craft, Martha gathered an ensemble of high-class musicians, producers and sound engineers at Real World Studios. This included drummer Ian Matthews (Kasabian), Nick Cohen (Massive Attack, Annie Lennox) and one of the world’s most respected innovative sound engineers, Stephen W Tayler. From decades of experience of working with the greats such as Kate Bush, Phil Collins, Stevie Nicks, Peter Gabriel and Genesis, Stephen W. Tayler has sprinkled stardust onto the mixes of Martha’s songs.
Martha wrote DAWN after coming through the emotionally challenging and dark times of personal loss, only to find hope again. A timely message with wide relevance and context for so who have lost loved ones over the last months. Martha took comfort in being able to express the start of new beginnings in the lyrics and melody as the chorus reflects,
“Dawn has come / I made it through/ The darkest night/ I never thought I’d see/ The light of day”.
Martha’s lead and backing vocals on DAWN are full of grace and space dancing on a tender tightrope. DAWN features keyboard player, Aidan Glover whose piano performance on DAWN has flavours of Mike Garson’s piano on David Bowie’s ‘Aladdin Sane’.
Martha D. Lewis is from a refugee background and is a humanitarian activist supporting organizations that protect women’s rights such as the UK’s RAW in WAR offering assistance to women in war-torn countries and the London-based charity, Womatrust, supporting African women who have been disadvantaged through war.
From the sensitivity of DAWN Martha tackles the dark side of greed on the jazzy-blues song, LIARS CLUB. Starting with Leon Stenning on guitar, LIARS CLUB packs a punchy social message as Martha says, “At the expense of core human values of compassion and care, political leaders all around the world continue to distort the truth turning a blind eye to global companies that are driven by greed of power and profit.”
Martha maintains positivity despite hard-hitting lyrics on LIARS CLUB, “It's a growing thorn and it’s called Greed/ A raging storm gathering speed….I hope a change will be coming soon/ Hope the world can rewind/ Pray we come back home to love/ And to hell with the Liars club.”
Photo Credit: Gillian Quinn
Out of all the humanitarian work Martha does, the most important role to her, is as a pro-active Patron and fundraiser for the Leukaemia Cancer Society (UK). Martha has donated generously from live performances and special events over the years and continues to be a supporting artist and advocate for the incredible work the volunteers do. Martha also provides music career mentorship for young musicians at the Ivor’s Academy in London where she imparts seasoned wisdom for emerging young artists.
Martha D. Lewis, aka Martha Demetri Lewis has been entertaining audiences professionally for over three decades at music venues, theatres on TV, films and Radio as a musician and presenter in the UK and Europe. Martha broke into the UK comedy scene in the late 1980s while working with creative partner, Eve Polycarpou. With roots in Greece and Cyprus, Martha & Eve created the first female Greek Cypriot comedy-music act ‘Donna & Kebab‘ whose material broke down the stereotypes of British Cypriot life and expectations for the role of women. Creating a legion of appreciative fans who remain loyal to this day, Martha D. Lewis and Eve Polycarpou’s repertoire includes 70 songs, 3 albums, a ‘Live at the Hackney Empire DVD’, a ‘Club single’ and numerous special projects and European tours.
DAWN + LIARS CLUB signal a new direction from Martha’s previous solo projects of world-influenced jazz on CAFÉ AMAN (2007) or the boldly re-imagined Greek blues on HOMAGE TO ROZA (2015). Dedicated to the iconic Greek-Jewish singer, Roza Eskenazy, HOMAGE TO ROZA was inspired by Martha’s role as singer and presenter in the internationally released feature film documentary My Sweet Canary.
DAWN + LIARS CLUB release through Budd on February 25, 2022, with international distribution through Cadiz Music
British-born Cypriot Martha Demetri Lewis is a recording artist of jazz and world music. Her career was most notably launched with the much-acclaimed award-winning music-comedy duo Donna & Kebab in the early 1990s. This long term and ongoing creative partnership with singer-musician actress Eve Polycarpou rapidly accumulated TV, radio and theatre credits. The duo has toured Internationally throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East, and taken part in hundreds of national and international press appearances.
In 1995, renamed Martha and Eve the duo focused their attention on their prolific songwriting skills and have recorded three albums, a club single and a DVD of their show ‘Live at the Hackney Empire’.
Martha’s solo project ‘Café Aman’ was launched in 1999 following a commission by The Arts Council of Great Britain for a 30-minute musical work. This work was broadcast by BBC Radio 3 in its entirety and began her journey as a composer. Martha has since received numerous commissions for music composition and song-writing work for the Arts Council, PRS Foundation, London Arts Board, music festivals, a short film, theatre plays, as well as title and incidental music for documentaries. Notable works include feature-film documentary ‘My Sweet Canary’ and ‘Music of the Outsiders’, BBC documentary about the Greek blues.
Her music career has taken Martha around the world, performing in concerts and festivals including The Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Rooms, The Jazz Cafe, Royal Academy of the Arts, Glastonbury Festival, EFG London Jazz Festival, Reading Festival, Brighton Festival, Bath Jazz Festival, Small Nations, Brighton Fringe, City of London Festival, Thames Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Latitude Festival, and Chichester Festival.
Her music releases span several decades and include her debut solo release ‘Double Life’ which was awarded ‘Best Album of the Year’ by BBC Radio in 2007. Martha’s 2010 single ‘Misirlou’ was included in the ‘Best of European Jazz’ compilation by London Jazz Festival 2010. The album ‘Homage to Roza’ was released in 2015, a collection of ground-breaking and bold reinterpretations of classic Greek blues songs, featuring world-class players from the jazz and world music scene, including the legendary jazz drummer Jack De Johnette.
As well as gaining wide success for her recording and performance career, Martha is Director of the Independent record label ‘Budd’ and has been a visiting tutor for the ‘Performance and Vocal Skills’ course at City University in London for the past decade, as well as a mentor for the Ivors Academy.
Over the course of her career, Martha has been the proud recipient of such awards as ‘Best Newcomer 1990’ at the Time Out Award, London Radio’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and an Outstanding Contribution Award in 2015 from the Leukemia Cancer Society, of which Martha is a proud patron.
Martha continues to release new music, with her latest work ‘ALL THAT YOU SEE’ due for release in 2022.
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Photo Credit: Gillian Quinn