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DONNA LEWIS

A celebrated chanteuse and songwriter with a signature breathy voice, Donna Lewis soared to fame with the dance-pop classic “I Love You Always Forever.” People around the globe still have boundless love for the smash-hit song, but the multi-dimensional Welsh native is an artist who is as comfortable with catchy pop tunes as she is with jazz, acoustic, electronica, and beyond.

Atlantic Records were so enamoured with her demo for “I Love You Always Forever,” they flew her to New York and offered her a deal on the spot. “I Love You Always Forever” was featured on her debut album, Now in a Minute. It became the first song ever to get a million spins on American radio and became the third best-selling tune in the history of Atlantic Records. The record was an international sensation, zooming up the charts all over the world.

Lewis' second album for the label, Blue Planet (1998), spawned two hits including “Love Him,” which topped the Billboard dance charts. She also left her mark on such projects as The Art of Noise's The Seduction of Claude Debussy and the all-star 2001 benefit album, Utopia. She collaborated with Italian producers Souled Out, co-writing the track “Take me O” which stormed to Ibiza success in 2000. She also began her creative partnership with Torn, a guitarist and studio wizard known for his film scores (including Friday Night Lightsand Lars and the Real Girl). In 2001, five electronically textured songs Torn and Lewis wrote and recorded for the Chute project were the most requested on L.A.'s beloved KCRW for three weeks running.

The stripped-down acoustic approach of Be Still pointed the way to Brand New Day. But first came Lewis' high-energy 2008 album, In the Pink, produced by Gerry Leonard (known for his work with David Bowie) which was praised for its “supremely undeniable Euro-style catchiness.” The single “Shout” became a top 5 radio song. In 2012 she collaborated with the progressive house duo Project 46 and DubVision to release “You and I” on Spinnin’ Records, which reached top 5 on the Beatport chart.

In recent work, Lewis collaborated with composer-producer David Baron on the emotionally charged single “Bad Bad Love.” Following on that success, the duo released a unique take of Kate Bush’s hit “Running Up That Hill,” pairing stark piano and vocals with strings and synth, and their latest “Stones in the River Bed” features a 40 piece string section. Lewis also recently joined forces with Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society, bringing powerful expression to their remix of “She Brought the Sun.” On her EP project, QueenTown (2020), Lewis collaborates with singer-songwriter Pamela Sue Mann and Baron as producer for a bold, sensualist exploration of the feminine.

The pandemic lockdown created the catalyst for the I Told You So EP from Donna. Isolated but able to work at home, it felt good for her to get lost in the music. She went back to her roots; writing at the piano. Living in the countryside, nature helped her shut out the sadness that was happening around the world. The heart of this EP is about missing loved ones, memories and friends supporting one another; songs that brought comfort and courage to everyone who were separated from the ones they love.

 

.Donna had always planned on reworking a new version of “I Love You Always Forever” to coincide with its 25th anniversary. She had begun the process of finding the right collaborator for the project when things got delayed due to the world being in the midst of a lockdown. Plans were further delayed at the end of 2021 when she received a breast cancer diagnosis that saw her in treatment for most of 2022. However, finally connecting with Nick Gale (Digital Farm Animals) was worth the wait as his genius along with appreciation of the original song clearly shines through in the resulting fresh new version for 2023 “ILYAF (I Love You Always Forever).”

Photo by Rachel Brennecke
ILYAF
NIAM
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