LunchMoney Lewis greets me with a hug at the door of the Red Room, a small facility across the street from the vaunted Circle House Studios. Although we’re both aware of his long list of songwriting and producing credits, he treats me like a friend. “Everyone, this is CrisDaCat,” he yells to a living room area full of young producers, artists, friends, and a girl eating fried chicken.
We pass through the living room and kitchen space, which are still somewhat intact, to the Red Room, a small but cozy studio equipped with monitors, boards, and booth. “I like small rooms,” he smiles before opening a Mac laptop and scrolling through hundreds of tracks. He’s comfortable. Dressed in bright yellow flip-flops; a striped yellow, red, white, and blue shirt; shorts; and a du-rag, LunchMoney Lewis is prepared for work.
“I’m actually just going to finish up a few things that I’ve been working on,” he says as he finds something to play from his laptop. The engineer is ready to start, but Lunch insists on playing me a few tracks from his upcoming album. There’s a duet, along with an upbeat pop song, some hip-hop, and a song with a catchy melody that I can’t get out of my head. “There are a few surprises on here,” says Lunch. “But I can’t tell you everything."
LunchMoney Lewis is like a chameleon. “I can write to just about anything. I like the complexity of a pop record, but I also love ratchet shit like this,” he explains before playing me a beat with a drum kit that sends ripples into the cup of water he poured for himself. He takes a sip and grins. “See, I love ratchet shit,” he says.
The Jamaican singer, rapper, producer, and songwriter has crowd favorites under his belt, including his 2015 hit "Bills," but also has credits with Nicki Minaj, Meghan Trainer, Jessie J, R. City, Fifth Harmony, Maroon 5, Snoop Dogg, and more. “I don’t make music for SoundCloud,” says Lunch. “Not that there’s anything wrong with it; I just enjoy making big records. You know, the ones that people get tired of hearing because they play them so much on the radio.” Every artist wants to be on the radio.
Lunch says he starts his day by checking the radio charts. He lies in bed scrolling through the Hot 100 and Billboard 200. Though he has been involved
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Although LunchMoney Lewis creates a lot of hits for your favorite top 40 artists, he also spends time in the South Florida music culture. The Miami resident takes pride in working with a handful of new artists who bring out the city’s essence. “I’ve got a few records with Twelve’len,” he says as he proceeds to play me the best-sounding record I’ve heard from the Carol City singer to date. “I also really like the City Girls. I knew them from before they were artists; way before then. Now they are on tracks with Drake,” Lunch says. “Listen to this, this is what I hear them on.” He plays me a Miami bass bop. Again, the water shakes on the table.
Lunch continues to play me complete songs, random hooks that have no home or purpose yet. “I have hundreds of ideas. Sometimes I come in and knock out three new songs. Others, I just finish up what I have here, but I never bullshit in the studio,” he says before presenting more ideas.
I suggest people to whom he should send them. “You have an ear for this,” he grins.
LunchMoney Lewis plans to release a few tracks from his upcoming album this summer before the big release at the end of the year. “I’m really in no rush to drop the album,” he says. “I make timeless music. You’re going to hear this on the radio.”