By Laura Stevens

 

Interview with the emerging artist

Being a local artist, do you like playing in Brighton, especially in the City’s iconic Komedia? What reception do you receive?
I’ve always loved playing Brighton. Yeah, Komedia especially has been kind to me as a venue, and audience reactions there are always great. That aside, Brighton Dome and Old Market are two that are definitely ones I wanna cross off the list.

You have received rave reviews and been tipped by HMV as ‘one to watch’ in 2014. How has this year gone for you?
It’s been great – played Glastonbury and Isle of Wight festivals for the first time, toured with Suzanne Vega and opened for her UK theatre shows, which was amazing. Just got back from a European headline tour and some festivals in Germany and Switzerland, now I’m gearing up for the single and album release and a new run of UK shows.

What has been your performance highlights this year in both the UK and abroad?
I think my favourite show this year so far was the Cheltenham show with Suzanne Vega. It was a stunning, sold out venue and to feel that room in total silence when I played was incredible. It reminded me of the European dates I played with Passenger last year – his audiences are great to play to as well, if a bit younger than Suzanne’s!

Commentators have mentioned your ability to remain grounded after touring with such artists as Passenger, Kate Nash and Seth Lakeman. How have you managed this?
Grounded! I’m grounded, because I haven’t really achieved much yet! Hopefully that will change when the record comes out… I’m a total one-man operation – manage myself, book all my shows, PR and plug each gig. I am about to put out my own record so it’s a huge learning curve for me but I do enjoy it. It’s getting to the point now though where I will start actively looking for management, not so I can take my foot off the gas but to make sure I’m focusing all my energies on the right things at the right times.

How has playing with such artists helped you grow as a musician?
Well if course it changes you for the better. I remember opening for Squeeze a few years back and just watching their show in awe. It was Tune. Tune. Tune. Tune. It was just fantastic and it really highlighted the importance of the song. It’s all about good songwriting …

If you could have any band or artist support you, who would it be?
I will reverse that question and use this article as a vehicle to say that I would love to open for any of Neil Finn, Elvis Costello, Daughter, Paul Simon, Ben Howard, City and Colour, First Aid Kit. Oh man, the list goes on. Actually – I was totally blown away by Paulo Nutini the times I’ve seen him live as well and that would be a dream tour. Someone read this and sort this out for me yeah? Cheers!
Who are the artists or bands that inspire your music?
Well I’ve named most of them but I’m a massive Beatles nut. I listen to them at least every other day but it’s not just that stuff. I love the old Gang Starr era hip-hop too as well as bands like Royal Blood.
Have you been inspired by your hometown or local area?
I was born down the road in Worthing and all my first shows were in pubs there. I’ll always be inspired by that place as I spent most my life there and there are some amazing people there doing great things. There’s a growing scene, with lots of pubs having cover bands at weekends. Things have changed recently with the likes of new venue ‘Bar 42’ giving all the local original bands a place to play. The arrival of some lovely new bars and cafes like ‘The Goose’ and ‘Beach House’ on the seafront also makes it feels like something’s happening there.
What do you hope to happen musically for you in 2015?
Musically 2015, I will be about touring the new record and this year, I’m aiming for national radio with the new single, ‘When The Walls Come Down’, so fingers crossed.

Image © Jarrad Seng