So how’s the tour going?
Its going brilliant, thanks. I was playing in Liverpool last night and the crowd were getting into it, really lively. Touring isn’t too bad. When I’m out I do miss being at home, but at the end of the tour I just want to go back out and do it all over again.
You’re currently supporting Michael Kiwanuka. What’s it like to be down the bill, as it were?
It can be really difficult being a support act because you aren’t playing to your own crowd. You always get people talking through the set, not listening, or chatting at the bar. But the audiences have been really good and getting into it. I’ve been getting a good response.
When did you start singing and writing songs?
I started playing the guitar when I was 12 years old, but I didn’t really start singing and writing until I was 14. I didn’t think that I had a talent for it or anything - I just wanted to get on with it and do it because I enjoyed it, which is why you should do anything. But before I ever got into music I was into football. I’m a Notts County fan.
When did you first play live?
It was at school when I was 14 years old. It was the scariest performance that I have ever done because it was at school, you know? I covered Catch The Wind by Donovan.
Your sound is clearly sixties-influenced. What is it about that era that appeals?
I don’t know, really. It’s just good music. When I listen to music from the sixties it makes my ears prick up, so when I first heard music from that era I thought that I wanted to try and write songs like those guys. I didn’t want to copy them - I wanted to create my own sound, but in that style. My sound isn’t a deliberate copy. For instance, Trouble Town was recorded the day that I wrote it. The record label heard it and really liked it, so they put it out. It did really well and we got good feedback from it. So the label wanted the follow-up to have a similar sound, because that seems to be what people like.
How did you end up getting signed to Mercury Records?
I just met some guy who became my manager, and after about six months Mercury Records signed me.
As simple as that?
It all happened really quickly. It’s been really crazy since then; I’m just trying to take every day as it comes.
What has been your favourite moment since getting signed?
It’s probably getting played on Radio One. But also reaching Number 1 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart - that was amazing.
What’s it like hearing yourself on Radio One?
I don’t like to listen to it. I don’t like to hear myself on the radio. I like to see what people like Fearne Cotton have to say about my songs, but I don’t listen, because I don’t want to jinx it.
Your songs have been used to promote Burberry and you are currently on a beer advert. Are you okay with this, or are you worried about selling out?
I was aware of people saying that I was selling out, and I was worried myself about selling out. But if any young artist wants to get their music heard nowadays, this is what you have got to do. You want people to be able to hear your music. And to be honest, I was worried about my music being used in an advert, but when I saw it I really liked it, and I think that the songs works really well in it.
What’s been your favourite gig in Nottingham?
It was the last one when I played at The Bodega, after it got bumped up from the Red Rooms at the Rescue Rooms because it originally sold out. It was a really great feeling to know that my home town is behind me and I’ve got all of that support. It was good to see such a big turnout. But I’m also really looking forward to coming back to Nottingham and playing at Dot To Dot. I played Dot To Dot last year as well and it was great.
Quite a few Notts artists are now starting to get noticed. Why do you think this is happening now?
I think that there has been a big push in the last couple of years to promote Nottingham music. People like the Notts Unsigned podcast – now Nusic - and Dean Jackson at The Beat have been doing some great stuff and have been really helpful. I also think that there is more music in Nottingham now than there has ever been, so there is more choice and variety, more to choose from. The city has a great vibe about it at the moment.
What music coming out of Nottingham do you like at the moment?
To be honest with you I can’t really say. I’ve been really busy so I’ve not been around much. But I plan to have some time in Nottingham and catch up on some music.
Where do you like to hang out when you are in Nottingham?
I just like to hang out with my friends, to be honest. It always good just to chill out and to try and have some time on my own, as I’m really busy. So when I’m back in Nottingham I just want to try and grab a minute to myself and be alone. Life is pretty hectic at the moment, but I know that it is only going to get worse, so I’ve just got to get used to it.
When can we expect your album?
It’s actually been brought forward. It is now going to come out in October. The record label want to keep up with the momentum and put it out earlier than planned. Most of the album is recorded too, so it’s nearly finished. I think the label will have a pre-sale on it, so people will be able to listen to it and buy it before the CD is out. There will be a tour to support it too, in November.