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At the age of 10, I was mostly interested in playing foot- ball, spending time with friends and watching TV. To me the guitar back then was just an object that was in the house. My Dad would pick it up when he got the chance but it never really grabbed my attention. He would often try and get me to play but at first I was fairly reluctant as I was so interested in football. There was always music playing in the house. We would open all the doors and Dad would often pop on a ‘Richard Thompson’ or a ‘John Hiatt’ CD in the morning whilst I got ready for school. I remember when I was very young


me and my sister used to sit at the table eating our cereal singing along to ‘Yellow Submarine’ by The Beatles.


I was sat watching TV one day when I just picked up my Dads guitar. I was making up some sort of tune when he walked in and said “Let me show you a few chords”


That was it, that’s how it all started for me! I immediately grew fond of the guitar and started to get lessons on the elec-


tric. When I was 10, I didn’t want to just play chords, I wanted to be able to play a ‘face melting’ solo. What I didn’t realize was that in order to do this you had to learn scales. It turned out I hated scales and if I am completely honest, the only one I remember with confidence is the Pentatonic. I just started to work everything out by ear and have done ever since.


I had always listened to a lot of music, but when I started playing, I became in- spired by it. As I said, I grew up listening to artists like ‘John Hiatt’ and ‘Richard Thompson’ from my Mum and Dads record collection.


‘Ray LaMontagne’, ‘Paolo Nutini’, ‘Damien Rice’, ‘James Vincent McMorrow’ and ‘Ben Howard’ are just a few of the other artists who have really touched me with their song writ- ing. I have been influenced by so many musicians over the years but these are the most cur- rent. Groups like ‘Mumford & Sons’, ‘Boy & Bear’ and ‘King of Leon’ are also bands which are regularly played on my IPod. I never listen to music based on what genre it is, for me it is purely about the sound. I find that this helps because the music I listen to seems to naturally rub off slightly into my own songs, so to have that mixture, it hopefully gives me a bit of a different sound. A thing I have always had trouble doing is placing my music into a particular genre.


Before I found out I could hold a note, the only time I would ever sing was in my primary school as- semblies to all the hymns and even then I would just mumble along to them. Truthfully, I don’t really remember when I first started singing properly. I just know that when I did, I moved over to the acoustic guitar because I wanted to learn how to accompany myself. Playing and singing at the same time came quite


naturally, so the first thing I started doing was learning covers. Te first song I ever learnt to sing and play all the way through was Nirvana’s version of ‘Where did you sleep last night’ which was originally arranged by ‘Lead Belly’, the old blues singer from years ago! At the time when I learnt this song, I was in my final year of


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