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feeling that this is fate, that you’re doing so well, or is it sheer blood, sweat and tears? First of all, thank you very much - I still have your feedback sheet in a folder in my mum’s attic! Secondly, I think it was the latter. I really worked my arse off; I slept on a sofa for almost two years, I was doing two sessions in one day…I think that the irony of the music industry is brilliant, as the easiest way to succeed is to work hard. You studied at Access To Music on Magdalen Street, which has seen the likes of Let’s Eat Grandma and Ed Sheeran as students. What did you hope to get out of the course, and did it do what you hoped? To be honest I just wanted a course that made me dedicate time and effort to my artistry. ATM gave me constant access to studio time (which I thoroughly abused), the help of the teachers and it gave me belief in what I wanted to do, which I guess is the most important thing. I understand some of your inspirations include Marvin Gaye, Van Morrison and Amy Winehouse. Did you find it difficult to discover and work on your own particular voice and style without copying others too much to start off with? At first, yes. I had a lot of external pressures whispering for me to try this genre, or to change my style, but I think I was fortunate in that I have two really focused and talented managers that gave me the time and space to develop in a way that some artists just don’t get the time to do. Which of your songs are you most proud of writing? I’ve literally just finished a


fantastic writing camp with Pro2Jay and the team which has produced my best music to date. I really can’t wait to share some of that stuff. I think I’m most proud of my songs that really incite emotion in the listener, as they’re the songs that hang around for longest. You were one of the top three finalists in the MOBO Unsung Awards last year. What was it like going to the MOBO’s? It was really wicked. Te MOBOs are an amazing platform that have been really good to me. I can’t thank them enough for their support, which I’m sure a lot of other artists can say too. Plus I got to meet Maxwell and Lemar and fangirl for a little bit, so... You won Best Solo Male at the Unsigned Music Awards as well, and you signed with Atlantic Records in March – that’s amazing! Is there an album being planned? Tank you very much. Tere most certainly is an album coming, next year. I’ve decided the title and everything, but I’m keeping pretty quiet about it otherwise. Sounds so professional doesn’t it? You’ve supported some huge names already including Jess Glynne and Clean Bandit. Who would you love to support in an ideal world? Oh MAN, that’s such a hard question… Anthony Hamilton, Bruno Mars, Paulo Nutini, Drake.. who wouldn’t I love to support? However I have learned that some artists are great to support, but some are quite rude and cold. OF course, you can’t always expect them to be angels but there’s definitely two approaches towards up-and-coming artists from established people, and one is much nicer.


You’ve started working in the studio with some top name producers. What’s been the most important or useful piece of information of advice or skill you’ve learnt from them? I don’t think I could single out one skill or one producer as it’s been such a crazy learning curve. I’ve learnt so much from so many people, but I think my favourite piece of advice was when talking about labels, lawyers and music executives: ‘just don’t become like them’. You played at SXSW recently – what was it like there? I’ve always wanted to go!


SXSW is different to any festival in the UK, except maybe Te Great Escape. It’s more of a music convention, but the city and the people and the vibe were all amazing. Te weather is beaut too so that doesn’t hurt at all, plus everyone that’s there really and actually wants to listen to the music so the crowds are really appreciative. How have you managed to stay grounded amidst all these exciting times? I dunno really… I’m just so excited all the time now I’m like a big baby! I’m so thankful for all that’s happened that I’m just trying to ride this wave until it breaks, and I keep having to pinch myself cos I’m the one riding it. I think it’s also helpful because I worked really hard for this opportunity, and now I’m going to have to work even harder to make the most of it. What are your plans for the rest of the year? I see you’re playing at Reading/ Leeds, but more importantly headlining Sonic Youths’ show at the Arts Centre. Tere’s a few big shows


coming this year. I can’t WAIT to play at the Arts Centre for Sonic Youths on May 12th - that is gonna be dope. It’s gonna be full band, me dancing around on stage everywhere… crazy. I’m also doing Ibiza Rocks, Glastonbury and a few others, so it’s gonna be a really busy year! Tere’s even new music coming soon, so I am ludicrously excited.


LIZZ PAGE


Mullally headlines Sonic Youths’ night at Norwich Arts Centre on 12th May. Tickets available from norwichartscentre.co.uk


OUTLINEONLINE.CO.UK / MAY 2017 / 43


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