Just thinking of all the things I'd done getting there and everything I've sacrificed to do so. But what's happening now makes it worth it.
I tried to bang down a lot of doors but Virgin were the only label who believed in what I was doing. I ended up with the label that understood what I was trying to do.
I always wanted to be a musician from when I was kid. It was always a massive dream of mine. School was also really really important to me and having an education was top of my priority. So I really wanted to have a degree before I tried anything in the music industry.
Any song I have to work on longer than a day, I just leave it. It's not gonna work. Everything that's good is really instant.
Anytime I write something that's trying to be too smart, it doesn't work.
I'm not too bothered about what category my music goes in and there's no point in limiting in who you can reach, but I want it to be respected.
It would be sad if we lost our instinct and our courage to love and protect.
'Clown' was written when I couldn't find anyone who believed in me as an artist. Maybe those labels will think twice next time a young songwriter comes along.
I try to speak of a love that not necessarily romantic. I think there is so much love between people and so much love people want to give but it's harder and harder these days to show that, to celebrate that, you know?
Because they're my stories, they're my version of events of the past three years. But I really hope people can hear their own stories within the songs and they can become our version of events.
I mean, there'll always be room for big productions and everything but it's good to see the other side.
I wanted to make an album that melodically people can connect to; something that reflects our times and the kinds of difficulties we face.
I always knew I wanted to be a musician, and I always knew I wanted to write, 'cause the people I was listening to all wrote. I never thought it was an option to sing anyone else's songs.
I built a reputation as a songwriter in the industry before my own hits. People were used to coming to me for songs. There were songs like 'Clown' and 'Mountains' that were my songs that I wanted to keep. But the record labels saw me as a songwriter. It was hard to get people to believe in me as an artist.
I feel like 'Next To Me' is a great introduction because it's a simple song that has a simple message for me. I wanted to introduce something that lyrically I'm proud of and introduces me both as an artist and as a writer.
I want to speak for people that may not feel like they're being spoken for at the moment. And I want to make a connection between the world around us and the charts.
The focus is on singer/songwriters now rather than huge shows. I mean, of course there's always a place for that too.
I was finding it very difficult to find a label that understood what I wanted to do and really believed that people wanted to hear something honest and a little bit different. So, I did feel a bit like a clown. You're knocking on everyone's door trying to get them to believe what you're doing.
We started very slow in America. It was small acoustic shows. We played places like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago and everywhere there has been a great reaction. It has been really lovely. They listen to the lyrics and the melody over there and the reaction has been fantastic.