You’re in the middle of your biggest-ever UK tour – how’s it going?
Really well! We’re just in the home stretch of sold-out shows, so I’m really excited. I know it’s tough for people because of exams, so I didn’t expect many people to show up, but so far it’s been great! I’ve really enjoyed it.
Did you ever expect any of the shows to sell out?
To be honest I never expected to be on a headline tour, so to be able to say that some shows are sold out is crazy! I’m pinching myself every day.
What’s your favourite song to play live?
It’s usually Into The Wild, purely because of people clapping along and joining it, but on this tour I’ve been playing Made Up Love Song #43 without any amplification, so it’s great to just play it as it’s meant to be.
You’re just about to release your new EP! What’s your favourite track on it?
Hmm… Probably Calling, just because it’s so close to home. I wrote it about having my friends together, which is something that really doesn’t happen as often as it should. It was a case of me sitting somewhere thinking ‘Wow, I wish I could go to the park with my friends’, so I think that’s why that one really resonates with me in particular.
Your single Calling’s been getting a lot of radio play lately – how does it feel?
It’s absolutely crazy! BBC Radio 1 was my go-to station for years and I always used to listen to the breakfast show, so to have them playing my music is just insane. I actually met Fearne Cotton at the weekend and she was like ‘Did I catch your set?! No? Shit!’, and I was just there like ‘Wow, it’s Fearne Cotton…’ – I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to that!
What made you want to start making music in the first place?
I guess it’s because I’ve always been around music. I only picked up a guitar when I was sixteen, and I suppose I was never brave enough to pick it up before. I was quite into school, and I tried to be as book-smart as possible just because I never had a set ambition. My main hobby before sixth form was sport – I was never great at it, but it was just something to do. As soon as sixth form started I picked up a guitar and never looked back!
How long did it take for you to start writing songs?
As soon as I learnt a few chords I started to write songs. When I was younger I was into poetry to be honest – I loved lyrics, and the idea of being a wordsmith really excited me, so I jumped at the chance to make my own music as soon as I could. That was my way of teaching myself how to play the guitar too, because I never got any lessons.
Who are your main musical influences?
When I first picked up the guitar I was listening to a lot of City & Colour, and I still think he’s fantastic – he really sculpted the way I play the guitar. Right now I’m listening to a lot of Matt Corby, who’s insane and I definitely recommend that you check him out. I think that he makes music that I would love to be able to make, but I’d never be able to do what he does – he makes me strive to make the best music I could possibly make. I’m also listening to a lot of Bombay Bicycle Club, Rae Morris, the new City & Colour record… To be honest I’ve only just discovered Spotify Premium and it’s AMAZING. I’ve ended up usually making a playlist a week and sharing them on Facebook, which is fun.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
After this tour I’m playing a load of festivals, and then I’ll hopefully be able to fit in a lot of writing – I’ve missed writing so much! I’ve been on tour since March, so I haven’t had much time to fit any in. I got home from tour in March, then a day off, and then I had to fly off for two weeks to Australia. I then went in to the studio and then came on this tour – pretty mental! I’m just looking forward to slowing everything down and writing and recording again.
Do you prefer playing to big crowds at a festival or to a smaller crowd at your own show?
I like playing headline shows, because then you know that the crowd are definitely going to be in to it. Festivals are tough sometimes, because people can be there just out of curiosity and not because they particularly like you. It’s hard, because I’ve always wanted to be in a band that makes you dance, but I think you have to be in the right mood to really be in to some of my stuff. It sucks when people get bored after a line and start making noises, but sometimes they can go well. I really enjoy the intimate shows, purely because they’re the ones that I’d like to go to as a spectator.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Matt Corby. We’re playing before him at Glastonbury this year, so we’re just gonna stay side of stage and watch him. He’s just incredible – you need to listen to him, then maybe you’ll understand why I love him so much.
Little bit of a man crush you’ve got going on there…
Oh, definitely, I’d kiss him on the balls!
Which song do you wish you’d written?
Probably P.Y.T by Michael Jackson, just because it’s an amazing song. There are SO many, but I’m just gonna go with that one.
Can you describe yourself in three words?
Oooh… That’s hard… *thinks for a good few minutes*… I don’t have a clue!