First of all, you’re well known for playing a songwriter in the programme Nashville but how have you found the transition from being an actor into releasing your own music?
It’s a really nice transition, music has been a part of my life since I was tiny, I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember. To have been lucky enough to have been on the show Nashville has given me this fantastic platform to write music, to create music with some of the most talented songwriters in the World. I’m just really lucky and blessed to have spent these past six years in Nashville and to have forming this great group of friends and now to bring the music back to the UK is invigorating.
And did you want to be an actor first or a songwriter first? What was your main ambition growing up?
Growing up I loved both, I’d write music and I’d be in the local drama group, I’m really bad at decision making so I could never decide which one I wanted to do more and then went right through school and college and I did A-Level music and A-Level drama and then I went to Rose Buford College to get my Theatre training and there was an actor musician degree. Acting is storytelling, great music is storytelling its a very similar thing so I’ve never been able to choose and hopefully I don’t have to.
Your debut album is coming out later this year, what’s your favourite song on that, can you tell us any of the stories behind the songs on the album?
Well I suppose my song Wake Me Up In Nashville has a deep family connection so I don’t think I’ve been able to beat that song yet. That’s going to be on the record and that’s really special to me and it’s great to see people sing along to that now. I’ve been making music for a while now but to see fans come out to my shows and sing along to songs that haven’t even been released yet just shows the dedication.
Can you tell us a bit about the people you’ve been working with on this record?
Yeah, some great collaborators, Trent Dabbs who’s a fantastic songwriter, he’s written a lot of great hits for Nashville the TV show along with other hits outside of that and he’s got about 12 albums to his name.
He's in Sugar and the Hi Lows as well right?
Yeah he has some cool side projects like that. I've also been working with Matthew Perryman Jones he’s an incredible artist. I met these guys through Nashville the show and through singing their songs on the show and thinking this guys incredible I want to work with this person. Striking Matches, I’ve written so many songs with Sarah and Justin. A lot of them are just me, the Nashville way is the co-writing and sometimes, if you can, just tell your story.
A few strange questions for you now, what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written a song about?
Ooh haha, one of the first songs I ever wrote when I was twelve or something was a song called Why Didn’t You Text Me Back which you can imagine was about a teenage romance where my girlfriend didn’t text me back and I wanted to know why so I wrote that song which was terrible but I still have it somewhere, maybe it could be a B Side. It’ll come up on a chat show someday!
When you’re on stage are you completely focused or do you let your mind wander, what are your mid-gig thoughts?
Well I had a couple of mid gig thoughts just then (at Black Deer) on one song and I almost forgot a chord for a second, it does happen. It was nice to do an hour long set which I don’t get a chance to do often so in an hour you do get quite a few mid gig thoughts but thankfully I managed to find my chord again.