Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned London based singer Vaughan to find out more…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I grew up in a small town called Cranbrook in the English county of Kent, otherwise known as the Garden of England. I was surrounded by music as a kid, my parents always played music in the house and my dad would sing to me, and then we should sing together. That then inspired me to study music more seriously, learning the classical piano and guitar, then starting to write my own songs from the age of 11. I’ve known my whole life that music is the only path for me.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
My parents played a lot of motown and pop records when I was growing up, so that’s always had a big influence on me. From as young as I remember, I’ve always been passionate about discovering new music, no matter the era. I’m open to listening to anything and everything, because I know it all feeds into my creative process. Travelling has also been a big influencer, particularly the Australian music scene and artists like Chet Faker (Nick Murphy), LANKS and Middle Kids.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe it as purposeful pop. I started creating music because it was an outlet for me to express my internal struggles that I’ve always struggled expressing any other way. It’s a left of centre pop-production with a big focus on my story and how the world has sculpted me.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
‘I AM’ is the first single off my EP that’s to come later this summer. It’s a song that I wrote about becoming myself and finally learning to accept who I am. It took me a long time to see my differences as being beautiful and I spent a lot of my childhood telling myself that I would never be accepted, so I wrote this song for that little boy.
What’s your local music scene like?
I’ve been part of a few different music scenes growing up. In Kent, the nearest big town was half an hour's drive from where I lived, so sometimes I’d busk for money to get the bus home if my parents couldn’t drive me. In Leeds where I studied for three years, the scene is so vibrant and DIY and I was playing shows every night, which was great for my development as an artist. Now living in London, I’m finding it to be a completely different monster of a music scene that it is so exciting and terrifying all at the same time. It’s so inspiring be able to go to a show every single night, of all types of genres and artists. I’m currently living in Hackney Wick and living with a number of other artists, all working odd hours, which I think has been really beneficial because we’re all very supportive of each other's creative pursuits.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
Having just come off the back of playing two showcases at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, we’re excited to be playing more London shows over the summer including at The Troubadour, at the Southbank Centre and a number of Sofar Sounds. The music video for ‘I AM’ is coming imminently and then more exciting news following this! Keep an eye on the @iamvaughanmusic socials!
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I absolutely love collaboration and I think it’s so important to support the artists and musicians around you. I’m lucky to be surrounded by friends who are also incredibly talented musicians, people like Sfven and Tamzene to name a few. But some dream collaborations include Kelsey Lu, LANKS, Tourist or someone like Maggie Rogers.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
I was playing an intimate set in Leeds to a packed room and accidentally spilt water across the stage and cleaned it up with kitchen roll while the audience watched in silence. Awkward is an understatement!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I love to cook. It’s something new that I’ve gotten into since moving to London because we all take turns cooking for each other in my house. I made a watermelon curry the other week that I think should have won a Michelin star, in my humble opinion :)