By Lorne Gillies
“No, I think I was lucky,” comments Nottingham singer-songwriter, Jake Bugg when asked if he was a messed up kid. Some might argue it was more than luck that released Bugg from his working class Clifton background onto major festival appearances, sold out tours and a breakthrough debut album all before the age of 18.
Performing in local pubs and clubs Jake Bugg was signed to Mercury Records aged 17 after appearing on BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury; all after being rejected from Glastonbudget, an alternative to the popular festival for up and coming artists. The success this young man has received is not on the back of luck by any standard, but rather thanks to a modern take on traditional folk rock and thanks to The Simpsons, yes we can thank Matt Groening for Bugg discovering music.
Prior to hearing Vincent by Don McLean on an episode of The Simpsons, Bugg had more interest in playing football than penning a number one selling debut album. Coming from musical parents and getting his first guitar aged 12, by 14 Jake Kennedy was now using his father’s second name, Bugg to help him become the performer we all know and admire today with his first ever gig as Jake Bugg during a school talent contest.
Fast forward a mere three years and Bugg is releasing his new single Messed Up Kids from his second album Shangri La produced by none other than bearded musical guru, Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash and Eminem to name a few) as a four track EP on 12th May.
The song reminisces on times once spent on his Clifton estate with people who “sell their time, they sell their drugs, they sell their body” as the messed up kids, a single which has been released with a black and white video featuring slight shots of Jake who can no longer be seen as a troubled teenager getting into bother thanks to the success he received from the release of his self-titled debut album in 2012.
Raw, talented, powerful, and mesmerising instrumentals complimented by honest, gritty lyrics of harrowing life experiences for someone of such a young age the singer who is being hailed as the next Bob Dylan, an easy comparison to make some might argue, rocketed to fame on the back of genuine skill; something many artists today cannot claim to have done.
Performing at festivals all over the world Bugg’s music collects a diverse range of fans and the release of his second album no more than a year after his debut has allowed the spark to truly ignite into a flame of international stardom, sold out tours, multiple cover stories, thankfully with all the success Bugg seems to be sticking put with just writing and performing original music and not getting swept away too much by the entertainment business.
Securing his first headline arena show in his hometown earlier this year, it’s safe to assume that album number three will only propel the young singer-songwriter on to even bigger and better things.