I've got the writing Bugg; After having help to put together his first two albums, 22-year-old singer Jake has gone it alone on his latest release with impressive results.
He's not ashamed to admit he had help with his first couple of albums - but now Jake Bugg is ready to go it alone.
With his new album On My One, the 22-year-old singer/songwriter has made his most personal record yet, baring his soul more than ever across 33 minutes of music written, and mainly produced, by himself.
Not only that, he's taking diversions into previously uncharted territory too, with elements of everything from hip hop to electro-rock making an appearance.
For Bugg, there's nothing surprising to all of this, it's just a logical extension of what he's done up to this point. He could easily have kept going down the same path - but as he sees it, that was never an option.
He said: "I just want every record to be different from the last one, really.
"It's what music's about, just because something works before doesn't mean you should carry on doing the same thing.
"I wanted to try something different and mess around with sounds and new ideas. Just trying s*** out really."
The album is a landmark for Jake in that it's the first time he's struck out on his own as a songwriter, after co-writing his first two releases with Iain Archer (ex-Snow Patrol) and Crispin Hunt.
He feels it was the right thing to do this time round but isn't ruling out collaborations in the future.
Jake said: "It was fun working with co-writers for the first couple of records but I just felt that for this one I needed to be on my own. It was important for my growth as a writer and an artist, so it was just something I felt I had to do.
"I've done it now, so for the next record I might mix it up a little bit and bring in a few different people."
Looking back on his time writing with Hunt and Archer, Bugg is grateful for what they taught him about professionalism.
He said: "I had to be very focused and discipline myself to get things finished. I can be annoying for starting ideas and not finishing them, so that taught me a lot.
"It was actually really satisfying doing that, just things like getting something completed, then having the freedom to sit down and write six or eight verses and picking the best three."
Jake is perfectly comfortable with using co-writers but it didn't sit well with everyone, most notably Noel Gallagher who announced he was "heartbroken" to discover Bugg didn't write by himself.
Jake though, wasn't perturbed by the criticism, instead he just saw co-writers as a means to an end and certainly not anything worth getting upset about.
He said: "People will always comment, but it doesn't bother me. That's just the way it is now, if you want to get signed you need to compromise a little bit and do things you might not necessarily want to."
That confidence in himself to not worry about what people think comes over most in Ain't No Rhyme, where Bugg, a fan of hip hop, tries his hand at rapping for the first time. Fortunately, it works perfectly and is a real standout on the album.
Jake said: "I was back in Nottingham to do that in a small studio and there were some other bands knocking about outside. I shut the windows and made sure they couldn't hear, then just went for it. It was only a couple of takes, though. I'm not a rapper, it was just a bit of fun."
With all the diverse sounds and ideas on the album, one thing that unifies it is the underlying theme of loneliness running through many of the tracks.
It wasn't a deliberate thought on Bugg's part but after spending so much of the last few years touring, it was clearly something that was on his mind.
Jake said: "I started going on the road when I was 17. I was doing it a lot for a long time but not so much in the time I was making this record, so maybe it gave me time to reflect on those years."
Away from the album, Jake has been trying out more new things, not least an appearance on American Idol. Having publicly stated in the past his lack of respect for TV talent shows, Jake caught people off guard with that move but he insists it worked well and helped him make a big dent in the notoriouslydifficult American market. He said: "My immediate reaction was to say no but I thought it might be interesting to try it out and see what it's like. It definitely helped bring my music to a younger audience and the show was pretty cool, if I'm honest."
America might be taking to him but Jake knows there's one place in the world that got him instantly and still gives him the biggest reaction - Scotland.
He's looking forward to touring again in October, but before that, he's got the small matter of T In The Park to deal with.
Needless to say, he can't wait.
Jake said: "When we see Scotland in the tour dates we know we're going to have a f****** good gig. I think we're also doing Glasgow on a Friday night, so you know that one's going to be something special. As for T, I've had some amazing gigs there." | Jake Bugg plays T In The Park, Strathallan, Sunday, July 10. Tickets available from www.tinthepark.com
WORK OF ART Jake Bugg's On My One album cover
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|Publication:||Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Jun 12, 2016|
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