Sometimes the most extraordinary talent comes, seemingly, from nowhere. John Newman is only just 23 years old, but his voice and his songs cut through with a depth and a richness thats way beyond a couple of decades and some change. A true force of nature, John writes, produces plays, performs and remixes his own music, as well as writing his own video scripts and designing his own clothes. This is a seriously larger than life character.
Born in Settle, North Yorkshire, to a mother obsessed with Motown and Northern Soul, John never really even knew you could be a singer, that you could express yourself through writing and performing your own songs. No one from where he grew up ever spoke about such a thing; indeed, to bring the subject up among your school friends would only provoke scorn. But as a teenager, having watched his elder brother leave home and form a band, John began to realise there was a whole world beyond everything he knew.
When John talks about his love of Otis Redding, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye and Adele, or piano classics like Liquids Sweet Harmony or Black Boxs Ride On Time, that small town boy who fell in love with music without ever knowing it could provide him with an escape, appears right there in front of you.