It's time to start getting excited, Dear Reader. We're just a few months out from the unofficial start of our summer festival season. That May Day Bank Holiday weekend means one thing - Live At Leeds. Packed with (literally) hundreds of the best new bands on the planet, it sees one of the country's most vibrant creative cities turned into a mecca of buzz, hype and awesome live music.
To celebrate, we're holding a special Live At Leeds takeover. Over the course of the day (28th January 2020, in case you're coming to this late - Ed), we'll be bringing you all kinds of stuff from and about the acts playing this year's event. If you're going, it'll help you plan out those all-important spreadsheets. If you've not yet picked up your tickets - well, what are you waiting for? You can grab 'em here, right now.
Sfven, otherwise known as 22-year-old Jamie Clarke, is one of the local acts playing Live At Leeds this year who's set for a breakout 2020. With heartfelt bedroom pop influenced by the likes of Bon Iver and Flume, he's not long dropped his new single 'Flowerbeds', and is set to play Leeds' Headrow House later this week (31st January), too. If he doesn't decide he'd rather be an astronaut after all...
Hey Jamie, how's it going? Having a good 2020 so far?
Hello Dork, it's going great thanks just had some toast. My 2020 has been very lovely so far, moved back home which is nice and just been gigging and writing really so no complaints… was having a lot of trouble finding some comfy socks in 2019 but finally managed to get some that are super comfy, so that's good.
When did you first realise you wanted to make music, then?
I don't think there was any lightbulb moment really… it's kinda been a more gradual thing. I've always played music and loved it, but I guess if I had to choose, I'd say when I started to find out about the production side of things is when I started to have a hoot. Just love the fact I can roll out of bed, sit at my desk and just arrange a whole piece of music… that's pretty cool.
And have you had a good time of it so far?
Ye for sure. It was either be a musician or an astronaut, so I'm having a blast.
What's your favourite thing about being a musician?
I had never fronted anything before this project cause I used to just play bass in the corner, but I love singing live and jumping around with my lovely band, The Mango Chutneys.
Are you creative in non-musical ways too?
I actually just bought some crayons from the supermarket the other day and since then have started colouring and it's really fun. I love taking photos too, I'm not very good, but I like it.
What do you do for fun?
Apart from music… my nan lives just up the road, so I like to go see her. She makes a lot of cakes. Love a couple of beers and some pool, that's a great time, or just taking the dog for a walk and catching some breeze, that's nice.
What are you working on at the mo?
At the minute a lot of stuff. I recently had some really bad writer's block, and I kid you not I sat down for 8 hours the other day and nothing happened, but I've managed to break out of that now. Mainly, I'm just writing new bits and trying to polish off old stuff, so between that and practising my colouring I'm pretty busy.
What would you most like to achieve during your music career?
I'd love to have a well-received debut album followed by a tour of the world, that is the dream. Also just go for a few more runs.
Who do you think is the most exciting band or musician around right now?
I love Girl in Red. Think she's bloody wicked. I was lucky enough to catch her at her electric ballroom gig in London at the end of last year, and she's such a badass… as soon as she hits the stage, she's jumping around going mental, and it was just a lot of fun. She writes/produces all her stuff too so that's sick, respect.
Finally, tell us a secret about yourself.
I have weird toes.
Live At Leeds will take place on 2nd May, visit liveatleeds.com for more info.