“Having toured Europe a lot these last couple of years one thing I always recognise and say about the UK music scene is that, like no other place it gives new, up and coming artists a platform. That starts with busking and playing in small venues. Busk in London goes right to the heart of this and will continue to make this a unique music city.”
Four years ago, Jack Savoretti quit making music. He’d spent years (and all of his savings) in legal dispute with a former manager and seen the release of his second album so botched it barely came out. He was 26 and recently married, with a baby on the way. “I thought that was my run, I’d had fun and now it was time to get a proper job,” says Savoretti. “I was done with music and, honestly, I didn’t mind.”
What happened next couldn’t have surprised the singer more. “As soon as I said, ‘screw this’, I couldn’t stop writing,” he recalls. “I wrote out of anger, although the songs were more of a cry for help. It was the best, most personal music I’d ever made. I realised I had really learnt how to write, how to express exactly what was in my head.”
That album, 2011’s critically-acclaimed ‘Before The Storm’, saw Savoretti turn a corner. That he was an exceptional singer was never in dispute – those gorgeous, gritty, soul-soaked vocals that caused such a fuss when he first emerged and saw his DIY debut, 2007’s ‘Between The Minds’, championed by Radio 2 – but by his own admission, his early work was him finding his feet.
‘Before The Storm’ reignited Savoretti’s passion, taught him how to put himself in his songs and, crucially, led him to the musicians who helped him helm ‘Written In Scars’, his impressive new album and his first to be released by a major label, with whom he signed earlier this year. “A lot of the songs were written with Sam Dixon, who is Adele’s musical director and Sia’s main co-writer”, says Savoretti. “I also wrote with Matt Benbrook who has worked with Paolo Nutini, Jake Bugg and Faithless and finally, of course, with my guitarist Pedro Vito and Seb Sternberg (Pedro’s production partner). I drew inspiration from them all.
Lyrically, ‘Written In Scars’ largely deals with struggle, or rather overcoming struggle – hence the title. “Some of that struggle is personal,” says Savoretti, “but much is about the struggles going on everywhere at the moment. It’s about emerging from strife, with fists in the air.”