Sam Fender reflects on his rapid rise, Brit awards success and North East origins

Sam Fender is set to headline this year's Mouth of the Tyne festival. Credit: PA Images
  • WATCH: We sent along our reporter Emily Reader to meet him - watch the interview below. WARNING: Her report contains flashing images

North Shield's Sam Fender has credited his knack for songwriting to one of his school teachers.

In a wide-ranging interview with ITV News Tyne Tees the 22-year-old reflected on his North East upbringing, the inspiration for his music and his success at the Brit awards.

He also explained how it was with the help of a committed teacher he developed his ability to write lyrics and music.

"I never used to be that good at writing at school and she was like, you speak like an A star student but you write like an idiot" Fender said.

"She said 'look if you come back after school I'll help you with your writing and, I got good at writing and that's purely because she saw that in us.

He added: "I never thought I'd be into that and then suddenly now I love stuff like poetry and that."

Sam Fender is set to headline this year's Mouth of the Tyne festival. Credit: PA Images

It's been a rapid rise for the talented musician. He's played over 130 shows, was named as a YouTube artist to watch and he scooped the Critics' Choice Award at the Brits.

Looking back on that particular success, Fender said the Brit Award came as something of a surprise.

Fender said his North East upbringing had a clear influence on his songwriting. Credit: ITV News

Fender's biggest gig to date will also be one that's special for the simple reason it's on his very own doorstep. This summer he's set to headline the Mouth of the Tyne festival, something, he believes, is 'canny mad'.

Speaking about his home, it's clear Fender has a strong connection with his native North East. His upbringing has had a clear influence on his outlook and songwriting.

He said: "A lot of my characters and stories are set here, naturally because it's the only place I've lived all my life. Leave Fast is one of the songs that I wrote, that's about, actually feeling quite claustrophobic in your own home town.

"I wrote that song when I was like 17, when I had no clue on how to pursue a music career because there isn't much of a music industry up here.

"I felt like, I'm going to have to get out of here. Some old bloke did say to us 'leave fast or stay forever, and I stayed, forever!"

Looking forward there's no let up in Fender's ever-busier schedule. He's set to play sell-out tours in the UK and Europe this year, not to mention that headline performance on home soil.