Photo by Nina Manandhar

‘I AM’ is the much-anticipated debut release from rising alt-pop artist Vaughan. You find yourself immersed upon the first note, lost in Vaughan’s story, the shame he felt growing up queer, his sexual repression and hedonistic tendencies. Vocals filled with emotion, with a longing to tell his story, linger over an atmospheric template bedded in gauzy synths. It is intimate and aching in its ambient serenity.

I am who I am,
I can love a man or a woman,
I can live a life I couldn’t,
I look at the world colourfast at last,

Walking on glass,
You don’t have to tiptoe over,
Drop a bit of weight from your shoulders,
I fell through the years to find,
That I am who I am.

Vaughan is the pseudonym for Kent-born Thomas Harvey, a talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He says of his debut release, “I was raised in the English countryside of Kent, in a world filled with fenced off gardens and closed minds. I always knew growing up that I wouldn’t be accepted for who I really was, so I hid my sexuality, until that hiding didn’t work anymore and everything that I had repressed became too much.

Photo by Nina Manandhar

The accompanying video for ‘I AM’ was shot by HiLow Films (Shura, Nike, Vice), and portrays Vaughan’s struggle with sexual-repression. It is very personal and reflects Vaughan’s journey visually with the beautiful countryside reminiscent of his childhood in Kent. It ties in with the lyrics,

Garden of England,
Garden way of thinking,
City living grew on me,
Fell brown like a leaf on a tree,
I fell intrinsically

‘I AM’ was written by Vaughan, mixed by Cameron Gower Poole (Major Lazer, Mahalia), executively produced by Julian Hinton (Robbie Williams, Trevor Horn) and co-produced by himself and Ryan Phillips (Imhotep Studio), Vaughan’s forthcoming debut EP will take the same name and is set for release Summer 2019.

In support of the release of ‘I AM’ Vaughan will be showcasing at The Great Escape, as well as curating an afternoon of fellow upcoming UK artists in a gallery space in Hackney Wick. Find out more.

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