Interview With Vaughan As He Releases Debut EP ‘I Am’

by Lucy Lerner

29th November, 2019


“Each track on the I AM EP helped me come to terms with loving myself

Singer-songwriter extraordinaire VAUGHAN has released his sublime debut EP ‘I AM’, a sincere account of his life experience and how it has shaped him.

‘I AM’ contains four songs and they portray the breadth of VAUGHAN’s versatility. His vocals are very honest and go perfectly with mournful piano melodies to more brooding electronic pieces. What fleshes out his music are his poetic lyrics. VAUGHAN lays himself bare for all to see and hear and we love him all the more for it. ‘I AM’ is a musical autobiography; brief snapshots into his life and it is unpredictable yet soothing to listen to. It is personal and intimate but it reaches many hearts.

VAUGHAN comments on his debut EP release, “I wanted this EP to be the first piece of my story. A lot of my music is an honest translation of my experience and how that’s shaped me. This first chapter is to discuss who I AM and the parts that make up my identity.”

My style will also be rooted in strong songwriting but I’m so interested and curious to explore new ways of creating music.

We spoke to VAUGHAN about his new EP and what it means to him.

Tell me about your new EP ‘I AM’?
The ‘I AM’ EP is the first chapter of my story and my introduction to the world as an artist. Through four songs I describe my ever-evolving identity growing up in the garden of England; my first love falling out of the sky; learning to love myself through Isabella and remembering to live while it lasts.

Is there a track or lyric from the EP that particularly resonates with you?
The third single and track on the EP ‘Isabella’ is a song that felt very momentous; “crying out to the lovers, thoughts like the seeds that grow.” Each track on the I AM EP helped me come to terms with loving myself though – “I look at the world colourfast at last.” This is one of my all-time favourite lyrics. Colourfast means to have colour that won’t fade or wash away.

What was the inspiration for the recent single ‘Isabella’ and how does the music video tie-in with ideas when creating the song?
Isabella was the unrequited childhood love during my teenage years that helped shape who I AM. It was a difficult time for me, as I tried to understand who I was and what I wanted. Falling in love with a girl felt like the only way I could stop my sexuality, which of course doesn’t work. Through that experience, she helped me accept myself.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up and how much has it influenced your style today?
I was raised by a lot of Motown records like Marvin Gaye with just really great core songwriting. A lot of my family are much like me in that they don’t ever stop singing and I think my natural instinct for music definitely comes from there. My style will also be rooted in strong songwriting but I’m so interested and curious to explore new ways of creating music.

The visual accompaniments are very important to me because all of my songs are so personal. I want to make sure that the videos are an accurate representation of that feeling or experience. I grew up performing in shows across the U.K. and Europe and my music videos are another platform for me to take each song and shape them into contemporary performances.

Cause you’re the sound of the city,
The thunder felt in my veins” – ‘Isabella’

When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
I was told at a school reunion a few years ago when I was at pre-school during nap time the teachers would have to come back in and grab me to stop me from singing. Apparently, the Titanic theme tune was my go-to song. I think this is when I first made the decision to follow a career in music.

How much does your sexuality influence your music?
My identity is ever-evolving but for the majority of my childhood, my sexuality played such a fundamental part in the choices I made and didn’t make. This first EP and chapter are definitely about how sexuality has shaped my life but I know my sexuality doesn’t define me, it’s just a part of my story. But I do feel that it’s important to express that story, especially in a world where so many people are still unable to be honest with who they are for fear of safety.

This EP is very personal, intimate and about your identity – do you think your future releases will follow a similar theme or be about something completely different? Is there anything else you would like to explore?
The following chapters of this EP follow a theme of telling my story honestly and openly. It doesn’t end with who I AM, there’s a lot more where this comes from and I can’t wait to share that with you next year.

What’s the best advice anyone has given you?
Hard work creates luck.

How important do you think your look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
I think it’s incredibly important to develop an aesthetic as an artist. This is something that I’m learning to do with the help of my stylist, creative director, and manager. It’s important to me that everything feels like an authentic visual expression of my music and my art. I also want all of my imagery to have a deeper meaning behind it. Like the main image for my EP that symbolises growing up in the garden of England (Kent) and the feelings I had of being suffocated by my sexuality.

Which artists/tracks are you currently listening to?
This second I’m listening to Running Up That Hill (Deal With God) by Kate Bush. BUT I am loving listening to Sfven, M T Hadley and Maggie Rogers just to name a few.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing the closest ones I love.

What have been your 2019 highlights?
Playing The Great Escape Festival and signing with X Ray Tours.

Building a wonderfully supportive team around me throughout the year and celebrating with them all at my EP launch event last week. I’m incredibly fortunate to have so many people believing in me.

‘I AM’ is out now.

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