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AMBITION Jake Bugg says music helped him escape from unhappy childhood in Nottingham's Clifton Estate

'I'm not going to lie, I didn't really enjoy my childhood much'


Jake’s new album is out now

Jake’s new album is out now

Jake’s new album is out now

He's back with a hit album, and British singer-songwriter Jake Bugg today tells how music helped him escape from his unhappy childhood.

Jake's parents split up when he was young and his mother brought him up single-handedly, along with a younger sister, in Nottingham's Clifton Estate - at that time the largest council estate in Europe.

"Life on the council estate, I'm not going to lie, I didn't really enjoy much in my childhood," Jake tells Shuffle in an exclusive interview.

"My mum did a great job with me and my younger sister, but it was tough - and that was kind of my drive and reason for wanting to get out and wanting to see the world. I couldn't wait to grow up. I spent most of my childhood wanting to be an adult."

Jake used music as a form of escapism during those dark times. "I'd stay up till three in the morning on school nights, just listening to music all night, and I really loved it," he remembers.

"Sometimes on a council estate you're on edge because you feel that anything can happen at any point, anything can kick off, and it was just nice to stick the headphones on and go into a different world for a few hours.

"I knew this was what I wanted to do from the age of 14. I didn't care if I was going to be successful or not. I loved the idea of getting in a terrible little van and staying in horrible hotels and playing to three people every night. That didn't bother me. I just wanted to do it.

"I think if you're prepared to do that, then it's probably a career choice for you. I never thought I would get to the level I actually got to."

Jake's cousin, Scott Bugg, was in an indie rock band. "I spent a lot of time with Scott growing up,"Jake says. "He was a good writer and a very good frontman as well. He was a good person to look up to. I played bass for his band when I was 15, and that was a brilliant experience to get under the belt."

At age 16, Jake was chosen to perform at Glastonbury on the BBC Introducing stage after sending samples of his music to them online.

This performance saw him signed by Mercury Records and by 2012, when he was just 17 years old, he had released his first self-titled album, which went straight to number one in the UK charts and sold 750,000 copies.

Now, aged 27 and having just released his fifth album, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Bugg is a veteran of the music industry - but points out that he has a long way to go before he matches the longevity of the Rolling Stones.

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Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts


Jake supported the Stones at London's Hyde Park in July 2013, and this week we speak just a day after the shock announcement that their iconic drummer Charlie Watts had died.

"I met Charlie when we supported the Stones in Hyde Park," he says. "What a guy, what an amazing musician, and so influential on many musicians around the world as well. It was a brilliant combination with Keith and Mick more into their blues, and Charlie bringing that jazz element to it with his drumming. It's terrible when we lose somebody like that."

Music has also been Bugg's passport to experience life around the globe.

"I had the opportunity to travel the world and meet lots of people, and for somebody like me, from a working-class council estate, it was a great eye opener and a great education," Jake says.

"In Brazil, I saw how life was for people there. I thought I had it rough, but when you see how bad other people have it, you realise that it wasn't that bad and, actually, I should be grateful for the upbringing I had."

Jake Bugg's album, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, is out now.

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