Playing the Maverick was always in my blood
There was never any back-up plan for eclectic singer-songwriter Maverick Sabre. Music has always been in his blood, he tells The Week, so failure was never an option, writes Gemma Peplow.
"Whether it was singing with a cardboard box in front of me trying to get money to live off or what I'm doing now, my life has always involved music," he says.
"My father brought me up around music, whether it was going to shows or playing music at home. I listen to a wide range of music and always have, since I was a kid.
"Different stages of my life have been influenced by different music.
"When I was 13 I was into grunge and heavy metal. I then got into hip hop and have been into that ever since. I've recently been getting into jazz.
"There was never any kind of back-up plan for me. I always wanted to do this, I've always loved writing songs."
It's fortunate, then, the London-born, Ireland-raised performer has done so well.
His critically acclaimed debut album, Lonely Are The Brave, is gold-selling following its release in February – although the singer says the reviews and sales come second to his own personal satisfaction.
"When I sat down and wrote it, I sat down and wrote it for me. When I write, I have to be in a secluded environment. I'm usually by myself in my flat or studio and I don't like there to be internet or any distractions.
"I wrote the record for me. I wasn't thinking about anyone else. I was never really conscious of anything or of making it a certain way.
"I just wrote and went into a studio for a couple of months and whatever came to me, came to me.
"Any good response was a plus and to see it doing so well is really humbling."
On the back of the album's success and acclaimed festival performances, he's about to embark on his biggest headline tour to date.
"I'm massively looking forward to it. The last tour I did was a month after the album was released, which doesn't give people that much time to get into the record," he says.
"It'll be nice to do headline shows with people having heard it a bit more.
"Hopefully, we'll be bigger and better this time. Things have picked up massively this year and I think after the summer festivals it's picked up even more.
"The festivals have been brilliant, some of the best shows we've done as a band. The energy you get at festivals you rarely get anywhere else, there's more of a freer sense of enjoyment. People are muddy and haven't slept properly because they're in tents, but a lot of the barriers are down.
"The Hackney weekend was a big one for me because it was like a mini homecoming. It was a nice feeling.
"There's a very secluded side to music that a lot of people don't see, where you're going from a promo interview to a photo shoot to something else, so it's nice when you're on the road with the band and playing music to new people every day."
The goal now is to keep performing, keep writing and keep music in his life.
"I'm constantly writing, but with the busy schedule in the summer, it's stopped a bit as you can get an idea when you're on a tour bus at 4am but you've got nowhere to write it down," he says.
"I'm still always creating. I've just got a backlog of ideas to finish now when I come off the road.
"I still feel like there's a lot of life left in the first album, I still need to push it in America and Europe. I'm always looking to the future, to the second album and even the third.
"America is something for the future. There's nothing concrete but I guess I'd like to set some time aside as soon as possible. My music is quite soulful and I think it would get picked up over there.
"It's not just that whole thing about making it in America, though, it's about getting the music out to as many people as possible, and America is a big place.
"If you do well over there it's pretty much worldwide. The entertainment industry there can make you become global, and that's always the aim."
Maverick Sabre is on at the O2 Academy on Thursday, September 27.