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Walsall's Jack Cattell ready to drop EP - unsigned column

'This is definitely something I want to pursue as a career and I’m always working hard behind the scenes' - it's good to have goals, and Walsall's Jack Cattell certainly has those.

The 22-year-old, who attended Wood Green Academy in Wednesbury, has been putting the final touches to the launch of his debut EP Adult Life - which everybody will be able to hear fully tomorrow.

And while his short-term goals will be to get as many people streaming and buying it as possible to grow the JC brand, Cattell has his eyes on a long and fruitful life in the industry. And even if that doesn't quite happen, his degree in chemistry obtained from the University of Birmingham this summer isn't a bad plan B.

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But what about his new music, recorded with Sam Stringer from the locally-based, portable The Ammp Studio?

"The two singles I’ve released over the summer have done better than I could’ve imagined," Cattell told The Star. "The feedback from people has been incredible. The numbers of streams the two singles have had online is astronomical in comparison to anything I’ve previously released, and I’ve gained a lot of new followers thanks to how well they have done.

"I believed in the tracks, the recordings and the promotion campaigns, but I still didn’t expect the reaction to be as good as it has been. I can only thank everyone for their support. I was fortunate that both tracks were selected by the BBC Introducing team to be played on air too so it’s been a crazy two months.

"The individual songs for the EP all came around very quickly in about an hour or two each. They were all written at different times over the past year, along with plenty of other songs, while I took a break from recording due to university commitments. Once university was finished, these four tracks stood out as being the ones to go on the EP."

Cattell's been a long-time lover of music and it's no surprise he began creating it.

"I’ve always enjoyed listening to music and going to gigs since I was very young but didn’t learn to play an instrument until I was 14," he continues. "I started out playing bass and as soon as I learned how to play, I wanted to be in a band and be on stage performing.

"I picked up guitar when I was 15 and learned a few simple chords and started writing some songs. Thankfully very few of the early ones got out into public as they were appalling."

The EP artwork

Perhaps that would make a special edition EP further down the line?

But Cattell continues: "I enjoyed writing and playing so kept at it and worked harder and harder to get to the position I’m in now. I believe in myself and my ability to go out and play my songs on any stage.

"I’m influenced by so many different people in music. Noddy Holder has to be one of them as he was also from Walsall and had a lot of success with Slade. In the songs I write I think the influences come out quite clear to a lot of people: Johnny Cash, [Bruce] Springsteen, Frank Turner and Brian Fallon stand out for me."

And this week he got to meet another of his heroes while performing at The Botanist in Coventry - Tom Grennan.

"His voice is so unique and his presence on stage is on another level to a lot of artists. They are the artists I listen to the most on a daily basis so I think it inevitably comes out in the songs I write."

Cattell has shown a willingness to get his fans involved with his work and in July put out a call to join him in another The Botanist - in Birmingham - to be filmed with him in the video for single Good Old Mr.Daniels.

"The music video filming was so much fun," he beams. "The videographer, Dan Evans, is a good friend of mine and we came up with the idea for the video very quickly. We were both on the same page from the get-go, which always helps, and he’s incredibly talented at what he does.

"I had a great response to the event, and we managed to fill out the room with a live crowd which, again, I’m so thankful for. I’m sure everyone present still has nightmares about hearing Good Old Mr.Daniel’s on repeat but it was amazing to see so many people all getting involved and coming to show their support. It could easily have been just me and the videographer but I’m glad I trusted my audience to come through and turn up."

And with the EP going live tomorrow, what happens next?

"I have an EP launch coming up on November 15 at The Actress and Bishop in Birmingham. For the first time I will be joined by a full band on stage with Alyson Knott on bass and Josh Reid on drums. We are lucky to have [Wolverhampton's] The Jack Fletcher Band opening the show for us too, so it’s going to be a brilliant night of live music straight out of The Black Country. Tickets are £5 and over half a half of the tickets have already been sold."

Tickets can be purchased online at his Bandcamp page.

The rest of 2019 will then continue to be busy. On December 6 he plays on Strawberry Moon Records' Christmas show at Darlaston Town Hall, before playing on December 14 at The Crosswells Inn in Langley, Oldbury, raising money for mental health charities after one of Cattell's friends lost their father earlier this year.

But before all that, tomorrow, he has something special he'd like fans to join in with again.

"I’m also playing an in-store gig at HMV Wolverhampton to coincide with the EP release at 2pm. If you’re about that day it would be great to see you there."

For more on Jack Cattell and tickets for his shows, follow him on Twitter @JCattellMusic and Facebook @jackcattellmusic - his EP will be available to hear on his Spotify and Soundcloud pages.

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