Northampton songsmith Dave Vegas used to rap for 50p - now he sells songs around the globe

Songwriter Dave Vegas speaks about his current in demand status, having been awarded the Songwriters' Guild's Rising Star award. auOIh8Ws6yOZNRnyN9G4
Songwriter Dave Vegas speaks about his current in demand status, having been awarded the Songwriters' Guild's Rising Star award. auOIh8Ws6yOZNRnyN9G4

A sought-after troubadour named as the International Songwriter’s Guild’s rising star for 2016 has shared a stage with his heroes - but he will always be a Thorplands man at heart.

Dave Vegas, who now lives in the town centre, spent most of 2015 touring with his band Jagged Little Thrills, who have supported acts such as Foals and Bombay Bicycle Club.

But the guitarist and lyricist, who also runs his own engineering firm, has gradually been gaining a reputation as a sought after songwriter for other acts over the past decade.

Last week, the prolific 30-year-old sold the royalties to six of his songs to various publishers in the space of half-an-hour.

Now the International Songwriters’ Guild has awarded Mr Vegas with its Rising Star award.

“I had no idea this was going to happen until the guild called me saying could I attend this ceremony in High Wycombe.

Photo by Marc Barnett

Photo by Marc Barnett

“Then I got a call from someone at the NME saying congratulations, it was all a bit mad.”

Mr Vegas, whose biggest inspiration is the London-based band The Libertines, says since winning the award he has been inundated with offers for songwriting commissions. The more personal songs, he keeps for himself he claims.

He said: “A lot of the songs I write go to artists or bands who are really talented but can’t write songs themselves. I think for me lyrics are my strong point. I tend to write in bursts.

“Half of the time I don’t get the name of the bad it goes to.

“A few years ago I had an email through telling me a song of mine charted in Australia.”

But the Thorplands man, said his passion for penning songs stems back to his love of writing poems - and later raps - as a youngster.

“Growing up in Thorplands, all my friends were into hip-hop. We used to write raps , I would sell the, for 50p outside the local shop.

“I always knew there was something there I guess.

When he took a music course at Northampton College, aged 20, he had only learned to play one song, Cranberries’ Zombie, on guitar.

But his first major foray into music was with his band the Dave Vegas project in 2009, which over the course of four years saw the frontman emerge as a talent on the London music scene and saw the act support his heros Pete Doherty and Carl Barat of the Libertines (post-Libertines split)

But when the band split up in 2012, having also shared stages with the likes of Tribes and The Coral, Mr Vegas said it was a tough fall from grace.

But following a brief hiatus, in 2014 he re-emerged as a guitarist with indie rock four piece Jagged Little Thrills, base in Northampton.

After a whirlwind two years his band are due to release their first album, The Last Alibi Part 1, with Northampton’s own Blow the Roof Records and Market Place based Synergy Music Promotions at the end of February. Mr Vegas is also about to pen an album with local songwriter Sarah Kanan.

His dream: “The same as anyone’s - to get paid to do something I love.

“People don’t always realise how much work that takes.”