Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Friday People: Jason Clarke

Jason Clarke

The 29-year-old singer-songwriter from Belfast has had a busy year, releasing hit single Loving You in June, travelling to Norway to write songs for an international recording label, and playing a sell-out live show at the city's Merchant Hotel. He is currently recording his debut album.

* My girlfriend Sara Watson

Sara and I met a couple of months ago -- she was singing at Ollie's nightclub, Belfast, and really impressed me. I started chatting to her about music and writing songs and then asked her if she would play support for me at a gig. Now we're dating. It's the first time I've ever gone out with anyone in the music industry and I'm really enjoying it. Sara is a fellow free spirit and knows the demands that the industry puts on you.

* My best friends

I'm an only child, so I've developed lots of different friendships over the years. One friend I met when I was about 10 years old was Adam Patterson, who's now a photographer.

Then there are two friends who I made while I was at Methody that I'm still very close with, Jamie Cunningham and Fraser Graham.

I also met a lot of friends when I was at university in Edinburgh.

Lots of them come from Donegal, so I spend one weekend a month with them.

* My parents, Rodney & Avril

My dad runs a drycleaners in Belfast and mum is a retired holistic therapist -- she has remarried now and spends about half the year in France.

I'm very close to both of my parents and I speak to them every day. My dad especially would be right up there with my best friends.

I feel that I owe it to my parents and especially to my dad to try to succeed in this game, as they've been so supportive. I want to give them back some of the things they have sacrificed for my music.

Music is the dream but it costs me a lot of money so I need another job. I work for Britvic during the week and spend a lot of time driving. I couldn't work behind a desk but at least this way I can be creative and support myself.

* Person I go to for advice

I would often ask my dad about a lot of things but I have so many friends that one of them will usually help out too.

* My mentor

Three years ago I found myself put forward for a competition on radio station U105 -- my pianist entered me. My prize was a recording session and a chance to meet a manager in London called Sam Wright. She's managed people like Boyzone and if you need advice in the music industry she's the one to go to.

That was three years ago and she's still in touch if I do need advice. It's funny because I would never have put myself forward for a competition.

* My secret crush is ... Taylor Swift

I used to think she was a teenybopper girl until I saw a live performance by her on TV. She's such a driven, creative individual and a great performer. She's the full package and seeing that on TV changed my whole perception of her. She's not bad looking either!

* My fantasy dinner party

The man that made me love music was Michael Jackson so he would be the first guest. Then I would have Sir Alex Ferguson, as I'm a pretty big Manchester United fan and he has a hell of a lot of stories to tell.

Comedy at the table would come from James Corden. Finally I'd ask my favourite musician, John Mayer.

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