Entertainment

I questioned whether I was good enough, says Rag'n'Bone Man

The singer credited honesty and supportive relationships as the key to succeeding as a songwriter.

Rag’n’Bone Man has revealed there were times when he questioned his songwriting ability.

The Human singer, whose real name is Rory Graham, has been nominated for best song musically and lyrically at the Ivor Novello Awards for his track All You Ever Wanted.

Speaking to the PA news agency after receiving his nomination, Graham, 37, revealed there have been times during his career where he has doubted his abilities as a songwriter and worked through them with the support of his close-knit songwriting team.

He said: “I’ve had periods of time where I questioned whether I was good enough or not.

“But I think I’m lucky to have peers around me that I consider to be really good writers, and I generally trust the opinions of those people.”

Graham also credited honesty and supportive relationships as the key to succeeding as an aspiring songwriter, saying: “I think it’s important to have good and honest people around you that would tell you if what you were writing wasn’t up to par.

“So I think a little bit of faith in yourself and just trust the people around you.”

The East Sussex-raised singer-songwriter, known for his baritone voice, told PA he feels that the songwriters behind the scenes do not often get enough “shine” and recognition.

He said: “Sometimes I feel like the songwriters don’t get enough shine.

“I think it’s important on different levels, important for the artist, but also important for songwriters, that aren’t necessarily artists as well.”

Graham is nominated for the award along with his writing team, Mike Elizondo, Natalie Hemby and Ben Jackson-Cook.

Speaking about the collaborative writing process, Graham said: “I work with a small group of people that I have to feel really comfortable with in the room, that I feel I can be open with, and that’s really important because otherwise you can’t write honestly.”

Graham Norton Show – London
Rag’n’Bone Man said a close-knit, trustworthy team is the key to successful songwriting (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The inspiration for All You Ever Wanted came from the loss of small music venues, Graham revealed, particularly from the memories of his youth, and the bars and music venues he used to visit in Brighton.

“I grew up going to music venues and bars, because where I grew up in Brighton there are fairly cultural, significant places, where artists go to cut their teeth, those small little bars where bands play,” he said.

“And it just seemed to me at the time that every time someone would say ‘oh that’s not there anymore,’ or ‘those places have been shut down,’ for whatever reason.

“And we’re trying to capture that in the song, and so I came into the studio with those ideas and those lyrics and then the other guys just helped me finish the song.”

The Ivor Novello Awards at The Ivors with Apple Music will take place at  Grosvenor House in London on May 19.

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