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James Blunt - from peace-keeper to songwriter


Feature: Jack Foley

JAMES Blunt has certainly had a rich and varied life - so it is little wonder that he has put his experiences to good use by becoming a songwriter and musician.

A former soldier, his Army career saw him stationed in Kosovo as part of NATO’s peacekeeping force, before he then spent time protecting the Queen on horseback and the Queen Mother, while she lay in state.

Yet he always had his eye on a career in the music industry and, a week after leaving the Army, James had secured himself a manager.

Three weeks later, a publishing deal was inked and he soon began courting the attention of Linda Perry.

Five minutes after his appearance at the South By Southwest Music Conference, Perry offered him a record deal with her Custard Records label and promptly whisked James off to Los Angeles to record the album - she even produced the last song on the album, No Bravery.

The result of their collaboration is the debut album, Back To Bedlam, which is released on October 11, with the first single, High, following a week later, on October 18.

Recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Tom Rothrock (Beck, Elliott Smith, Badly Drawn Boy), Back To Bedlam takes the listener through heartfelt songs of unattainable romances, lost loves and friend’s failures before climaxing with James’s first-hand experience of war.

They are billed as songs of universal appeal, all delivered with a powerfully unique vocal.

In a world where division is rife and government intelligence (in both senses of the word) remains questionable, James’s songs override and unite.

As Custard entered into negotiations for a distribution deal in America, the album was brought to the attention of Korda Marshall, who then proceeded to bring James Blunt into the Atlantic Records family.

It remains to be seen where Blunt goes from here - but the future looks bright.

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