Sam Fender has told how he used lockdown to “come to terms” with his sudden rise to fame.
The Brit award-winning singer admitted he had struggled to cope with becoming famous virtually overnight – saying he has spent the past few months on a journey of “self-exploration”.
Fender, 26, won the 2019 Rising Star award and released his chart-topping album Hypersonic Missiles within months of signing a major record label.
Before he got his record label, Fender, from North Shields, near Newcastle, was a busker, was on benefits and released several tracks independently. He also tried to make it as an actor – starring in episodes of ITV drama Vera and CBBC show Wolfblood.
Speaking about returning home as the pandemic hit in March, Fender said: “I found being back here [in North Shields] quite unnerving. I was coming to terms with all the stuff, all the fame I had found. I went inwards, very much so.
“It wasn’t the best of times, but I am coming out the other end of that. And there has been a lot of self-exploration and trying to sort myself out.”
Speaking about the impact fame had had on his mental health, he said: “You would be mental if you didn’t feel mental [dealing with fame]. On the flip side, I get to do my hobby as my job. I am very lucky. I just have to get my head screwed on and do my sh**.”
Fender was speaking as it was announced he had signed a 18-month brand partnership with outerwear brand Barbour and retailer Scotts.