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The Big Interview: Meet music man Quigley

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 20, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson

  • Music man Quigley

  • Quigley has enjoyed iTunes success

  • Quigley when he played cricket at county level

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One day Quigley hopes to come back to Gloucester and give me another interview when he is a big star.

He might not be a big name in pop-rock right now, but he’s sure as hell going hell for leather in his bid to make a successful music career out of his extraordinary talent.

The 23-year-old, who has just reached number two in the iTunes singer-songwriting chart with his latest single Follow You, has lived in Gloucester since he was four years old so he sees himself as a Glawster lad.

It was back when he was four that he started to learn the piano but it wasn’t until he was 11 that he started songwriting and a teacher heard him singing in a room at The Crpyt School. He was asked to perform in a school concert – his first public performance.

“I had quite a high voice at the time,” says Quigley. “I did the concert with my song and after that I started to get more confident. I think once people know you are a singer they don’t judge you in the same way.

“Then I had my ugly stage until my voice broke when I was 16 or 17. I then started to sound more of a crooner like Michael Buble. In fact everyone started calling me Buble. I wanted to try and avoid that because there are a lot of them out there already.

“The worst thing is seeing an artist and wanting to be just like them. It is ok to be influenced by them but that’s as far as it should go.

“So I took to developing my own style.”

Quigley was in Wales studying English and creative writing at university when tragedy struck.

His dad and grandfather were both diagnosed with cancer in the space of six months.

Quigley says: “Everything was going down hill and granddad passed away. Dad to this day is still going through the motions. I walked to the chapel and sat there. It was there that I wrote a song about granddad.”

That was when he released Watch With You, a sentimental piece inspired by his granddad Fred Kidd, who died in 2011.

VIDEO: Quigley performs Follow You

But he also penned another piece about his girlfriend at the time, and more specifically, the five hour journey he had to make to get back to her. That song, Hold On Tonight, ended up being played on BBC Radio 1 Extra after a tweet about it was picked up by a presenter.

But Quigley didn’t stop at that major milestone in his career.

“Now I listen back to that and people said it was fantastic but it feels very average compared to what I am doing now,” he says.

And better he has done – his recent single Follow You has been his biggest success to date after it soared to number two in the iTunes singer-songwriter chart.

Of his chart success, he says: “I was chuffed. This was a milestone. It is a big stepping stone to be recognised in this way.

“I don’t write music for accolades. I do it because I enjoy it. It is a great way of expressing yourself.

“It is a bit like smoking. You didn’t need to do it before but now your addicted. Not that I smoke of course.”

Quigley, who does not want us to refer to him by his first name anymore, is spending much of his time writing new material to perform with his backing band, but he is also bringing in the money from performing at weddings and doing gigs here and there.

He says: “I’ve done some gigs and I have done a lot of weddings. At a wedding they have paid you because they know what you are like, but if you go into a bar to perform where people are just having a social drink it is much more nerve-wracking because you don’t know if they are going to like you.

“If you are performing a relaxing, chilled acoustic set in a bar that just happens to be filled with hairy bikers then it might not go down too well.

“For me it would be more nerve-wracking to play in front of 1,000 people in a big bar than 20,000 people who have paid for tickets to come and see you.

“I finish university in four weeks and I’d like to do lots of gigs, especially here in the city. I love the support of Gloucester because I’m a local lad.

“I’d love to make it big and come back to perform in the city. A lot of people forget their roots and I don’t want to do that. I want to stay humble and keep my head down.”

The performer is far from being a one-trick pony though. He is also a fitness fanatic, who plays rugby with Old Cryptians RFC, and formerly played cricket at county level. He’s also a big fan of camomile tea and sushi.

But he’s not a fan of labels.

“What am I? I don’t know. I don’t like a label but perhaps I’m close to pop-rock and acoustic,” he says. “I’m just Quigley. That’s who I am.”

FOLLOW QUIGLEY

Quigley on Youtube

- Twitter: @QuigleyMusic

- SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/quigleymusic

- Facebook: "Quigley Music"

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