The lad from Cleethorpes has changed his image and style of music a couple of times now but he’s not changed the drive he has to be famous. He’s currently undertaking a huge UK tour to promote his funky pop essence but you are just as likely to find him headlining a gay pride as fending off screaming fans as he lends his support on The Wanted tour. Ryan Houston asks the questions.
When did you first begin songwriting?
I’ve always scribbled song ideas since I was a geeky kid in school with pictures of Michael Jackson glued all over my books. I wasn’t academic but music was something I could just do. Writing gave me identity and got me through some tough stuff that other guys and girls reading this probably went through as a teen, too. I believe you have to dream big and follow your heart in everything you do, whether it’s creating catchy-as-hell pop songs or something more important.
What would you say has been the most pivotal thing you have done?
The first time I saw my picture printed in a magazine (Bent, July 2008) was mind-blowing for me as a young, blonde and pretty naïve boy chasing a dream! I’ve had an amazing 4 years of making music & performing live but I’ll never forget where it all started. Cheers Bent!
What made you want to support the Terence Higgins Trust and appear in GT‘s ‘Naked Issue’?
I was so excited when I got the call to appear in Gay Times ‘Naked Issue’ and I think I enjoyed getting my kit off in front of the camera a bit too much! It was so exhilarating, kinda like being on stage – but without the music… or the outfits! I always get asked if I was ‘nervous’ stripping off for a mag, but that didn’t come in to play as I knew we were raising money for the THT – an amazing charity who do incredible work promoting sexual health, which is such an important issue to young people like me. If I can contribute just by wearing my birthday suit, I’m game!
Has being gay affected you in this industry?
No. I’ve never felt the need to hide who I am as a person or as an artist and I’m proud to be true to myself and to my fans. I hope to set an example to anyone struggling with their sexuality and show them that it really is okay to be gay. That’s why performing live at Prides means so much to me… it’s about coming together to bring unity, love and strength to everyone in the LGBT community.
Having performed across the country what has been your favourite gig?
I’ve played to hundreds of thousands of people at events all over the Europe and I’ve learned that every crowd has their own personality and creates a unique atmosphere. It’s tangible… you can literally feel their energy on stage. Glasgow and Grimsby, my hometown, have both been special gigs but I think playing with The Wanted at Birmingham Pride 2010 was unbeatable… and drinking beer with the boys backstage wasn’t too bad, either. I fancy Nathan, if you were wondering!
What can fans expect from you over the coming Pride season?
My 2012 tour is my biggest ‘n’ baddest yet and I’m crazy-excited to perform for my fans and reach new people with my electro-pop-dance-rock music. I’m hitting festivals around England, Wales, returning to Scotland and playing Ireland for the first time, too. It’s my dream to be playing to tens of thousands of people this summer and I want to make each and every one of them in the crowd feel like a ROCKSTAR!
Pride 2012: Glasgow 14/7, Hull 21/7, Huddersfield Pink Picnic 22/7, Belfast 4/8, Milton Keynes 11/8, Wakefield 12/8, Grimsby 1/9, Cymru Wales 5/10. www.RyanJagger.co.uk for more!