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Young troubadour Connor Selby signed to Provogue Records in December 2022 and has released his major label debut, the self titled Connor Selby to critical acclaim. One of the brightest talents on the UK blues scene. He has been voted “Young Artist of the Year” at the UK Blues Awards for the last three consecutive years (2020, 2021, 2022) and he already has an impressive venue checklist, including Wembley Stadium, where he opened for The Who in July 2019 and has since gone on to play Hyde Park, London, with Pearl Jam, Stereophonics and Johnny Marr in the summer of 2022. Connor has also had a productive 2023 touring the UK as the opening act for Blues and Rock Luminaries Robert Cray and Beth Hart. Connor is also due to embark on a headline tour in October of 2023.
There’s a timeless melancholic quality to his music. Relatable in its honesty and openness, he draws from anxiety and vulnerability but delivers it with a world-worn elegance. The sky is the limit for Selby, who, along with awards, has picked up numerous plays on BBC Radio 2. It’s easy to see why with his soulful blend of blues and his emotionally introspective songwriting, which sits alongside his impressive armoury of guitar playing.
Raised in an Essex village, he has already trodden a path less travelled. Spending part of his early years in Connecticut, USA, he moved back to his home county before relocating to Dubai, UAE, between the formative age of ten and fourteen, and then back to Essex. Those young eyes soaked up the travels and the changes that were passing him by. Too young to remember Connecticut, he has fond memories of Dubai, "It was quite a contrast to England. I remember going to an international school and meeting lots of different people from all over the world, who like me, had recently been thrusted into this new environment. There wasn't the division that you might expect in a community comprised of people of so many different nationalities. We all bonded over the fact that we were in this new place, that none of us really felt we belonged to. Strangely, when I returned to England, I found people to be colder and I didn't feel that same sense of camaraderie and community that I experienced in Dubai, despite being back in my home-town."
One thing that kept with him was his burgeoning love of American roots music. "I got interested in not just the music itself but the history and everything around it," he says. "I wanted to learn and listen as much as I could. The artists, their lives and their lineage. Tracing it back to see how it connects, like a tapestry. I think it's important for someone who isn't from that cultural background to treat it with the respect it deserves. You can't separate the music from its historical context."
"I love the directness, the simplicity and earthiness of it," he adds. "I love really how down-to-earth; it is both lyrically and musically. I think with the blues, it's fundamentally about very basic human emotions. Things like sorrow and pride and exploring the way we deal with everyday situations and problems. I’ve also always been attracted to the authoritative quality of the music. As a kid and teenager, I was quite shy and not very self-assured, so I think it was a place for me to find a sense of power."
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