Five Minutes With…. Jersey Budd

Jersey Budd is a 33 year-old singer/songwriter whose second album The Gathering Dust is released tomorrow (Feb 24). The Leicester-born musician, who has supported Kasabian and Amy Macdonald amongst others, is Dad to three-year-old Isla, and is expecting Baby No 2 with wife Kayleigh in the spring. Belle About Town caught up with him ahead of his gig at Vinyl Barjust off Tottenham Court Road, tonight.

How do you balance being a Dad with being a rock star?

It’s never easy and I often feel torn between the two, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Isla loves having a Daddy who writes songs about her, and I make a point of putting her to bed every night and singing her to sleep. There’s a song on my new album called Thinking For Two that I wrote about Isla. I love knowing she can listen to it when I’m not there, if I am touring or recording, and she will always know that she’s right at the top of my thoughts. I played it to my friend Tom (Meighan, lead singer with Kasabian) and he was so choked up he cried when he heard it. That was a real vote of confidence that I’d really got it right!

How has becoming a Dad affected your rock and roll lifestyle?

Me and the Kasabian boys all used to party together whenever we were on tour. I remember a particularly messy night at Glastonbury where we nearly weren’t able to perform the next day. It was bad enough for me in the Queens Head tent, but they were due on the main stage! We used to love a drink or six, and we’d always be the last ones standing, but having kids has mellowed us all. That’s not to say we don’t have the odd late night now though, sitting up, playing the guitars and drinking. But nowadays we’ve got the monitors on and the kids sleeping in the next room. In a few years it will probably be Isla telling me to keep the noise down with my friends!

What does Kayleigh think about your dreams of hitting the big time?

Kayleigh has never been anything but supportive of my music, my hopes and my dreams. She knows how important my music is to me and she’s always been my number 1 fan. We met when she came to one of my gigs, and it sounds cheesy but it really was love at first sight. She never makes me feel guilty for chasing my dreams, and has supported me through some really tough times.

What are your hopes and dreams for your daughter?
I hope she’s happy and content in whatever she does. She’s born for the stage always singing and dancing so maybe a multi million pound recording artist so I don’t have to work!

Have you ever thought of giving up your dream of being a No 1 musician?

Kayleigh wouldn’t let me! She says I owe it to all of them, her, Isla, and our new baby, to achieve as much as I can. She’s 100% confident I will hit the bigtime, and I’m determined to prove her right! I owe it to myself, and my kids, to work as hard as I can to make them all proud. Going on tour can be hard, and I miss them hugely, but the smile on their faces when I come home makes it all worthwhile.

Who are your role models?

I’d have to say my Mum and Dad and that’s not being cheesy it’s just the way they are. They work hard and play hard and have instilled that in me.

You’ve had some pretty tough day jobs while trying to crack the bigtime, what was the worst one?

I’ve had too many to mention (laughs)! But I suppose it’s got to be when I was 15 I collected the golf balls on the driving range while people were still firing balls at me!
What’s the funniest thing that has happened on stage?
I suppose being flashed at on a few occasions is the funniest thing I can think of. All sorts of shapes and sizes!!
How do you relax and unwind after a gig?
Just a couple of beers, nothing fancy. After a gig I don’t like too much going on around me.
What’s been the most magical moment of your career so far?
Doing the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at the Albert Hall with Kasabian. It was amazing to be involved with such a fantastic charity but also heartbreaking to see what the teenagers go through everyday.
Who have been the most inspiring female influences in your life?
My mum and my wife, Kayleigh.

Is Jersey really your real name?

Well I was christened Joe, but my dad always called me ’Jersey Joe’ after Jersey Joe Walcott – a famous boxer in the 1950’s. People have called me Jersey all my life, so I decided to change my name by deedpoll!
You also do a lot for local charities, tell us more about that…
I played a gig last year as part of the Musicians Against Homelessness campaign. I’ve been on the breadline several times and I’m always aware of how lucky I am to be doing what I’m doing. I think it’s important to give something back if you can. It’s essential that you never forget who you are or where you came from. I’m involved with the children’s ward at Leicester Royal Infirmary after they looked after one of my friend’s daughters who was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer last year. They do amazing work at the hospital and I try to support them as a charity as much as I can.
* Jersey Budd’s album Gathering Dust is released today (January 24) and can be bought by cliking here. Tickets for tonight’s gig are available here.
Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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