Chesterfield music student James Burt goes it alone with second single

A Chesterfield shop assistant has set his sights on music success with the release of his second single.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 1:13 pm
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 2:13 pm

James Burt is working part-time in a convenience store in Newbold while he studies music performance at Nottingham’s Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies.

And he has now released his second single, the 1980s-inspired Heartbreak High, as he eyes further success in the industry with aspirations of a future record deal.

The 22-year-old says: “The song is out now and it’s gone really well so far. The goal is to get as many streams as possible.”

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James says the song, written and recorded at home during lockdown, is a “boundlessly energetic and soul-bearing track”.

And his love of 1980s music – “unusual for a 22-year-old lad” – shines through in its sound, as well as the accompanying video which James has also developed and filmed himself.

“When I was writing this track, I wanted to prove to people what I’m capable of as a songwriter.”

His debut single, Dance in the Rain, was released in December, with the backing of Confetti, and attracted positive coverage, being named BBC Introducing Nottingham’s track of the week.

However, this time, James has taken the skills he learned from that release and is doing it himself.

“This one has been very DIY,” he says.

“Success to some people relies on an outcome, a certain number of streams or followers. My version is people liking my music, people listening to it.

“I am just trying to put myself out there.”

Singer-songwriter James Burt.
Singer-songwriter James Burt.

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Excited to play live shows

James says he wrote songs through his time at The Bolsover School and sixth-form at Netherthorpe School in Staveley, but grew disillusioned with academia.

“I was just doing subjects I didn’t enjoy, but music was always there, it’s my passion,” he says.

James Burt has just released his second single, Heartbreak High.

“I left sixth form aged 18-19 and wrote off study, it wasn’t for me. I started working, doing agency work in factories, but it was a similar experience. I wasn’t fulfilled.

“Then my dad told me about Confetti, which is where Jake Bugg went, and I thought it was really cool.”

And his talent was quickly realised at the institute when one of his songs was chosen for a Confetti compilation album.

James, who lives in Scarcliffe with his parents, Amy and Dan, and younger brother Alex, says: “It’s called Sing That Song. It’s one of my strongest songs, but I haven’t released it yet. it’s possibly my next single.”

From that, he was offered the opportunity to record a song, leading to his debut single last year and now his follow-up release.

“I finish my course in a couple of months and my plan is to keep progressing my music career,” he says.

James Burt is hoping to continue his music career when his university course finishes this summer.

“I have had quite a unique experience so far, as I started my music career in Covid-times, so have only done one live show.

“I’ve not had that experience of being able to play gigs without Covid, so that’s quite an exciting prospect, the opportunity to play shows.”

There is also talk of a collaboration with another Confetti student – his brother Alex.

"We have discussed it,” James says, “because we are into the same music and we write in similar styles. We’ve spoken about writing something together this summer.”

For now though, all thoughts are about making Heartbreak High a success.

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