Born in Nottingham the same year as Oasis released 'Definitely Maybe', Jake Bugg ended up supporting Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds at this year's Belsonic Music Festival in Belfast. He appeared on BBC One Breakfast this morning, chatting about his meteoric rise before performing his track 'Country Song'.
There is something refreshing about such a talented teenager being so modest and self-effacing while interviewed before a huge backdrop of his album cover; not to mention millions of viewers. Bugg sites his influences as classic rock or acoustic pop - Donovan, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Oasis - although the song he played on his own, armed with an acoustic guitar, owed much of its structure to more simplistic folk elements. Fusing opposite genres is nothing new. However, Bugg's gift for taking well-worn but enduring riffs, then giving them a contemporary twist, is inspiring.
Bugg comes from a generation who have been noted for revolutionary passion at many times over the years, including Mod, Punk, Acid House, Madchester and many other junctures of popular culture. The craving for individual expression that drove many of those movements has, to a great extent, been subsumed by an overwhelming need to conform.
Pop in the 21st century is more homogenous than ever before. The X-Factor looms large in this, placing the creation and manufacturing of pop stars for a lucrative but instantaneous lifespan above all other considerations. While Journey South or Joe McElderry (2009's winner) are fading memories, Jake Bugg's genuine talent and youthful enthusiasm for real music will prevail. It is about connecting with the listener. Unlike modern 'boy bands', whose mawkishly sentimental ballads will shift millions, Bugg will forge a career based on the simple delivery of uplifting songs.