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10th January 2018

At the heart of Hastings Fat Tuesday is the ambition to help support, encourage, promote and nurture original local musical talent, and over the years we have worked with some of the most promising artists including Marie White, Kid Kapichi, and most recently Jamie Smart, to support them to take their music to the next level.

Singer-songwriter Jamie Smart gave several impressive performances at Hastings Fat Tuesday 2017, following which his song 'Last of the Ravers’ was selected as Track of the Day on the Drive-Time programme on southern BBC radio stations, followed by a live session for BBC Introducing in March. We caught up with Jamie ahead of Hastings Fat Tuesday 2018 at which he will be a Featured Artist.

What support have you received from Hastings Fat Tuesday?

I played at the Off Axis showcase in 2017, and Melita Dennett from BBC Introducing was invited to come and see me perform. She liked what we did and put my song Last of the Ravers as Track of the Day on the Drive-Time programme on southern BBC radio stations followed by a live session for BBC Introducing in March.This was great exposure and brought new audiences to my gigs. She was lovely and said when I have the new material ready to send it over and she will see what she can do.

The last six months have been spent getting my new single and EP ready for release in conjunction with Hastings Fat Tuesday 2018. Hastings Fat Tuesday kindly funded the cost of the mastering for the first single Lucifer which I'd just written before last year's festival.

I'm looking forward to the opportunities that come from this year's festival and I'm excited to be a Featured Artist. This is my fourth or maybe even fifth year of playing the festival. I'm a Hastings boy and it's events like this that make Hastings a hub for music. So a thanks goes to all the Fat Tuesday crew.

How would you describe your sound?

My music has been described as indie folk, I guess I like to think I follow the style of British songwriting.

When did you know that you wanted to be a performer?

I went to my first festival when I was 17 and it made me want to be a musician, I came home and borrowed my sister’s guitar. Six months later I was enrolled at Eastbourne college doing music.

What was the first album you bought?

First albums I properly bought myself In Virgin megastores were The Seahorses ‘Do It Yourself’ and Blur’s self-titled album.

When was your first public performance?

I played my first gig at the street in Hastings when I was 18 (still got the flyer somewhere)

Who or what inspires you?

Musically I'm really into British acts like Elvis Costello, The Divine Comedy, Squeeze and their writing style as well as artists as different as the American Ryan Adams and the British folk genius that is Chris Wood.

What has been the proudest moment of your musical career to date?

2017 as a whole has been great, I did my first UK tour, played for BBC Introducing and got to play some local festivals like Hastings Fat Tuesday and Zooquarium.

Jamie Smart is supporting Skinny Lister at Fat Friday at St Mary in the Castle on 9 February and will also play the Fat Tuesday Tour on 13 February.