Today’s generation of aspiring young musicians often have just one choice in their pursuit of a career – to take the plunge and independently mastermind a digital cottage industry from which their songs can be discovered by a like-minded audience. That’s precisely what Oxford’s twenty-year-old singer-songwriter Lewis Watson did. After gradually building his own fan-base, his economically-produced debut EP ‘It’s Got Four Sad Songs On It BTW’ topped the iTunes singer-songwriter chart on the first day of release, outselling the likes of Adele, Madonna and Ed Sheeran in the process. It’s a model that plenty of artists aspire to recreate, but few ever make any serious progress with.

A comparative latecomer to music, Watson first started playing after receiving a guitar for his sixteenth birthday. “I’ve never had lessons,” he admits. “I just enjoyed playing guitar so much. I’d play for hours a night, and try out new things to make sure it didn’t get stale.

Within days of the EP’s release, Watson had attracted the attention of just about every record label in the land and soon inked a deal with Warner Bros. Records. Part of the appeal, he says, was the label’s long-running success with male solo artists as diverse as David Gray, Damien Rice and Neil Young. Recent months have found Watson holed up with a huge number of collaborating songwriters and producers including Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys), Richard Wilkinson (Kaiser Chiefs), Iain Archer (Jake Bugg), Kid Harpoon (Florence + The Machine) and Mr Hudson.