Following your dreams is important. But never giving up on them is what makes them happen. This was very much the case for UK singer, songwriter, Jamie Lawson, who is the first artist to be signed by Ed Sheeran's new record label, Gingerbread Man.
Here he shares how success is doing what you love.
And that believing in yourself is all you need.
Have you always known what you wanted to do?
Pretty much, I started playing when I was eight and singing when I was 14 I think. For a while, I was into photography and studied it a little at Art College but I dropped out of that to move to London to do the folk circuit so it was always there.
What was your day job while you were writing music?
I only really ever had one day job and that was working in a record store in Dublin called Tower Records. I'd moved to Dublin because my music had gone down well there and I thought it might happen for me there first. As it turns out that's what did happen but only after I'd moved away again. The job lasted a year and eventually started taking over my life so that I wasn't really playing much guitar at all and having nightmares about spreadsheets and the tills not adding up properly! So I quit and moved to Cornwall to live in a caravan and started writing songs again.
Did you ever question if you'd make it?
Not exactly, I question if I'll have enough money to look after me when I'm older. I still question that. But I'd already made it because I was doing what I loved doing and making enough money to pay the rent. That's success, but not enough success to retire on later.
How did you get through times of self-doubt and loneliness?
I carried on, I wrote. Being a songwriter or a writer of any kind is a lucky profession because you can always keep yourself busy, even if you're not being paid for it right there and then, you're always going to need more songs. And, this will sound cheesy, but you can't really feel too lonely when you have songs.
What advice would you give to anyone who is struggling or doubting their dream?
I sometimes feel rather than never giving up on my dream I've just been very stubborn. Most people would've stopped by now but then again, I always thought my songs were good enough to be heard and to touch people, and now that's proving true. So I guess, if you believe in yourself and what you're doing, keep at it.
What does music mean to you?
I love it. It means the world to me. I love that it can move you to tears, but you can't physically touch it, or make you smile out loud or involuntarily move. It's such an inherent reaction if that makes sense; we seem to have very little control over the way we react to music. To me, it was a way of dealing with things as a teenager and into my twenties. These days it's just about the pleasure of singing and playing.
What do you like doing when you have time off?
I listen to music! My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. I watch a lot of TV too, comedies. Lately, I've been into Episodes and I love Modern Family.
Did you ever question if you'd break through the industry?
I didn't really think about breaking through the industry, I just kept at it; kept writing, kept playing gigs. There always seemed to be someone who would come out and see me so I must have been doing something right.
How did it feel when Ed Sheeran told you he wanted to sign you as his first artist for his new record label, Gingerbread Man? And how have your family and friends reacted?
I'm not sure how seriously I took it at first. It wasn't until he invited me on to his tour that I thought maybe it would happen 'cause why else would I be there? He could have anyone open for him. I was very chuffed and very grateful. I still am. He really likes my songs and that's a massive compliment coming from someone as talented as he is.
My family and friends seem to be more excited about things than I am! I guess because I'm in the middle of it, it's harder to take in, but everyone has been very pleased for me, which is lovely.
And finally, what is your life like now?
So far my life doesn't seem that different. Right now I have a few days off from having recorded the album and doing a few festivals to the next thing, which I think is more gigs and a few meetings. So I'm at home trying to get my head back into writing mode because that's my default, that's what I do. I miss Cornwall, but I knew I had to move away because there's no real music scene in Cornwall, which is a shame because there are some really good bands and songwriters there.