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Aiden Driver Interview: “I’m just trying to be happy, and music right now is the way to do that”

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Every second Tuesday of the month, around nine pm in Nicky-Tams Bar and Bothy, Aiden Driver steps up on stage.

Armed with just his voice and a guitar, the pop singer is no stranger to being behind a microphone. But he describes it the same way every time:

“Absolute panic…until the very moment I start. The most anxiety I will ever feel is before I sing my first note.”

But performing under pressure is a familiar feeling for Aiden.

The Lancashire born singer first moved to Scotland when he was 12 years old, forcing him to adapt to a whole new schooling system, all while coping with a stammer. A couple of years earlier, a part in his primary school’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat gave Driver the survival tools for his new environment.

Driver said: “I got to sing the big song in front of this municipal hall, like full of people. It was the best moment of my life. I was then like, this is great! I wasn’t stammering. Let’s just keep doing this.”

(Left) Aiden Driver busking, Image credit: Theo Barrett, Instagram @don_flexington. (Top right to bottom right) photo credits: Nicky-Tams

From then on, Driver found ways to play music whenever he could, jumping from school choirs and busking.

The 21-year-old credits ‘Pump Up The Jam’, a songwriting and band workshop based in Tolbooth studios, for increasing his musical confidence and helping to nurture this second language:

“I couldn’t communicate through speech but whenever I did music, I was just fluent,” he said.

Now, after being featured in a showcase event in Glasgow’s Soulsa Bar and regularly gracing the Nicky- Tam’s stage, Driver is on the rise.

Audiences are lucky enough to witness this growth in real-time as he experiments with different styles and finds his voice.

From the dreamy yowls on his Love Ballad ‘Lucky On You’, to the space age synths on ‘Turn Back Time’, Driver is finding his musical feet and we get to see it:

“I enjoy the fact that I’m still figuring out what type of music I want to make,” said Driver. “I’m enjoying creating anything right now.”

Pump Up The Jam at Tolbooth Studios. Image credit: Stirling Events

Nicky-Tams is a safe place for the guitarist — the bar’s open mic night every Wednesday offers musicians the chance to showcase their own talent:

“Every time I go there, I feel like I’ve been enriched in some way… Just to hear the things that come out of people’s minds, like how did you come up with that?”

Driver’s own creative process is slow work. He often waits for inspiration to strike. But once it does, there’s no stopping him — his single ‘Lucky On You’ is a perfect example. After hearing the melody in a dream, the song wrote itself:

“I grabbed my phone, humming it into my phone, running for my guitar, leaping over my cat and the whole thing just spilled out in like an hour,” he said.

Driver plans to release music every month for the next year. His latest single, which is out now, revamps his debut, ‘Run’, into an acoustic classic:

“I’ve put my whole soul into this, it sounds great.”

Nicky-Tams. Image credit: Booking.com

Juggling everything that comes with being an independent artist is no easy job. But for Aiden, it is all worth it for that first note.

Driver said: “The release once I start. Then all I’m thinking about is “Oh, I’m playing music now”. It’s such a stress reliever.”

Clearly, this is just the beginning for the young performer:

“I am never stopping because it makes me super happy, that’s all I could really ask for,” he said. “Success in music isn’t the goal, I’m just trying to be happy, and music right now is the way to do that so I’m just going to keep that going.”  

Aiden Driver’s Latest single is out now on Spotify.

Featured Image Credit: Theo Barrett, Instagram @don_flexington.

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