A YOUNG busker who hit the news headlines for attracting hundreds of people to his street gigs down south has single-handedly produced his first music album.
Inverness guitarist Calvin Prior, dubbed “Mini Hendrix” by national newspapers after it emerged he was pocketing up to £350-a-day when he was just 13 for busking in his former East Sussex hometown, has now written, performed, recorded and mastered all 14 tracks on his album The Mystery Within.
The 21-year-old, who entertained millions of TV viewers when he was hand-picked by ITV Coronation Street actor Jenny McAlpine (Fiz) in a special competition to play ACDC on the guitar for a Save the Children TV series several years ago, works in the city at The Music Station musical instrument store.
He said producing the album, which has been released on iTunes and other major online distributors, took two years of hard grind – but every moment was worth it.
He said: “I didn’t get signed to a label, I wrote, produced and performed every part of the artistic process involved in getting the album finalised.
“It has certainly been blood sweat and tears getting this done, and the truth is the journey has been worth it.
“If there is something you excel at, you need to place your focus on building that strength and show the world that you are willing to take risks to do the things you love doing.”
He said: “I independently wrote, performed and mixed and mastered all the tracks because I wanted to keep all the songs raw and unplugged, with no over-production. In the music industry I see a lot of the stuff in the Top 40 being produced by at least five other people as well as the artist and the songs come out lacking any soul, in my opinion.
“For me, it’s all about keeping music raw and nurturing the natural qualities of the artist.
“That’s vital because music at its baseline should be easy to relate to and understand.”
The musician is a regular performer at the and can often be seen busking around the city, doing covers.
He self-promotes using YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, posting acoustic music video selfies from his house in the city centre, where he lives with his fiancée Rhea Watt, to whom he has devoted one of the tracks on the album titled You are my Future.
A YouTube video recorded when he was 13 years old performing Voodoo Child, a song recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968, was seen by more than 50,000 viewers.
He can be seen performing from time-to-time at various bars and clubs around the city centre, including Bar On Taylor’s Street and The Market Bar.
He said: “I’ve been at the music game for 12 years and finally have got something tangible.
“It’s such a great feeling.”