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Features |  01 Dec 2015 16:57 |  By RnMTeam

Who is Foy Vance? And why does Ed Sheeran hang out with him?

MUMBAI: In August this year, Ed Sheeran announced Jamie Lawson as the first artist to be signed under his label- Gingerbread Man Records. Almost four months later, the ‘Thinking Out Loud’ hitmaker revealed Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance as the newest (second) artist to sign for the label. The announcement came through Sheeran's Twitter account where he called Vance 'one of his inspirations'.

So what do we know about Foy Vance?

Growing up

Born in Bangor, Northern Ireland, Vance moved to Oklohoma, USA, at the age of eight, where his father ("a fine singer and a great guitar player"), a preacher with the American Church of Christ, was given the chance to build a new church. 

He gained his love for music listening to the songs of the American South when he lived there with his father as a child.

His musical journey

Vance plays alternative/folk rock. His first single 'Gabriel and the Vagabond' released in December 2006 on Wurdamouth records. Along with 'Homebird', the single was featured in the second season of US television Drama 'Grey's Anatomy'. 

His first album- ‘Hope’ released in 2007, and his second- ‘Joy of Nothing’ was released in 2013. Vance’s daughter- Ella was featured on ‘Hope’.

Life after meeting Sheeran

A fairly unknown artist, Vance’s fame escalated when he toured with Sheeran in UK. 

Sheeran is not the only act that Vance supported on tour. The singer also toured with Irish alt-rock band- Snow Patrol and American blues singer- Bonnie Raitt.

Sheeran always used to finish his tour with Vance's single 'Guiding Lights'. The two musicians got a “Guiding Light” tattoo, written in Gaelic. Vance wrote  out Sheeran’s, and Sheeran wrote out Vance's tattoo. Irish blood is not the only common element the two singers share; both love to drink till the sun rises. 

Coping with a loss

The death of his father, 14 years ago, had a huge influence on the singer/songwriter. Vance was performing at a bar in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands at 1 am on 30 January, 1999, when he had what he calls "an epiphany". The lyrics, 'Jesus is coming like a thief in the night', jumped out at him and he was consumed with sadness. When he went home that night, he spent hours crying for no apparent reason, but the next morning discovered his father had died at exactly 1 am the night before.

Another song on the album- ‘Guiding Light’, which was "adopted" by the family of Snow Patrol's Jonny McDaid when his father was ill. They sang it to him before he passed away. "They got it translated into Irish and it's on his gravestone", Vance says.

Movies and Documentaries

Vance has made a number of television appearances, including a documentary about him created by the UK's Channel 4.

He worked with DJ David Holmes on the Oscar-winning short film ‘The Shore’ and on his EP ‘Melrose’ in 2012. With Homles, he earlier composed music for his feature 'Whole Lotta Sole' as a busker.