His youthful features are unsurprising as the guitarist has only just turned 20 – so it is definitely his caramel-like vocal delivery that moves him out of the ordinary. That and his intricate guitar playing.
Sunjay is passionate about music and has been rapidly developing as one of the best young musicians on our acoustic scene. He has been described as a wizard on the guitar and a must-see with frequent comparisons to Ralph McTell and Steve Tilston.
In fact his own press release has a quote from Tilston saying “…I am going to have to connect jump leads to your fingers.” Praise indeed.
When chatting he is confident and natural with a relaxed manner which suggests he is taking his success at such a tender age in his stride.
“I can’t deny I am very pleased with the way it has gradually grown but I was determined it would succeed,” said the young man who first picked up a guitar aged four.
The Derby-born lad, whose family moved away to the West Midlands some years ago, was prone to picking up his dad’s guitar for a strum and that’s when he was bought his first instrument.
“My dad was sick of me breaking his strings so he bought me one for Christmas,” he says with a laugh.
“He started me off on Buddy Holly and was also always listening to or playing the likes of James Taylor, Don McLean and Joni Mitchell.”
It was hearing Holly and Ralph McTell’s Hesitation Blues which first introduced the young Sunjay to picking rather than strumming resulting in his rhythmic guitar style today.
“I am pretty much self taught as I just didn’t enjoy the lessons,” said Sunjay who admitted that later on, as his interest grew he was out playing so much he was neglecting school and was made to choose between the two. He opted for a course studying music at Kidderminster College and carried on with the gigging.
“I wasn’t going to give up music so that seemed the right thing to do and as it turns out I made the right decision,” he said.
His style, he says, drifts between folk and blues. “The fans of both think my music sounds like the other but they all seem to like it. It is very mixed but it is all music – I don’t think it matters what it is.”
He is not wrong about his fan base as both camps have recognised his talent and he has been nominated for several awards including the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and the UK Blues Awards.
He had just released his third album and he clocked up more than a hundred tour dates in 2013. The great news is that he is returning to his birthplace to perform at the Derby Folk Festival on October 3 as part of his 2014 tour.
The self-titled new album is already receiving rave reviews and having listened to it several times now it is easy to see why as it features him at his finest.
It has been produced by Eddy Morton of the Bushbury Mountain Daredevils and features Liam Genockey of Steeleye Span, Katriona Gilmore, Dan Walsh, Sarah Smout and Charlie Barker.
“I cannot say how thrilled I am to be hitting the road on my new tour with this new album. It was a real privilege to work with such great musicians and a lot of fun to make.”
Go to http://www.sunjaybrayne.com for more news about his tour and to listen to some of his tracks.