A Burning Desire: John Newman

John Newman loves music

John Newman is from a small town in England where no one ever dreamed or talked about music as a career. It just simply wasn’t fond of because no one had ever done it before, until someone who believed they could came around. John was that guy – and he had an older brother who left home and started a band. This of course gave him hope and belief that it was all possible.


#LessonLearned: Sometimes we just need an example of it being possible for our mind to really believe!


Music was something that John Newman learned to appreciate with time. His mother was always invested into records and loved the likes of Northern Soul and Motown as she would dance around the house. He would become intrigued listening to his mom’s records, falling in love with everything from hip-hop, house, to Diana Ross, James Brown and punk. Eventually he was hooked to the point he felt an urge to DJ at local birthday parties and even taught himself guitar. Next, he would form his own small studio under the stairs, and furnished it with an old laptop, speakers, and a guitar as he would mash different sounds from mostly hip-hop and house tracks. Soon enough, he would sing over the beats and begin singing at bars and different gigs – even creating the posters and advertisements. Being ambitious and willing to do whatever it takes to get heard and get out there – he quickly joined the online platform of MySpace.

Although he thought he initially wanted to become a mechanic, he was quickly realizing music was his true passion – as he was constantly sleeping during his classes after coming home late from his solo shows.

“I’d gone totally over music and once I know what I want to do, I do it.”


Rather then stay put doing something he didn’t have a deep desire for, he did not hesitate and left home for Leeds to enroll at a college dedicated for music. He had a good-bad experience where he learned a ton but faced some hardships of losing 2 friends in a car crash. The incident perhaps gave him a glimpse of how fast time can go, and how nothing is ever guaranteed. He admits “In that first year of moving to Leeds, instead of being sat with books all over the library desk and studying music, I actually studied it in a totally different way…. because of what I was going through, and I was getting smashed every night and enjoying the student life but then sitting with a guitar and crying all night writing music.”

Quickly, he was rising to fame in terms of getting better gigs and decided to elope to London where he moved into an old warehouse at just 20 years old. He met his new band member and they performed at small shows around town. “I was writing pop music and now I feel like I’m writing music that I love and can really attach to.” Soon, John Newman got a job at the Silver Bullet independent live music venue where he met many other ambitious musicians who gave him insight. With enough passion and desire to succeed, it wasn’t long after that he was subsequently signed by Island Records.


“Do not be afraid that life will end someday, take care that it starts.”


Today, John Newman is a musically gifted genius who produces, writes, plays, performs, and remixes his own music all while writing and creating his own videos and even designing his own clothes.


#MoralOfTheStory: We must find our own unique burning desires and be ambitious enough to pursue and master them. We all have something!



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