SAM Beeton could be the biggest homegrown music star that the city has produced in nearly two decades. The 20-year-old from Carlton is signed to one of the world’s biggest record labels, has been played on national radio and appeared on ITV and Channel 4. Many music critics have predicted he’ll follow in the footsteps of James Morrison, Paolo Nutini and James Blunt.
But his mum won’t boast.
“I never told my friends at work,” said Karen, 49, a trademark paralegal.
“I’ve tried to keep it low key but of course I’m proud of what he’s achieved.”
Sam, who still lives at the family home, recently released his debut single What You Look For via SonyBMG, who he signed to 18 months ago.
Since then he has toured with Sandi Thom, James Morrison and Paolo Nutini and appeared at festivals with the Foo Fighters and Kanye West. Next month he’ll be supporting Scouting For Girls on a UK arena tour, including a date at the Trent FM Arena.
“It brings tears to the eyes when you see your son on stage at the V Festival playing to thousands of people,” admitted dad John, 57, a retired BT engineer and former member of punk band The Drains, regulars on the Nottingham circuit.
“We never pushed him to play music, he just picked up the guitar when he was tiny and it went from there.”
John played gigs with Sam at the local pub, The Old Volunteer, where he was spotted by a music industry scout.
"He came in to watch a band on a Sunday afternoon when he was about 13," said landlady Lorraine Craig.
"I'd known him since he was five because he went to school my son Jack. And I said 'are you going to get up and give us a song then?' And he did. You could tell he was going to make it because he was such a natural."
Mum also plays guitar, violin, recorder and even bagpipes, while brother Paul, 31, a retail manager plays guitar.
"“My dad’s heavily in to really melodic stuff," said Sam.
"The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Kinks. And a lot of blues. My mum’s side of it was more folky. She was in to the Levellers, Nick Drake. My brother was in to Jeff Buckley. So it was a real mix of stuff that I had access to when I was growing up.”
“We are a musical family,” said Karen.
“One of the bedrooms is full of equipment and there’s always been a lot noise in the house. I dread to think what the neighbours think.”
She added: “Sam is pretty good, he’s not too untidy but he is typical lad and when he’s playing music at two in the morning I do have to tell him to turn it down.”
With another single due in December and the album to follow in January, there’s every hope Sam can be the city’s biggest pop export since KWS topped the chart in 1992 with Pleasse Don’t Go.
“There hasn’t really been any really big successes from the city,” said Karen.
“Paper Lace was the last one I remember in the seventies. So Sam making it will be good for city. And everyone has been very supportive.”
Karen admitted she is on the internet searching for comments about her youngest son.
“Most of the time it’s positive but sometimes I do get really annoyed when reviewers get personal. Fair enough if you don’t like his music but don’t attack him as a person when you don’t know him. Sam just says ‘oh mum, leave it, that’s going to happen’”.
Said Sam: "We did have one girl come to the door asking for me which was a bit strange."
“And there have been a few giggling girls phoning up asking if he lives here," laughed Karen.
"But he’s hardly ever home these days.”
She added: “He is being recognised in the street but people tend to just stare which is a bit unnerving. But he seems to be taking it all in his stride. He’s so laid back he’ll fall over one of these days. The only time he gets nervous is when we have family round and we ask him to play a song for them.”