(Sam Beeton, right)
The face of Nottingham's greatest pop hope in years will be splashed across fashion and lifestyle magazines over the coming months as part of a new Burberry campaign. SIMON WILSON caught up with Sam Beeton to find out what freebies he walked away with and to be told "Katy Perry fancies me"...
WHEN your first single on a major record label fails to hit the Top 40, pushing back the release of your debut album, it can be a worry that – as so often happens in the music industry – you're finished before you've even started.
Fortunately, SonyBMG believe in Carlton 20-year-old Sam Beeton.
So do we.
The release of his album No Definite Answer, which was originally intended to hit shelves last autumn, will now be re-recorded and repackaged. A likely release date is late spring or early summer. Over the past few weeks he's been recording new songs for it.
"They've got a kind of Smiths-y feel to them. And I've hit the nail on the head with this producer, Fraser T Smith. I got to know him through James Morrison and he's into the same stuff as me."
Smith co-wrote Morrison's No. 2 single Broken Strings.
Sam's album will feature five or six song changes from its first pressing, copies of which were sent to the media but never released.
"We're going to change the look of the album as well. It's not exactly what I am. The marketing people tried to direct it at a certain audience."
A younger audience, you mean?
"Definitely. I can't blame them. We've had a crack at that but that's not me. I sound like a little boy and I was when I recorded it. To look at me now and hear me now I've changed unbelievably."
And best of all when you're a success I can stick my copy of the album on eBay.
"(Laughs) Yes, that's best of all."
Before then we'll be seeing Sam on the pages of magazines like GQ for the new Burberry campaign, shot by Mario Testino, A-list photographer famed for his pics of Princess Di.
"I just had an email from the record company that the bloke in charge of Burberry had been a fan of the track (What You Look For) or had seen the video and wanted me to get involved in this campaign. I thought 'why not?'"
And you might meet some fit models.
"(Laughs) Yeah, you know, it opened up a few possibilities."
The idea behind the campaign is Englishness and youth and talent. Others also making their modelling debut were George Craig from indie band One Night Only and actor Alex Pettyfer. They are pictured with models Lily Donaldson, Eden Clark, Alexina Graham, Richard Wyndham and Emily Hope.
There are two images that feature Sam, one of which is in a greenhouse and he's wearing, well, it's a flasher mac isn't it?
"(Laughs) I can assure you I was fully clothed underneath that."
The coat will set you back about £2,000 if you want to re-create the look.
"It's for the well-to-do flasher."
The shoot was at Petersham Nurseries just outside London.
"It was a very posh," says Sam. "The sort of place that Alex James out of Blur would go to for his dinner.
"You know, really tweedy."
And it was done last November.
"I was sworn to secrecy. I wasn't allowed to talk about it. They take it very seriously."
So what freebies did he get?
"I got a nice present at Christmas in a big Burberry box. I got a very nice scarf thing arrangement. And a few jackets. Very nice."
Not the sort of stuff you'd normally wear?
"I'm more of a River Island man."
Previous celebrities to appear in Burberry's bi-annual campaigns include Kate Moss and Agyness Deyn, as well as actor Sam Riley, after he was spotted in the movie Control which was filmed in Nottingham.
He adds: "I did a gig with Katy Perry last year and it's in the gossip bit of the Daily Star about Katy Perry taking a shine to me."
So since then you've been on MySpace sending her messages.
"Yeah, all day," he adds laughing.
Has he got girlfriend yet?
"No. It's not for lack of trying."