Aiden Grimshaw found his niche in music at the age of 11, when he picked up a guitar for the first time. Though he began writing songs at age 13, he is ever-humble regarding his musical roots. “I don’t think it was my best work,” he said, of his earliest forays into music.
Entertainment, however, is clearly in his blood. “I’ve always performed on stage, acting and singing. My first performance was in my last year of junior school, Grease. I sang ‘Beauty School Drop Out’… It went alright, I think, and my mum asked if I wanted to take singing lessons, and off I went.” After vocal lessons, Aiden found himself auditioning for X Factor: UK, making it to ninth place during the show’s seventh season. That was 2010. From there, it was only a matter of time before the singer was picked up and signed to RCA Records, subsequently releasing his debut single, “Is This Love,” which hit the charts at #35.
Regarding his stint on X Factor, Aiden says his life changed for the better. “I imagine my path [in music] would have been a little different. The show was a great opportunity to take my chance at a music career.” A worthy risk, indeed – the singer has been dominating charts for the past two years as a result, with his debut album Misty Eye, released in August of 2012, reaching #19 on the UK charts.
The singer relates most to musicians like John Mayer. “I spent so much time when I was at college, sitting with my friends in my Ford Fiesta, listening to the Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles album… I loved to watch that gig because there are so many moments that would be like ‘Whoa, he’s killing it!’ I think that’s the ultimate as an artist and performer.”
“To define is to limit,” says Aiden, quoting Oscar Wilde. Although he found success in the music world, it wasn’t always tunes that held Aiden’s attention. “Acting is something that I love and was massively into when I was seventeen or eighteen, so I’d like to think I would have pursued that.”
He draws his inspiration, both personally and artistically, from those around him. “I look up to all the great people in my life who do great things.” As for Aiden’s future? It’s simple: “I just want to keep making music.”
Untitled: How did you get started in the music industry?
AG: I was on TV. On the X factor, UK.
UM: How long have you been performing?
AG: I started singing when I was eleven, and picked up a guitar and wrote a tune or two a year or so after. But I’ve always performed on stage, acting and singing. My first [show] was in last year of junior school – Grease. I sang “Beauty School Drop Out.” It went alright, I think, and my mum asked if I wanted to take singing lessons, and off I went!
UM: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
AG: I do! I was thirteen—I don’t think it was my best work.
UM: How has your life changed since you first auditioned for X Factor?
AG: Pretty crazily! I imagine the path would have been a little different. The show was a great opportunity to take my chance at a music career. It’s something that I only really laughed about the year before, when I was sitting in a Politics class in Blackpool.
UM: Which musicians inspire you the most in your own creative process?
AG: I think in my college years I was most inspired by a John Mayer gig; “Where The Light is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles.” That performance is an absolute dream! I loved to watch that gig because there are so many moments that would be like ‘Whoa, he’s killing it!’ I think that’s the ultimate as an artist and performer.
UM: If you could collaborate with another musician who would it be?
UM: Do you have a mentor?
AG: I look up to all the great people in my life who do great things. I suppose old me coaches present me to be more like future me.
UM: If you could be any other musician who would it be?
AG: John Mayer. I spent so much time when I was at college sitting with my friends in my Ford Fiesta, listening to the ‘Where the Light Is’ album. I’d be him just so I could do that one gig. (And also just walk around carrying my guitar like a massive powerful weapon.)
UM: If you weren’t in music what would you do?
AG: Acting is something that I love and was massively into when I was seventeen or eighteen, so I’d like to think I would have pursued that. I wanted to go to an acting school, so I’d be on my final year now.
UM: Do you have a motto or words of wisdom you live by?
AG: “To define is to limit.” -Oscar Wilde
UM: This is our Legendary Issue – what to you is the definition of “Legendary”?
AG: To be legendary is to change something for the better, and not be forgotten.
UM: What is your favorite song you have ever produced?
AG: “Curtain Call” from my first album. That song made me feel great when I was writing it, whenever I perform it and whenever I hear it!
UM: Do you have any goals for this year in regards to your music?
AG: I just want to keep making music, and for it to keep getting better!
For more on Aiden, make sure to head on over to The Untitled Magazine shop to pick up a copy of the “Legendary” Issue 7 now!
Photography by Oleg Tolstoy for The Untitled Magazine
Stylist: Sabina Emrit
Grooming by Nina Robinson
This article originally appeared in The Legendary Issue of The Untitled Magazine (2014).