IN an occasional series showcasing Southampton musical stars of the future, Rosalind Fountain puts the spotlight on Nick Tudgey...

Q) You are an accomplished fingerstyle guitarist. How does this differ from other styles of playing?

A) In simple terms, it’s a special technique of playing the guitar by plucking the strings directly with fingertips, fingernails or picks attached to fingers, as opposed to plucking individual notes with a single plectrum. Then you build up all the layers of the song, the melody notes, percussion, bass, rhythm, harmony simultaneously, so that you have a full sound.

Q) How did it all begin?

A) It all started with a mandolin when I was 13. When my grandfather passed away I helped my grandmother to clear out their loft. There, among all the boxes and years of accumulated possessions I found a small case bearing my great-grandfather’s initials. Inside was his very old mandolin. It was about 100 years old and virtually unplayable, but I was fascinated by it and so I saved up and bought my own and learned to play. A year later I was given a guitar and I began to develop my own style. After school I earned a place at the Academy of Music and Sound and started to gig anywhere they’d have me, weddings, clubs, venues such as Talking Heads, The Joiners and the Art House. I recorded my first album while I was at the Academy.

Q) How did you get involved in music production?

A) It started when I recorded my second album in my bedroom with simple basic equipment. I really enjoyed all the aspects of production, layering up the music, the creativity involved, and slowly, bit by bit, I built my own studio in the garden. Now I’m a freelance audio engineer and a session guitarist, as well as my own solo gigs.

Q) How would you describe your music?

A) I play a very wide range of music, including blues, flamenco, pop, gypsy jazz, bluegrass country, rock, in fact just about anything. I take elements from each genre to develop my own unique style.

Q) What are your plans for the future?

A) My two passions are music and travel. I’ve come quite a long way on the musical road, but so far my experience of travel is very limited. I’ve always wanted to see exotic places, but to date the most exotic place I’ve visited is Center Parcs at Longleat! So I’m currently planning and preparing to use my music to fuel my passion for travel and to turn the dream into reality by performing on cruise ships, and seeing some of those far away places.