photography by Clare Shilland
styling by Hanna Kelifa
written by Rebekah Mikale


suit Gucci; top John Varvatos


Few 20-year-olds have produced two successful albums, traveled the world and posed for the Saint Laurent music project. Unless you are Jake Bugg. Humbled, yet with a spark of charisma, Bugg tells muse about his talents.

RM You were part of the Saint Laurent Music Project wearing a sleek black motorcycle jacket. What was it like being a part of that?
JB It’s always cool to be part of anything to do with something I love and that’s music. It’s great to have the opportunity to be in it.

RM How would you describe your personal style? What do you like to wear when you perform?
JB Fashion, it’s a funny one. I like to be comfortable. I’m not going to wear something even if it looks good and have it be uncomfortable. I like to wear quite a bit of black on stage. When the sun is out, I’ll wear some more light-colored shirts. I think those fashion magazines try to tell you what not to do, they guide you to wear things that you would never wear in the street. If you wore it in the street, people would straight up say you look ridiculous!

RM When was the first time you picked up a guitar and realized you could sing?
JB Well, the singing I’m still working on! I started playing the guitar when I was 12. My uncle just came around one day and gave me a few chords and I just started up a bit. When I was 14, I thought I would start trying to write some songs and, you know, they obviously were terrible but you’ve got to start somewhere.

And then there I was looking to get a record deal when I was 17 and got a chance to make an album that I wanted to make and now here I am speaking to you. So, I’ve been very lucky.

RM It’s a little bit of luck and a lot of talent. Do you play any other instruments?
JB I like trying to play a little bit of piano. It’s completely different things than the guitar though — the ideas you come up with — plus, if you don’t know how to play it’s like starting all over again. A lot of the ideas are unorthodox and things you wouldn’t think of on the guitar and then all of a sudden, it sounds all right. I’ve been trying to play a little bit of drums as well. It’s always fun to hit things. I used to play bass in a couple bands.

RM What do you love most about music? What really got you going with it?
JB It’s something I’ve always loved — playing the guitar. Because of that I found people like Jimi Hendrix and when you discover all the music that there is to listen to it’s like ‘Wow, there’s so much great stuff out there’ and it’s just inspiring. Then you want to aspire to be on those big stages that your heroes are on and living the rock star life.


Download MUSE 38 – Digital Issue to read the full interview.