Sam Fender admits his record label keep telling him to “stop being so f****** miserable”.
The 27-year-old singer admitted he finds “happy” songs too dull, and he’d much rather take inspiration from ABBA by combining “sad lyrics and uplifting mu”.
He told Total Guitar magazine: “[My label] do sometimes say, ‘Sam stop being so f****** miserable, write us something a bit happier!’
“But I do yearning and hopeful, not happy, because happy is boring. I like what ABBA do, which is sad lyrics and uplifting mu.
“You can learn as much from ABBA as you can from The Beatles. They were absolute genius songwriters.”
The ‘Seventeen Going Under’ hitmaker also pointed to the artistry of Bruce Springsteen, pointing to the lyrics from songs like ‘Jungleland’ as ways of being “romantic” with their simplicity.
He explained: “Some of my favourite Springsteen lyrics are purely descriptions. No metaphor, no meaning, just ‘Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain’.
“Immediately, you’re there, and it’s romantic. The vast majority of popular mu now isn’t that kind of descriptive songwriting. I think the reason I’m getting any recognition is because people are missing that.”
He paid tribute to the likes of ‘Luka’ by Suzanne Vega and ‘Fast Car’ by Tracy Chapman, and insisted that kind of songwriting isn’t really seen in pop mu nowadays.
He added: “The only time you get it in popular British mu is in grime and hip-hop side. Writers like Kendrick Lamar – the explanation of their surroundings is so real and visceral.
“But with pop mu now, a lot of the ballady songs are, ‘I love you, you don’t love me’, or ‘I love you and you love me and it’s very nice’.
“And sex has always been a thing – there’s a lot of people trying to be the most provocative at the moment.”