Born and raised in Grimsby, a small historical town on the east coast of England famous for its fishing industry, Lee MacDougall was still a child when he realised that he wanted to be a musician.
Studying music composition and production at university in the north of England for 3 years gave Lee the chance to concentrate fully on his songwriting and musicianship after being in locally successful bands since he learned to play guitar at 13. While at university Lee played live continuously and was spurred on by the positive reaction his performances received.
After university Lee worked at the local fish processing factory for as long as he could stand it. The last straw came when a colleague stole Lee's shoes meaning that he had to walk home bare foot! On hearing the news that Lee was jobless, his parents gave him a month to find work and start paying rent. Lee spent the next three weeks locked in his room writing and demoing songs on an old tape recorder before sending them out to labels in London. Again the responses were favourable and within a few days Lee was in London attending meetings, secured on the strength of his songs.
For the next year Lee supported himself by playing live wherever he could in London, reducing costs by sleeping in studios and on people's floors. At this point Lee formed a band. He says: ï¿½The highlight was headlining the Quingdao music festival in China in front of 57,000 people and a TV audience of 50 million. We got mobbed at the airport like Beatle-mania.ï¿½ Once back home, though, Lee felt the direction the band was taking was not what he wanted and so the band split.
Instead Lee wanted to write more personal lyrics aiming to connect more directly with his live audience. Influenced by the Englishness and storytelling songwriting of the Beatles, Kinks, Rod Stewart while also feeling inspired by Nirvana and Tom Petty, Lee's new material soon came to attention of the acoustic venue bookers and promoters in London. This included various people at LiveNation, Tony Moore at The Bedford and Up All Night Music, who between them started giving Lee good small gigs where he could hone his style and support acts such as Train, Starsailor, Paolo Nutini, The Feeling, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison.
During this time producer Jim Lowe, responsible for number one singles and albums by the Stereophonics, Taylor Swift and the Charlatans, became a fan and started recording versions of Lee's songs. "She" and "Stay" came out of these sessions. Lee and Jim have continued to work together and will be in the studio again over the next few months.
Lee released an EP on iTunes during July 2010, selling 2000 copies in the first 2 weeks with no press or promo - purely through online fan base. Word got out in the Twilight community that Lee has written for Rob Pattinson and fan reaction has been great. Lee has been accepted to play at SXSW in 2011.
Lee is managed by Phil Taylor at Up All Night Music and plans to tour extensively in the USA, Canada and Europe during the first half of 2011 in order to capitalize on his growing online fan base. It has always been Lee's deepest wish to be able to relocate permanently to America, so he is particularly excited to tour the USA and move that one step closer to his dream!
Tom Robinson of BBC radio 6 plays "fallinginloveforthelasttime" on his BBC introducing program and says "you absolutely cannot fake that kind of sincerity and passion.. And particularly the yearning quality to his vocals.."
Neil Franklin at compass fm played "Smile" and saying "...as soon as this hits the shops I'll be buying it.."
Word Magazine review editor Kate Mossman says "He's amazing and very confident.. Like Freddie Mercury meets Rufus Wainwright.. He's going to go a long way.."