A YOUNG Bournemouth musician has overcome ill health and financial struggles and is on the brink of being signed by Sony.

James Lane, 24, began playing guitar aged 14 with a club at Winton Boys School.

Being from a low-income family, he could not afford guitar lessons, but was taught blues guitar for free at Bournemouth Youth Service in return for him passing on his skills to beginners.

Aspiring singer/songwriter James was awarded a Yamaha scholarship for a year-long course in London, but was unable to afford decent accommodation and was forced to move into a hostel, sharing with four other people. The conditions there led to him contracting whooping cough and severe allergies, which seriously affected his singing and speaking voice.

He still has regular therapy to deal with this.

After completing a degree at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, during which time he got a job with a London guitar-teaching agency to pay his way, James, from East Howe Lane has spent the last year staying on friends’ sofas in London to enable him to play gigs in the city and teach.

But things started to turn around in November, when he was playing a gig supporting former X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson and was scouted by Sony Music.

He said: “They really liked my stuff and wanted to get me to the studio.

“I’m now working with Peer Music Publishing on two songs to showcase me to the rest of the record company.

“I also got a gig supporting Vince Kidd from The Voice, so things are kind of happening. I’m really excited.”

James is still sofa-surfing, but says it will all have been worth it if he achieves his dream.

He added: “It was constantly a money struggle, being from a low-income family, but I’ve had a lot of support from my girlfriend and my mum.

“She comes to every gig in London even though she’s disabled. None of this would have been possible without Bournemouth Youth Service. Having lessons with them provided such a good platform for me. It was a good outlet for a young person.”

l To find out more about James, visit the website jameslanemusic.com