Wes Nelson FAULT Magazine Covershoot and Interview

Photography: Jack Alexander
Stylist: Aga Dziedzic
Stylist assistant: Savannah Morgan Jones
Grooming: Debbie G Hardman using Charlotte Tilbury

Words: Miles Holder

Currently on tour with N-Dubz, Wes Nelson has quickly become one of the UK’s most exciting new artists. His previous tracks Nice To Meet Ya, See Nobody and Fly Away saw the artist propelled to new heights but it’s his latest track ‘3 words’, which is providing fans a deeper glimpse into the inner workings of Wes Nelson.

We caught up with Wes Nelson to discuss his musical journey and of course, his FAULTs.

3 words is a very honest project – is it daunting to be so vulnerable through your music?

To be honest it’s not daunting, I found it therapeutic to make the song. I didn’t set out to write on that subject, I just went in my home studio one night when I couldn’t sleep and started coming up with some melodies. Then when I was putting lyrics to it those were the words that came. The first verse is me showing my raw emotion and vulnerabilities. The 2nd I did a little later and has a more optimistic outlook, after I was further into the healing process.

Where usually people are free to critique your music, these tracks are so personal that they invite critique of your healing and the way you interpret loss.

Will it be difficult to hear outside opinions on something so personal to your experiences?

People have opinions on everything once you reach a certain level of recognition and coming from TV I’ve been in the spotlight from before I even put out my first single. I think I’ve been lucky that the overwhelming majority of feedback I’ve had on my music has always been extremely positive. When I do get the odd negative comment I try not to let it have an effect, no one appeals to everyone so whatever the song subject, there will probably be someone who has criticism.

Do you feel the release of 3 Words will help you close the chapter on those experiences?

It already has in a lot of ways. I’ve been performing it live and the feedback from people who have had similar experiences is really amazing. It’s rewarding to connect emotionally through lyrics about my personal feelings.

It’s a very vocal lead project and different to the high octane tracks audiences will be used to, have you always wanted to experiment with this style of RnB?

Absolutely. I’m a huge RnB fan, and I’ve always wanted to show more of this side of my vocal off. I’m sitting on more songs that are probably more in the RnB lane, but it can be hard to pick which songs should be released as singles when you write so much. I think there’s a time for party tracks and a time to get in your feelings, no one wants to hear the same song from the same artist over and over.

Do you feel there’s an added layer of scrutiny towards your music because you were someone in the public eye before your debut?

Yes and no. I think before I put my first single out the assumption was my music was going to be shit, or that I’m manufactured or whatever. But the first single did so well and got so much love that some of that faded instantly. Then after ‘nice to meet ya’ dropped I think a lot of doubters changed their tune. There’s still always going to be the odd person saying I can’t do it without autotune (ignoring my acoustics or my live shows) or don’t believe I write my own songs or whatever, but I’m not doing it for them, I’m doing it because it’s what I love doing. If they’re gonna hate regardless, I may as well do what I enjoy!

Do you like to be regimented with your songwriting or do you prefer to write whenever inspiration hits?

If I could write music and perform shows every day that’s what I’d do. There’s so much that goes into being an artist I didn’t really know about before I started, and I don’t love all of it. But I LOVE writing. It’s never too regimented, and each session or track is different. I have my own process if I’m writing alone but if I’m collaborating sometimes, I’ll do things differently.

Looking back on your musical journey, what’s been the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Having the self-confidence to do music was the biggest challenge. It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid, but that first hurdle of releasing a song into the world was a challenge. I was lucky enough to get amazing feedback from my peers before I released it, I spent hours in lockdown FaceTiming artists for their opinions and it really gave me the impetus I needed to believe I could do it professionally.

What’s one question no journalist has ever asked you, but is something you’ve always wanted to say or discuss?

Easy. What’s my favourite colour? Maybe blue or purple, something lunar.

What is your FAULT (personal flaw)?

My mind is constantly running at 100mph so I quickly forget things and I hate using my phone so I can be terrible at keeping in touch. I’m either laser focused or have real difficulty focusing.