But while his voice may sound part-Amy Winehouse, part-Daniel Merriweather, few could accuse him of leaning on others for his debut album. Drawing on his childhood, which started in Hackney and continued in Ireland, his first collection of self-penned tracks is both brutally opinionated and unnervingly honest. "I need sunshine/ I need angels/ I need something good," he mourns on lead cut 'I Need', conjuring up images of crumbling concrete tower blocks in today's "Broken Britain".
"It seems like your salary is more important than your sanity/ And much important than your mentality," he continues on the piano-led 'Open Your Eyes', his sing-rap style sounding genuinely concerned for the state of our greedy society, while retro-soul single 'Let Me Go', the summery 'Sometimes' and hook-laden 'Running Away' provide the much-needed uplifting moments.
His brutalness comes across a touch heavy-handed on occasion, particularly on 'Cold Game' ("I don't want to live this way/ But sometimes it's like there's no other way") and 'Shooting Stars', which fails in its attempt to surprise us about the extent of police brutality. That said, such a minor quibble is quickly forgotten, particularly on the stunning ballads 'I Used To Have It All' and closer 'I Don't See The Sun'. Better yet, you'll wonder why you ever questioned that voice.
Tracks to download: 'I Need', 'Open My Eyes', 'No One', 'I Used To Have It All'
If you like this, you'll like: Amy Winehouse, Professor Green, Ian Brown
Watch the music video for 'I Need' below: