Justin Hawkins said he felt “too old” to get into music at just 18
“I did the Ikea advert, which basically paid for our first album and bought me and my brother our first Les Pauls.”
Image: Steve Jennings / Getty Images
Vocalist and guitarist Justin Hawkins says he remembers feeling “too old” to be a successful rock artist at the young age of just 18.
Hawkins, now 48, went on to find success in music by fronting rock band The Darkness. The group are currently celebrating 20 years of their debut record, Permission To Land, and are touring through the final months of 2023 and into mid 2024.
- READ MORE: Justin Hawkins says obsession with ‘real rock’ limits genre: “That stuff is revered to a degree where it’s stopping rock from moving on, almost”
Alongside fronting the band, Hawkins is also now widely known for hosting his own YouTube channel where he discusses prominent talking points within the industry and offers insight and breakdowns of popular or newly released music.
You may also remember him from ITV’s prime time entertainment show The Masked Singer, where he dressed as a rather funky chameleon, or for performing alongside many rock greats as part of the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in London in 2022.
Despite having gone on to achieve so much, the rocker believed he wasn’t going to be able to break into the industry as just teen, assuming he was too old, and got a job behind the scenes instead.
“I remember when I got to about 18 and I saw bands like Ash coming up and thinking, ‘Well this is over, I’m already too old!’ But I still wanted to be in music, so I went and studied music technology and got a job in a recording studio,” he explains in an interview with Metro newspaper (via Yahoo).
“Then I made a sort of easy-listening cassette of songs that I’d written for my grandfather for a Christmas present. And it got heard by somebody at a publishing company and they thought, ‘Oh, this kind of easy listening stuff is ideal to synchronise with films and TV shows and adverts’ and they signed me.
“I did a lot of stuff. I did HSBC, Mars Bars, Audi… and then I did the Ikea advert, which basically paid for our first album and bought me and my brother our first Les Pauls.”
View all of The Darkness’ upcoming live dates via their website.