A South Tyneside businessman is rubbing shoulders with A-list musicians after his first single entered the Top 10 of charts across the globe.
Although Ian Ventress claims he has no musical abilities but is wowing audiences with his debut single ‘Mama’ which features up-and-coming artist Lu Ndaka and Matt Kitching aka Concept.
After being released digitally last year the African, gospel, rap-track, entered at Number 10 on the American National Airplay chart - sitting just below ‘24k Magic’ by Bruno Mars and above ‘My Way’ by Calvin Harris.
The song, which secured the Number six spot in the European charts in November, is also still riding at number 48 and, last week, Ian signed a three-year deal with Possum & Universal Records.
Ian said: “I am just a businessman who is used to running companies and suddenly my name is in the same charts as major musicians.
“At one point Bruno Mars was just above me and Calvin Harris was below. It was really weird, but also an incredible feeling.”
The 48-year-old from Cleadon, who owns a number of north east companies, including Priory Paving and Just Glass, has always been fond of writing poetry.
Last year, for the first time, the father-of-two decided to pen some songs and took a singing lesson in a bid to improve his voice.
Within weeks he had become a musical success story.
He said: “I’ve never sang before and I can’t sing. I can’t play any musical instruments, although my wife has just bought me a saxophone so I hope to learn that.
“I just like writing and I know in my head how I’d like things so sound. All of this has happened so quickly.”
He added: “I was convinced to record some songs as people were impressed with the words and, before I knew it, I had a management company.
“It’s been crazy. When I was in the recording studio I was giggling away, just thinking ‘what am I doing here’.
“There I was telling real musicians how I want my tracks performed.”
Viv Neville, of VJ media, became Ian’s manager and within days had secured London-based Plankton Records to publish his hit.
Ian will be releasing ‘Mama’ in Australia, which his new record company, before Mother’s Day while also working on his first album.
He also recently scooped outstanding achievement gong in the Ubeat Music Awards 2016.