A PASSIONATE jazz musician and guitar teacher has conquered struggles with mental health to record his debut album.

Guitar teacher Dave Speakman has worked at Middlewich High School for 15 years and has been eager to release his own material.

After overcoming a difficult period in his life he is now ready to share his talent and has started recording his album.

The 38-year-old, from Hayhurst Avenue, said: “I've been plagued by depression and anxiety for a long time, which, due to a number of unavoidable circumstances, escalated out of control about four years ago.

“I needed to sort myself out. I joined the gym, lost four stone and, more importantly, have made phenomenal progress with my mental health.”

Dave has now set up his own studio in Lewin Street with the aim of releasing an album of original material later this year.

He said: “After spending the past 15 years as a session musician and educator, I've finally recorded an album of my own material and have decided to pursue my creativity properly.

“I've taken on premises, opened a studio, started a YouTube channel and am thoroughly enjoying being back in a creative frame of mind. I'm back writing music all the time again, which feels right.”

After setting up the studio he is now ready to share his songs with the world as music has been a major part of his life since he was a teenager and he picked up his dad’s guitar for the first time.

He said: “I started messing about on my dad’s guitar when I was 13 or 14 and I had a few mates who showed me a couple of different things before I started lessons. I had more lessons at University of Salford because I studied music.”

Dave is experienced in a wide range of styles and his album has no shortage of influences from the likes of folk to jazz.

He said said: “Two of the main ones would be Joey Landreth and John Mayer, but that changes day to day.

“The weather can affect what I listen to each day. I love blue note jazz, there was a time where for about a year or two that was the only style of music I could listen to.”

The musician revealed that placing his own songs into one genre is difficult, but his peers did not have the same problem when he let them get a sneak peek at his single.

He said: “I would say the album is quite rocky, but I have been heavily influenced by both jazz and blues music.

“I played one of my friends some of the songs though and he looked at me and said its rock music.”

Dave is well versed in a variety of musical styles having been a session musician, and despite more of a focus on teaching, his passion for creativity has never faltered.

He said: “I played in a few jazz bands and when I was younger and I used to be quite active in the unsigned scene. We tried to get signed a few times but it was difficult.

“As time went on the teaching took over which has been brilliant but I have been desperate to get my stuff out there for a while. It’s all really personal which has been a big hurdle for me to get over.”

Dave had been planning to release the single for a while before one his friends advised him to just set a date for it and stick to it, and that is exactly what he did.

He said: “My friend Hayley, who is a singing teacher at Congleton High School, told me that the best thing for me to do would be to set a definitive date to make sure that I release something.

“I had been saying for a while that I was going to release something soon and so she helped give me that little push that I needed to start releasing some music.”

“The single will be out this week and after that I am aiming to drop another single next month before the album comes out in September.”

Dave Speakman’s debut single ‘Drink Up’, will be released on all music platforms on Friday, July 12.