Scots teen takes up singing to help speech impediment

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A SCOTS teen has been inspired by Ed Sheeran to take up singing to help deal with his speech impediment.

Jake Roberts, from Bathgate, West Lothian, took up singing and songwriting after hearing that Sheeran used music to tackle his stutter.

The 19-year-old was born with hearing problems resulting in him going to speech therapy meetings.

Jake Roberts gig- Music News Scotland
Jake Roberts took up singing in an attempt to help with a speech impediment.                                    (C) Tamsyn McKenzie

Jake struggled with anxiety at high school causing his stutter to worsen.

But after watching a documentary about Ed Sheeran speaking about how he tackled his own speech issues with music, Jake decided to follow suit.

The Scot now releases music of his own, and says singing has greatly improved his speech and overall confidence. 

Speaking today, he said: “I was born with a hearing problem which impacted my understanding of words. I took speech therapy for a year to help tackle this and it did help.

“When I was in high school, my anxiety led me to stutter a lot more and struggle with speech at times.

Jake Roberts - Music News Scotland
Jake believes singing has improved his confidence and speech.                                                          (C) Tamsyn McKenzie

“I was always a quiet kid and with me talking fast and because of the speech issues it was hard for folk to understand me, so I felt like an outsider a lot.

 I was looking for a way to help this. 

“I saw Ed Sheeran in a documentary mentioning how he started singing/rapping to tackle his [stutter]. His success inspired me to do the same.

“I was playing guitar for a few years around this time, so I made acoustic chord mashups and started adding lyrics over them.

“Obviously it was hard at first cause I didn’t speak much and doing vocals was something I never did before, however as I started doing studio sessions and playing demos at gigs, I became slower and better at singing, and began speaking a lot more clearly and confidently.

Jake Roberts concert - Music News Scotland
Roberts now has six releases of his own.                                                                                         (C) Tamsyn McKenzie

“I feel like now I’m a lot more confident as a person which helped improve my speech.

“My original aim was to use my music and story to inspire and help people like me achieve building their confidence and getting further help with their struggles.”

Jake, who has now released six songs, added: ” It’s nice seeing Ed Sheeran start off in a similar boat and see him become one of the most successful artists of all time.

“I hope in 5-10 years people could look at me in the same way and see my story as inspiring enough to try to help them.”

Jake is now donating proceeds from his latest single, “Don’t Wake Me”, which was released on Friday to Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis after hearing stories of sexual abuse at university.

In the UK, 3% of the adult population believe they stammer and around 8% of children are believed to stammer at some point.