2011 Gig Preview: Young man with old soul and plenty to say

One to watch for next year, is definitely Mona. The four-piece band based in Nashville, Tennessee, have already been tipped for success and that's before anyone has even heard their debut album.

Mona, comprising Nick Brown, Vince Gard, Zach Lindsey and Jordan Young, have already appeared on Later with Jools Holland and will embark on a UK tour early in the new year.

"Mona was my grandma's name," says Brown. "I got fixated on 1950s American films and that golden age when I was in my early teens. That has influenced the band a lot, it's the imagery I grew up with. I think I have an old soul, basically."

The promise of success has come as a bit of a shock to the band, but if it comes to fruition it will be the culmination of years of hard work.

"About three years ago I realised that you could go on from our city to be successful and huge," adds Brown. "The first step was believing it could happen at all – and the second was believing it could happen to me. It's a bit like seeing the ugly guy from school with the hot girl – it gives everyone hope.

"For me fame is not about the money, girls or notoriety, it's about the purpose. The purpose of people like John Lennon, Bono when he was starting out, they had something to say.

"I think art is at its best when the artist is honest – and that's what we are. You can try too hard, and you can hear that in music. I don't want to say we're effortless, because we put a lot of effort in, but you have to know how to channel it."

Mona play Leeds Cockpit on March 11. 0113 244 1573.