A GRAPHIC artist has achieved unexpected success in the music industry, after putting his passion for songwriting on hold for more than 30 years.

Russell Jeanes, of East Morton, used to write songs frequently in his teens, but gave up his passion to pursue his career in design.

But, following the birth of his second child a few years ago, Mr Jeanes became a stay-at-home father, working from home, which allowed him more time to return to songwriting after a three decade-long break.

Using online platforms Soundcloud, BBC Introducing, and Fresh on the Net, Mr Jeanes has seen his tracks gain popularity around the world, including airtime on the radio and a record deal.

Mr Jeanes said his musical success has come as a surprise.

He said: "I'm quite a shy person so it has been a surprise how well the songs have done.

"I've always had a passion for writing and getting the response I have was a big shock, people have been getting in touch from Europe and the US saying how much they love my songs."

When he put his first tracks on Soundcloud, Parisian singer Catherine Hershey contacted him wanting to sing on his tracks including 'Simply Jayne' and 'Trees Hug Bees'.

Mr Jeanes' songs have been played on BBC Radio 6 by DJs Tom Robinson and Cerys Matthews, as well as on stations in the USA, Canada and Germany.

Tom Robinson, who invited MR Jeanes to become a music moderator on his website Fresh on the Net, said: "Nobody out there sounds quite like Russ Jeanes, the taste of honey is almost tangible on Trees Hug Bees.

"Pure pastoral nectar from the heart of northern England. Accept no substitute."

Mr Jeanes' success has earned him a record deal with Folkstock Records, and has released his first EP, Sleeping Leaves, which features four songs.

He described his genre as pastoral, and has influences from the electronica of his teens and is filled with natural sounds including birdsong recorded through his collaborator Ms Hershey's Parisian window.

"The feedback I've received is fantastic, it's really exciting as a 50-year-old grey-haired northerner," he said.

"A lot of my friends and family had never heard my music or even knew it was my passion and were really surprised by it.

"I've got no plans for any touring yet, due to the logistics of working with people from around the world, but I'm currently working on a second EP with some UK-based musicians and there's a possibility I could do live shows in the future."

Helen Meissner, of Folkstock Records, said: "I feel that there has never been a better time to release this almost other worldly music, which transports us back to the heady days of our youth.

"The powerful simplicity and clean sounds almost create an antidote to the chaos around us, helping us ‘step off the world’ for a few minutes of peace and calm. I was bewitched by the EP and honoured to be able to release it."