AT the start of 2020 Lenny James was told he might never be able to sing again, following throat surgery. Now he has a recording contact and says his voice is "better than ever".

Lenny's debut single, Make our Move, dropped this week and he's been filming the video in Saltaire. He is also working on an album and hopes to go on tour this year.

He wrote Make Our Move in lockdown, which was particularly challenging for Lenny as he was recovering from surgery and also lost his job. "I'd had problems with my tonsils for years and when I started struggling to breathe I had to have several operations," said Lenny. "I had my last one early 2020 and the stitches split the day after surgery. I was told I might never talk again, let alone sing. But I was determined to get singing.

"I got made redundant from First Bus last year. With all that going on, and the pandemic, I started songwriting. Getting my thoughts out was such a release, I find writing very theraputic. This song just fell out of me."

It was at a pre-lockdown gig at Saltaire pub the Salt Cellar that Lenny was spotted by Bradford based recording company Cut to the Chase Music Ltd. "I got a recording contract earlier this year. Now my voice has come back better than ever," said Lenny. "I've always written songs and I was inspired to sing by my stepdad, Gary Brown, who was a singer in clubs. I sang at his funeral. I play guitar, drums and piano but singing is my passion."

Lenny has been shooting a video for Make Our Move. "We filmed at Roberts Park and Hirst Wood canal lock, which is a lovely tranquil spot, and at the studio in Clayton. It was nice to keep it local," said Lenny, who went to Wibsey Primary School and Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College. "The video is about lockdown, being stuck inside, in front of the TV. It shows me and some others in face masks, and out and about in Saltaire, enjoying freedom again."

Some footage was shot at the Salt Cellar, where Lenny's proud mum, Donna Hamilton, is the manager. "The single has quite a pop sound, which I think we all need right now, but generally I'm influenced by artists like Lewis Capaldi and Rag'n'Bone Man, who I've been compared with. I'm 6ft 7in and covered in tattoos," said Lenny. His real name is Bradley Hamilton but he performs as Lenny James - the names of both his grandads. "I believe everything happens for a reason. If I hadn't had surgery and lost my job, I might never have written that song. Now I've got an album on the way and I'm planning to go on tour."

* Make Our Move is available on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.