Jack Garratt has said being compared to artists such as Adele, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith stunted his growth as an artist.
The 28-year-old singer-songwriter, from Little Chalfont in Buckinghamshire, won both the Critics’ Choice prize at the Brit Awards 2016 and the BBC Sound Of 2016 poll, a feat achieved by those three artists in previous years.
He was also compared to musicians such as US folk singer Bon Iver and James Blake in the press.
Garratt, who released his second album Love, Death And Dancing in June, said he had felt stifled by the pressure, which led to him withdrawing from the public eye.
He told the PA news agency: “I refuted all of that, I just didn’t want to believe any of it.
“I wanted to be able to make the music that I wanted to make, and the music I wanted to make more often than not sounds different from the song I’ve just put out.
“And the more I started doing that, the more people started to fight against it and tried to pigeonhole me until I became the artist who couldn’t be pigeonholed.”
He added: “I was compared to previous winners and was therefore similar to previous winners like Adele, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding and it immediately stunted my growth, the trajectory of the growth I was about to make.
“It wasn’t perceived pressure, it was actual pressure from an industry, from the public and from journalists – a pressure that no one is ever taught to prepare for because it only happens to one person a year, maybe.
“And yet when I was going through the pressure I was expected and encouraged to either just brush it off or deal with it.
“At no point was I really given the option to actually express my grievances.
“Because whenever I did express them or I did talk about how confused – confused is the best word for it – I was and how difficult I was finding it to deal with, I was simply told: ‘Be quiet. You’re privileged and lucky and you just have to be alright with it’ and so I did.
“I just kept myself quiet and it ended up ruining what should have been the height of my career.”
Love, Death And Dancing is out now on Island.