Graham first made his name as an MC at illegal jungle and drum 'n' bass raves and on pirate radio under the handle Rag 'N' Bonez. Asked by NME if he was a good MC, he admitted: "I've listened to tapes and some of it's pretty awful. You don't have much to say at 17, so it was just rhyming random words. A lot of kids I grew up with were really into jungle and we did our own crappy little pirate radio station things. That's how I got into it."
After forming the hip-hop crew The Rum Committee, Graham went on to support hip hop acts at Brighton's Concorde 2, including heroes like De La Soul and Pharoahe Monch. He told The Sun: "De La Soul and Pharoahe Monch were so exciting to play with. I remember being in the flat beforehand and us all practicing for hours to try and make sure we were really good - and then getting really drunk and not being as good."
Graham had retained a love for the blues as a result of his father's record collection. Around the age 19, encouraged by his dad and a stranger who told him he should sing more, he performed at a blues jam in a local pub. Graham then started getting booked for acoustic gigs and encouraged, started focusing on his own projects. He told NME: "I didn't have any musical training. I basically learnt to sing from listening to BB King and Muddy Waters. Then I'd play open-mic nights with people in their fifties and sixties. I think I gained a lot of respect for it."
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