A MUSICIAN is heading for the US after signing with an American band which has just secured a deal with one of the biggest publishing companies in the world.

Singer and musician Mark John Race, from Durham, is now trying to secure a visa which will allow him to work in the US alongside fellow band members of Raynes.

The band has just signed a deal with Sony ATV, one of the biggest music publishing companies in the world.

The 22-year-old, who has been performing since he was a youngster, got involved with the band around 18 months ago, after they discovered him on social media.

He said: “I’ve always been into music but I decided to take it more seriously when I was 17 and started doing cover gigs around the Durham area and then more around the North-East.

“I was growing my social media and had got that to a pretty good level and I got a message from the band on Instagram to say they were looking for a lead singer and they loved what I did and wanted to have a chat with me."


He added: “ I spoke to the rest of the band and the manager and it all became quite real really quickly. I flew over the LA to meet the producer and lawyers and after that we spent a lot of time in the states doing a lot of writing and meeting music executives.”

The former Durham School pupil, who plays the piano and guitar, is the lead singer of the LA-based folk/pop band.

Its other members are Mat Charley and Joe Berger, both from the US.

Mr Race added: “We instantly had great chemistry. I think because they’re both from North Dakota and I’m from Durham there weren’t a lot of big egos which has worked.

“Luckily we’ve really got on together and formed food friendships. They had been looking for a while for someone but nothing was fitting, which is why they were looking on social media.

“It only works if we get on, otherwise there’s not much point.”

They are now working on their first single, and hope to record something which will come out next year.

If he is successful in getting a work visa, Mr Race is planning to move to LA more permanently.