Sam Fender thinks it is ''absolutely crackers'' that he is the BRITs Critics' Choice winner for 2019.

The 'That Sound' hitmaker can't believe he won the coveted prize and already has an exact place mapped out to put the award - on his mother's mantelpiece.

Asked how it felt to be given the award - the first BRIT of 2019 - on ITV's The BRITs Are Coming, he said: ''It's mad. Absolutely crackers. We've just non-stop been gigging and recording and it's mad and great. It's what I wanted ... I'll put it [the award] on my mum's mantelpiece in the flat.''

The 22-year-old singer loves how music can ''soften the blow'' of things that happen in life that are difficult to talk about.

Explaining how he writes a song, he said: ''I like creating song, it's an easier way to talk about things that I don't want to talk about, so if you put it into music, it kind of, softens the blow.''

One such example of this is his track 'Deadboys', which he wrote after losing a friend to suicide.

He explained: '''Deadboys' is a song that I wrote when I lost a friend to suicide. It was about that feeling of being completely confused and utterly shocked. I think it's important as blokes to talk about being down if you feel down, it's stupid that we don't.''

And Sam thinks he has one particular person to thank for honing his songwriting craft.

Speaking about his younger years, he said: ''I grew up in North Shields, it's quite rough and ready and working class. When I was a kid, I was the worst football player on the planet and when I was 14, I actually would wait 'til my dad was at work and belt songs around the house ... I had a teacher and she worked with me until my writing got good and that's when I came out of my shell. I absolutely ruined my A-Levels and went and worked in a pub, I say worked, I was the worst barman ever. I got discovered by a manager that walked in and my bar manager actually told us to get my guitar out and play in the corner of the room, because he knew who he was.''