The 22-year-old British rocker is currently campaigning for London's United Nations HeForShe Arts Week, a multi-event initiative aimed at celebrating gender equality in the arts, and part of the reason James is so passionate about the project is because he was picked on for writing songs as an overweight teenager.

"When I was around the age of 15 I lost lot of my friends as they got into a grammar school and I didn't," he tells the Daily Star newspaper. "I didn't know anyone at the school I was at, maybe three people. I lacked confidence, I had severe acne, I was overweight and I didn't really fit into any social groups."

He picked up songwriting in an effort to deal with his loneliness, but his musical pursuits were not well-received by many of his cruel peers.

"I started having a passion for music and luckily it was noticed by a few teachers," MCVey shares. "I nurtured it and I wrote songs in my room and I put them online. I was naive and didn't know what to expect but I was immediately victimised by people that I didn't know."

Most of the people who attacked James were fellow teenage boys, who felt the need to assault his manhood.

"(They were) boys that I didn't know, boys that were playing football," he continues, "(They were) going clubbing even through they were 16, but they wanted to get into fights to show off their masculinity. For me, I was in a dark place."

James adds, "It is something that could have changed my life altogether. I was very close to putting down the guitar."