LIAM Fitzgerald was riding on the crest of a wave. Quite literally.

Ready to embrace a memorable year, the world was his oyster.

As a talented singer-songwriter, he had just enjoyed a milestone moment in his music career.

The 31-year-old had landed a job performing on a cruise liner and visited far-flung parts of the world he could only dream of.

Then the coronavirus struck and normal life ground to a halt.

A wave of uncertainty washed over his career and now he finds himself not knowing when and where his next gig will be.

It's an alarming predicament - one so many live performers will relate to - and he admits the thought of 'what might have been' gnaws away at him.

"It's been a crazy time," said Liam, from Clacton, who has released several singles, including 'Reflect' and 'Midnight Hour'.

"This time last year, I embarked on an incredible journey in my music career, working on Silversea’s five-star luxury cruise ship Silver Whisper.

"As a resident guitarist and singer, I spent four months going to places I could only dream of.

"Not only was I able to see these amazing places, I was getting paid to do what I love along the way, playing to new people every day.

"When I came back in January, I’d got myself a residency gig at 45 Park Lane (a five-star hotel in Mayfair, London).

"I was also taking bookings and feeling ready to take on 2020.

"I felt inspired but, fast forward a year, now I'm wondering when I'll ever be able to go back to doing what I love.

"It's been crazy as all music events have been cancelled.

"I try and stay positive and creative and, during these challenging times, it’s given me the opportunity to work on my recordings and hone my production skills, producing what I feel are some of the best-sounding songs I've written.

"My single ‘I Don’t Need Anyone Else’ is a particular favourite and was picked by Spotify curators for their ‘Easy’ playlist, which has helped me achieve almost 100,000 streams since its release in August.

"I'm working on new music all the time and am excited to carry on releasing singles for as long as I can.

"Luckily, I have experience in hospitality and am grateful to be back working but this time has made me appreciate what I had and want to get back to soon."

Liam's face was a recognisable one on the north Essex music scene in the 2000s.

He fronted popular Indie band Fagan and regularly gigged at pubs and clubs across Colchester and Tendring.

"Music has always been a passion of mine and especially songwriting," said the former student at Colbayns High School.

"Throughout my 20s I fronted Fagan.

"It was a lot of fun to play in a band with my best mates but, as we got older and more responsibilities came into our lives, we just didn’t have the time to give our band the effort and respect it needed to succeed.

"Reluctantly, we agreed to call it a day.

"In 2015 I took some time out from writing and playing, having sadly lost my dad following a short battle with cancer.

"I hardly played my guitar and started concentrating on my job in hospitality, which had helped me so much while juggling work life and my music career in the past.

"However, after a year or so away from music, taking some time for myself, I found inspiration again and started writing about life experiences and observations of life around me in a positive way.

"I decided to start producing some of the tracks I'd written and I loved that I could take them in any direction I wanted.

"The creative freedom was something I found really addictive, playing with instruments and not feeling any particular song had to sound a certain way.

"As a solo artist, I feel I can express myself in new ways.

"I feel much more comfortable wearing my heart on my sleeve and writing about feelings that I perhaps would have hidden when I was in the band.

"My tracks as a solo artist have a much more honest approach lyrically and vocally I feel I've taken it to another level, too."

All that remains now is to start gigging again, to start showcasing his talent to a live audience.

Liam can't wait for that day to return.

"Obviously, I'm really looking forward to playing live again, whenever that may be," he said.

"But, for now, I'm concentrating on writing and releasing and hoping my music reaches as many people as possible.

"It’s been a difficult year for everyone but one thing that can’t be stopped is creativity.

"If I can achieve success in the music industry during these crazy times, I'll be very happy."