Jimmy Ray sports the trademark greased Elvis quiff, wears rocker gear, sings rock 'n' roll, and has the dark good looks of Johnny Depp and Matt Dillion. The 22-year-old Londoner rocked into Hong Kong recently to promote his debut album, Jimmy Ray, which has a distinct '50s rock feel, with a cheerful dash of '90s club hip-hop thrown in. Ray had an instant hit on his hands when he released his first single, Are You Jimmy Ray? in Britain in February. This was followed by his debut album, Jimmy Ray, in April. The single made an explosive impact in the United States, where it sold more than 500,000 copies. His '50s Americana roadhouse image has been carefully cultivated and it is no coincidence Ray is managed by Simon Fuller, the man behind the Spice Girls. Asked why he yearns an era long before he was born, Ray said he had always been impressed by the days of Elvis and James Dean. 'I wanted to come up with something different than what we hear today and I found the old music very inspiring. 'I wanted to produce something that really makes you sit and listen to it.' The young musician not only plays guitar, but also writes his own music. 'Music just comes into my head and I follow it,' he said. But Ray acknowledges borrowing a little from the old rockers. 'I've been deeply influenced by stars like Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps.' Ray has been fascinated by the driving beat of rock 'n' roll since he was a schoolboy. 'I can't explain why I love the old rock music. I just identify strongly with it. I love everything about that era - the people, music and atmosphere. 'Most singers around sing about the same things, usually love. Also, I love playing with words. In school, one of my favourite subjects was English. Words express feelings, and the audience identifies with them. 'In Daddy's Got A Gun, I tackle the serious issue of gun control. 'It's big news in the States, and I hope it gets people thinking.' 'I hope people can identify with me, my personality and music. 'Hopefully, everyone will know what Jimmy Ray is all about.' To achieve this, he needs to keep improving and changing, Ray said. 'There is no winning formula, but I believe you have to bring new things to your listeners all the time.'