b. 1 December 1971, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Growing up and educated in Northern Ireland, Tughan moved to London in 1994 where he began to study acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. While there, his singing began to take on jazz elements, a trend that was aided by his encountering pianist Simon Colam, bass player Tom Herbert and drummer Chris Higginbottom. After graduation in 1997, Tughan secured engagements at several leading London venues, among them Ronnie Scott’s club, the Pizza Express, 606 Club, Pizza On The Park, the Backstage Bar at the Spice of Life and the Dorchester and Meridian Waldorf hotels. Applying his light and clear vocal sound and striking articulation to standards and jazz songs, and aided by his attractively confident stage presence, Tughan quickly built a reputation in London and attracted the attention of the media. For his self-produced debut album, he brought in Colam, Herbert and Higginbottom, along with Canadian tenor saxophonist, Steve Kaldestad.
In the early 00s, Tughan was deeply involved in the West End production of Vote Dizzy!: An Evening With His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley, Jake Broder’s play about Dizzy Gillespie’s 1964 presidential campaign. In addition to his acting role, Tughan was also co-composer with Broder of the show’s original music, which was set alongside the music of Gillespie, Parker, Slim Gaillard and others. Tughan also contributed additional material to the script, which was based on original work by Lord Buckley and Lenny Bruce. It was in the role of the latter that Tughan appeared on-stage in this production.