London based singer-songwriter Tom Grennan dazzled a sold out Rescue Rooms last week with his bluesy voice and ‘jack the lad’ charisma, charming the crowd with anecdotes and jokes. Dressed in high waisted pin stripe trousers and black t shirt, he looked every part the front man, encouraging the crowd to sing a-long. He has simply gone from strength to strength in the past year moving from headline dates at the Bodega to Rock City in under 11 months. The Mic sat down with Grennan ahead of his show.
How are you feeling?
I’m buzzing more than anything, just hope my voice can hack it. Nottingham’s buzzing, it’s always a good place to come, especially as the first night of the tour.
What was the turning point that made you decide on becoming a singer?
When my mum touched me in a weird place. Only messing haha. Basically when I’d have a drink I could show off to people and I liked showing off. Then I got told I was alright at it which I kind of couldn’t believe, and then yeah I was alright at it. I’m not really good at anything else.
What was it like collaborating with Chase & Status?
My publisher put us in touch cause we share the same publisher, and then they listened to one of my songs and loved it. So we went in the studio and did it. That was like the first time I’d ever been in a big studio, so I was like well nervous but did it and came out with ‘It All Goes Wrong’.
You recently announced the release date for the debut album, has it been a fluid project?
Yeah, I finished it last week and I announced it 2 days after it was finished. Yeah it was fluid, I’d been working on it for like a year kind of going to sessions on my own. Then it took like two months to record everything and then it became an album.
Who would you say has been your main inspiration for your work?
I don’t really have inspirations, I wasn’t really music fan growing up. I was more football. I listen to a lot of Paolo Nutini, Adele, Amy Winehouse. My mum listened to loads of 80s music. But as an inspiration I wouldn’t say I have a musical hero, apart from Amy Winehouse.
Does your dyslexia effect your writing process at all?
I have my own ways about doing it. It’s like reading a book is hard for me but writing the way I know how to write isn’t hard for me cause I’ve got my weird ways of doing it. So say you read my lyrics you might think ‘what the hell is that’ but yeah I’ve found my own way of doing it.
You played a wide selection of festivals this summer, how did it go? Did a certain festival stand out?
Every time we did a crowd, big or small, everyone’s been really nice, we haven’t really had any negative feedback, apart from one guy who called me a wanker in the back of the crowd.
Y Not was up there as one of the best. Boardmasters was also sick. Reading was shit for me cause I lost my voice. It doesn’t happen much but it keeps happening recently.
Finally if you could’ve written any song, what would it be?
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
The debut album Lighting Matches is out on March 9th – pre-order now.
Catch Tom live at Rock City on the 24th of March.