Tom Grennan

Words: Samantha Sadler

London singer & songwriter Tom Grennan has been building up an impressive fanbase over the past couple of years and with very good reason. His gorgeous bluesy, soulful indie hits have bagged him buckets of praise from the likes of NME, Radio One and MTV and he’s worked with huge names such as Chase & Status and Bugzy Malone.

But Grennan isn’t that typical musical wonderkid with a background in singing into a hairbrush since he was three years old. “As a kid, music wasn’t really a part of my life so footballers were my influencers. I’ve never been a person to idolise musicians.”

It’s Grennan’s suave vibe and matter-of-fact statements that make him so likeable and it’s actually quite refreshing to find a musician who isn’t actually looking to be another Alex Turner, John Lennon or Ian Curtis. So what exactly is Grennan doing?

“Creating history! No, I don’t know really, I’m trying to create music, I’m trying to create smiles, I’m trying to put out the best music I can possibly make and I’m just trying to do my best I suppose.”

Alongside the footballers who were his influences as a kid, which musicians is Grennan really a fan of? Well it turns out he listens to a whole range of different artists and genres. “Who I love and who I listen to is Amy Winehouse, Ray Charles, Robert Johnston. I listen to loads of grime music, and like Eminem, Dre, NWA, Snoop Dogg.”

And if you’ve listened to Grennan’s music, you’ll have noticed an intricacy to his lyrics delving into love and pain, reflective of the style of work that the above artists would create.

“Like Amy Winehouse, her lyrics, she came from a lyrical path of pain into beauty and I’ve definitely got a little bit of pain in my lyrics and I’ve also got a bit of love and hope and aspiration.”

It was the release of Grennan’s album Lighting Matches that really got people talking and the fangirls flocking to the front of his shows. With NME exclaiming ‘with a cocksure swagger, Grennan’s assured debut makes Bedford sound like Hollywood’ and the album bagging five stars on many review sites, it was an achievement but a well deserved one.

“It went top 5 which is pretty mad for me, but like I said, the album is of what I wrote where I was in that time, like I was in that headspace. I had pain, I had heartbreak, I had love, I had a lot of belief and hope. So yeah, it’s all about that really.

“It’s not really got a theme to it though, but I suppose it’s got them avenues in it. But yeah, for me it’s just a great album and I’m gonna say that because I know it is and I’m over the moon with what people said about it, how people have received it and how people have taken it in.”

Now that he has a successful album under his belt and an upcoming tour in October, including an impressive date headlining Brixton Academy, what could possibly be next for the talented, young musician?

“I want to be the biggest artist I can possibly be so in five years time, who knows where I could possibly be? But I want to be massive. Come back to me in five years time and I’ll tell you how it went.”

Find Tom Grennan on Facebook.

Listen to Barbed Wire here:


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