Bedford-born singer-songwriter Tom Grennan has been in the studio recording his debut album due to be released next year. His song Found What I’ve Been Looking For is on the Premier League soundtrack and will be heard for the next two seasons. After a summer filled with festivals, Tom is now ready for his headline tour including a sell-out show at London’s Koko. We caught up with him at Victorious Festival about his upcoming album, football and his fast-approaching tour.
You’ve got a busy weekend of festivals, how do you stay focused?
I probably just do what I’m doing now kind of just chill out for a bit and then prepare myself for the show. I’ll then come back and just chill out again. If I’ve got a weekend of festivals or however many festivals in a week, I can’t really be getting drunk and that kind of stuff! I put on a film and chill out.
Is this your first time playing at Victorious?
Yeah! I haven’t been to Portsmouth too many times. It’s my first time at Victorious. I had a little wander around, seems cool out there.
What was it like playing at Leeds Festival, and did you get to see any of the other acts?
No, I didn’t. Like I say about chilling, I like to go and see other people, but I was on quite late so I didn’t want to use all my energy and get drunk!
Do you have a different mindset playing at festivals rather than your own concert?
I don’t think so, apart from the people. Some people don’t know you and are there not just to see you. I just bring energy and if they’re not there to see me, I just think – how do I win a fan? How do I be myself?
You have your headline tour coming up, are you prepared for it?
Yeah, I’m prepared and ready for it, of course. I’m so buzzing.
Will you be debuting any new music at the shows?
You’re taking your tour to Germany, have you played there before?
I’ve played in Germany before, yeah. We’re going to Germany, Netherlands, Paris, Sweden… we’re going all over Europe and it’s going to be sick! I’ve played in Germany a few times and the Germans love it, they’re mad, they’re mental and they really like listening to music. Sometimes you go to an English gig and everyone’s talking, which is cool, whatever, but Germans proper listen.
What’s it like knowing you’ve sold out Koko?
Unbelievable, very humble, very pinch yourself moment. It’s crazy, I never thought I’d do it, but it’s been done. I hope that I can go and smash it and then sell out another, either Koko or just go bigger, and the plan is to go bigger.
Is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming album, and how is it coming along?
The album’s nearly finished, and that’s the only thing I can say about it. It’s very epic right now so it’s going to be good.
You’ve previously released EPs, how different are you finding the experience of working on an album?
Well, there are more songs! I’ve put so much love into my EPs and I’ve given so much love into my album. Hopefully this album will change my life, that’s what I’m planning for it to do. I don’t think I go into it thinking differently, I think all of what I put out is like my babies, so I’m just treating it as another love of mine.
Where do you get the inspiration from for your songwriting?
Just general life really. My stories, my parents’ stories, my friends’ stories… just stories. I think the world runs on stories, so if you find a little way of writing about them, then write about them.
How do you decide which songs to release as singles?
I don’t know really, just what songs sound massive and what songs can suit radio. I haven’t really thought about it, if you believe in a song that much then you’re like let’s go for that one and hope that it does well for a single.
What’s it like hearing your new music play on the radio for the first time?
Mad, that’s the only word I can describe it as… mad! I always get a text from Dad or Mum because they listen to the radio. I don’t listen to much radio because I haven’t got the time, unless it’s on in the room. It’s crazy and it’s cool.
Your song Found What I’ve Been Looking For is part of the Premier League playlist, how did this come about and how often is it played?
I don’t know really. The song was already out and they heard it and they were like, ‘we really want to use it, but there’s a section in it that needs to be changed to fit the football’. I was like cool, I’ll change it, and I did.
It’s two seasons. It’s every week, so hopefully people will hear it.
We understand you used to play football, was it a hard decision choosing music over a football career?
No because I think every little young boy, or even young girl sometimes, is football mad. I wasn’t good enough and I ended up finding something that I was kind of good at. I wasn’t really good at school either, I ended up falling into music and found out that I was actually alright at doing what I do.
You’ve been announced to play at Soccer Six this year, are you looking forward to it?
Yeah, I’m ready to win, don’t worry about that one. We’ll be lifting the trophy, not a problem!
Where did you play your first ever show and have you been back?
I played it in a pub called Bear in Bedford, where I’m from. I’ve been back, not to play, but I have been back but it’s been refurbished.
How did you get involved with the Grenfell Tower Charity Track?
I got called up for it. That’s a song that shouldn’t have had to happen. I was very humbled to be on it and to be asked to do it. It was very emotional doing it. There was a spirit in the studio and a spirit between everyone coming together. It was something that shouldn’t have happened but it happened.
You’re obviously going to be busy working on your album over the coming months, do you have any plans once it is completed?
To tour it and to get it to every corner of the universe.
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