MOST of us won’t ever know what it’s like to be on stage while thousands of adoring fans sing our songs back to us, quite possibly having the best day of their lives. Tom Grennan does, though. Increasingly so.
‘I don’t think you can get used to that feeling,’ says the singer-songwriter, whose debut 2018 album Lighting Matches went Silver, and who was named BBC Music Introducing Artist Of The Year 2018. ‘It’s like a drug that’s not been invented. It’s the best high in the world. It’s cool. It’s the craziest feeling. It’s a mad emotion.’
While he was on the festival circuit last year, Tom was playing songs that a lot of people hadn’t heard yet, but over the past few weeks he’s played Hit the North in Newcastle and Live At Leeds, and it’s been a different story. Not only has he caused waves with songs such as Barbed Wire and Sober, but his anthemic track Found What I’ve Been Looking For is the theme song for Sky Sports’ Super Sunday football show. As a young man who once hoped to become a professional footballer, that gives him a thrill.
His song Something In The Water then exposed him to a whole new audience when it was used on Love Island, and he also recently made it into the Guinness Book Of Records for performing the highest number of concerts (ten) in 12 hours.
‘This is my first year when people will know the songs,’ explains Tom, in anticipation of three gigs in three cities later this month. ‘This year it’s going to be cool. Everyone is going to know them. It will be sweet.’
He’s spent most of the year writing new songs for his next album. ‘I’ve learned a lot since making the first album,’ he says. ‘I’m excited for people to hear the new music, the things I’ve experienced and the things I’m going through that have shaped me into this person that I am now. I’ve grown up since that first album, I think.’
That passion for music is behind his next outings, which will see him play intimate gigs in Ibis hotel lobbies in Bristol, Manchester and London. ‘I’m playing some gigs with Ibis and I’m really excited to be joined by emerging local artists from each city, including Jamie Cruickshank in Bristol, Nxdia in Manchester and Tom Bright in London. I love finding and playing with new artists and I’ve got a special acoustic set planned for my fans. It’s going to be amazing.’
Later in the summer, he’ll be taking to a bigger stage when he plays Latitude. Wherever he is, performing brings him deep joy. ‘I just love it,’ he says. ‘If I could spend my whole life being on stage in front of thousands of fans then I actually would. I really, really want to be a big artist. It’s an energy. It’s crazy. It’s wicked.’
■ Tom will be playing Bristol (Wednesday), Manchester, May 24 and London, May 28, as part of Ibis Music, a collaboration with Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative. ibis-music.com/united-kingdom/events