Entertainment

INTERVIEW: Tom Grennan @ O2 Academy Sheffield

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Hunched over in a dimly lit booth, with a black hood lifted over his head like a Lacoste-wearing Anakin Skywalker, Tom Grennan is undoubtedly the coolest person in the room. Gripping his cheek with a pained expression, I ask if he’s feeling alright, fearful that I’ve already managed to say something to get on his nerves. “It’s my wisdom teeth,” he groans, “you ever had them?”, I shake my head, “toothache is the worst anyway, but this is on another level.” His hard exterior suddenly fades slightly, and in the worst way I feel way more relaxed in his company, probably because I, as a fan, am used to his famous no-BS attitude.

In my opinion, 2018 was kind of the year of Tom Grennan, the definitive point where he went from gigging around London with his acoustic guitar to selling out an entire tour with a full crew alongside him. With it being a busy year for him, I asked Tom to walk us through some of his highlights:

“Obviously my album came out, so that’s a big highlight for me. Played Reading and Leeds which was pretty mad.” I smiled and agreed. “It was so good wasn’t it?” he added.

After sidetracking about how much fun Reading was, I asked if he had a chance to catch anyone before or after his set “Nah I didn’t get a chance to see anyone I pretty much rolled up and did the show, it was cold as well, weird because the summer was so hot.”

Anyway back to the question.

“It’s all been a bit of a highlight though from like big stages, to meeting people, to people knowing who the fuck I am, it’s cool.” With this sudden wave of fame hitting this small town Bedford boy, I was curious whether it was a bit of a shock to the system for him. 

He hesitates slightly before answering, “I think it’s been building up to this, I feel like this is not me done yet, I feel like I’ve got so much more to do so and when you say it’s my year, I don’t think it has been my year yet, I think I’ve done really well and I’m really fucking proud of myself and I’m humbled by it all. This whole thing is just about to get bigger, and I know that, and I’m gonna make sure of that, that’s what I want.” Honestly, I applaud the guy’s determination and unwillingness to settle in the face of success, which in all honesty I can see a lot of other artists doing in our current age. Perhaps if anything it shows the true grit and work ethic Tom Grennan possesses, a trait many seem to lack once their eyes glaze over in the presence of the glaring stage lights and adoring fans.

 

As we chatted casually in the booth of the O2 Academy, I asked how he was feeling about his sold out show in Sheffield, which was happening just hours later.

“I love Sheffield, I used to come here to see my mates when they were at Uni, so as a city I think it’s fucking cool. People are really nice up here too, they love music, they are good at music ennit?”

Tom goes on to explain that the tour has been pretty constant and manic for him, “I’m kind of ready to get in the studio now, my minds become a bit more colourful now, got ideas and stuff.” This guy really doesn’t know when to take a day off! Due to the lack of down time he’s had, he hasn’t even had a chance to keep up with the big new music releases, explaining that he’s got a new phone and hasn’t even downloaded Spotify on it yet.

“Sometimes music annoys me, right now music is annoying me. Sometimes I just like to listen to, to, well, noise.” He gestures to the dull hum of chatter and gear being set up around us.

And then to end on one of the most cliche music interview questions ever (it has to be done), I asked Tom if he was able to collab with anyone dead or alive who he would choose:

“I’m gonna say, I’m gonna answer that as alive so I can put it into the atmosphere and the universe so it can like happen, but I’d love to work with Kendrick Lamar or Adele or someone like that.”

@kendricklamar @Adele let’s make this happen.

Check out Tom Grennan’s debut album on Spotify and keep up to date with his happenings at https://www.tomgrennanmusic.com

 

Words by Megan Drew

Megan Drew is your entertainment editor

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