Tom Grennan: “Having the support of my fans keeps me going”

Tom Grennan has a natter ahead of this year’s Neverworld.

If you’ve never been to Neverworld, formerly LeeFest, you’re missing out on one of the gems of festival season. A delightfully intimate experience of themed areas and hidden spaces, it’s definitely nothing like your usual big stage corporate affair.

That doesn’t mean they can’t pack in the names, though – none bigger than Bastille, who have already hinted they’re ‘up to stuff’ in the nearish future. There’s little doubt they’ll blow the roof off Neverworld’s main stage this August – and with a supporting cast including Declan McKenna, Rae Morris, Girli and whenyoung, they’ll not be the only ones.

Tom Grennan will also be taking along his just-released debut album, ‘Lighting Matches’.

Hi Tom, how’s it going? Everything good?
Everything’s good, thanks! Loving the start of festival season, it’s been really exciting so far.

It’s been a huge couple of years for you – loads of festivals, a massive headline tour, your debut album. How do you cope with being so all-go all the time? It must be exhausting.
I don’t know if it’s exhausting, I feel really lucky to be in the position that I’m in. Having the support of my fans keeps me going.

Are you documenting your adventures for future writing inspiration?
I’m definitely trying to record everything for future writing inspiration. My best friend is a videographer who documents everything for me; I’m also taking notes every day.

How did you get to this point, from kicking about in your hometown to signing your record deal and playing all over the world?
I moved to London from my hometown of Bedford and started playing music. I learned how to play guitar and started playing in pubs and clubs around London. It took lots of hard work and dedication to achieve my goals.

Tom Grennan: "Having the support of my fans keeps me going"
“I love to travel the world playing shows”
Ton Grennan

Has anything about musician life taken you by surprise?
Yeah, a few things. Definitely the number of hours that I put in, but the hours are really fun!

Tell us about your debut album – what’s it about? What’s the vibe like?
My debut album is called ‘Lighting Matches’, it came from the idea of igniting my career. When writing I definitely matured but it’s a classic album. I wanted my album to sound timeless, and that could last 50 years. 

How have you found the process of putting together a full-length? Did your initial vision for it change much along the way?
I really enjoyed it! There wasn’t much pressure, just excitement. I was in the studio writing loads of songs and then picked through the songs that I wrote; I didn’t go in thinking I need to write. It just happened naturally. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!

How would you like your music to make listeners feel?
I would like my music to make people feel free and inspired! I want people to feel like they can escape everything they are going through and just enjoy the music. 

Where do you want to go from here, what’s the dream?
Overall I’d like longevity. The dream is to play Glastonbury and Wembley Stadium. I love to travel the world playing shows and make good music that puts smiles on people’s faces.

Taken from the August issue of Dork. Neverworld takes place from 2nd – 5th August at John Darlings Farm, Kent.

Words: Sam Taylor

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