TRNSMT Special: Lighting Matches with Tom Grennan

Credit: APB PR

Bedford lad Tom Grennan is preparing for a summer like no other, and TRNSMT is calling his name.

Tom Grennan is just like any other lad in his early twenties. The only difference is he’s oozing style and talent that the charts desperately need at the moment. From his appearance on Chase and Status’ 2016 dance smash, All Goes Wrong, Grennan’s slick, husky vocals have been hitting the airwaves.

It has been a whirlwind of touring, festival slots and EP releases in the two years since. Stylish, down to earth, quietly optimistic and just ‘buzzing’ for the summer months ahead we caught up with Tom to chat album releases and performing with Arctic Monkeys at this year’s TRNSMT Festival.

We’ve heard about you in the charts for a while now, it’s hard to believe this is only your first album. You’re set to release Lighting Matches in July, how does that feel?

I’m so excited, I’ve been sitting on it since last June and I’m just excited to get it out there now. I’m nervous but it’s good nerves. It’s an album I’m really, really proud of and an album I hope is going to be the business.

You don’t know what the album will do. I just have to put it out there and get the public’s opinion. More than just being scared and apprehensive I just need to get it out there and let the people take it and make it their own. All you can do is your best in the studio and do your best in making the record and I feel that I’ve done that. It’s a record that I’ve matured with whilst writing it and you can definitely see that. All in all, if it changes one person’s life then I’m happy because it changed my life.

What song on the album are you most excited for people to hear?

There’s a few on there: there’s one called Abroad which is a proper old soul track with a hint of hip hop. Then the final song on the record, called Little by Little,

is the song that has a nod to my childhood and a nod to me growing up. It’s a song that means a lot to me. To get them out and get people to hear them will be a good couple of months.

Like many others, I first heard you on the Chase and Status single. How did that come about and how did it feel to get that platform?

The first time I had ever been in a studio was when I was with Chase and Status. It made me learn quickly, it was an experience that I loved that helped me get to know how to work in an environment with other musicians – it was a wicked period. It definitely helped my career.

That’s what Chase and Status are sick at doing. They discover new talent and they put them in at the deep end: they did that with me and it seems to have worked. I will always be thankful to them for this.

You also got the chance to go on tour with Chase and Status. Did the guys teach you how to survive life on the road?

100%. I had never been on a tour bus before. I had never experienced being on tour or how to adapt to being on the road. It was nice to do that with them, it was something that I’ve definitely taken on board and I do that now myself.

Talking about hitting the road, TRNSMT is just around the corner and you’ll be hitting the main stage – what is that like?

I’m f*cking buzzing (laughs). Arctic Monkeys are playing, I’m playing on the main stage – it’s crazy. I’m very lucky to be on the bill with bands like Arctic Monkeys. I’m ready for it and I love coming up to Scotland, it’s gonna be good!

Why do you think performing at festivals is good for newcomers like yourself?

I think they’re good to get noticed at because not everyone is there to see one person, they’re going there to see what is going on by just going to the festival. People can stumble across someone and think, ‘wow, that’s sick’ and then you’ve got a fan that would never even, sometimes, realise that’s the kind of music that they would listen to and that’s your music.

I think festivals are really, really important for new up and coming people. Festivals are just a good vibe as well – it’s always a happy place.

Do you see performing at festivals a challenge? Is it a test to see how many fans you can walk away with?

I don’t see it as work, I see it as having fun. I don’t really have that head on me where I’m going into a festival and I need to make this person a fan. I just enjoy the festival and if at the end of it I’ve got new people coming up to me saying they didn’t know who I was but they’re a fan now, then I’m thinking ‘yeah cool, I must have done alright.’

What can people expect from Tom Grennan performing live?

Expect a fiery, passionate, Sunday dinner. It’s not going to get boring and there’s always going to be more gravy – be ready for that.

Catch Tom on the TRNSMT mainstage Sunday 1 July. Get your paws on tickets here!

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