Tom Grennan is a bit of a lad. The kind you’d probably see causing harmless mischief in the pub on a Friday night – but whose gang you’d almost certainly want to be a part of. As he readies his gigantic debut album for 2018, the 22-year-old wants you to know there’s more to him than his bubbly persona suggests.
When did you realise you have a pretty special voice?
“I got really f**king pissed at a party and I ended up singing in front of everyone. But I don’t really remember it, to be honest. The next day I came back and my mates came in and said, ‘You were singing at this party,’ and I was thinking, ‘Oh god’. But then they said I was pretty good and it stemmed from there. I was getting all this attention and girls were loving it as well so I thought, ‘F**king yes, I’m in’.”
You were almost a professional footballer. Was it hard to transition to music once that ended?
“I’m not really an artist, like a painter or anything like that, but I was creative with my football and when that finished I was like, ‘Oh well, I’m not really f**king good at anything else’. When I first started performing it was like finding this drug that had never been invented before. I always thought I’d be playing; now I watch Manchester United every weekend on Sky Sports and they’re using ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’ as a theme song – and I’m sitting at a pub and it comes on and I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, mad.’”
All the songs you’ve written lay you very open – is that hard to do?
“I’m a pretty deep guy. I’m not a tough guy at all. People think I give this persona that I’m thick-skinned, but I’m not and when I’m writing songs, that comes out. When I was writing in school, people were like, ‘What?! We never thought you could do that, Tom’. I thought, ‘Yeah, neither did I, mate!’”
Do you like defying those views people have of you?
“Yeah man, it shocked people. When I first started, everyone would laugh about it, would just chat s**t basically. I did actually fall out with a lot of people over it because they’re taking the piss out of it.”
‘Found…’ is your biggest tune so far – can we expect more of the same?
“Wait until you hear the album – that’s even bigger. If you’re going off that song, then I’m gonna say that’s the small guns. The big guns are loaded, but we’re just waiting on when to fire them.”