Chase & Status collaborator is breaking out with solo material
All it took was a tipple at a house party for Bedford-born Tom Grennan to have a little sing-song and discover his outstanding voice. Now he’s teamed up with Chase & Status for their latest single, and his first solo EP ‘Something In The Water’ is a startling introduction. For him, everything’s going “sick”.
How did you discover your incredible voice?
“I got p**sed up for the first time at a party and just started singing. I remember going back to school and my friends were like, ‘Do you wanna join a band?’ I said, ‘F**k off’. Ended up doing it, and loved it.”
You’re a big Arctic Monkeys fan, aren’t you?
“At the beginning we were doing a lot of Arctic Monkeys covers. So I was replicating them a little bit. I used to have this northern twang in my voice – I was like, ‘I’m not even northern, mate.’ Alex Turner is one of my heroes – his lyrics are genius. His dressing room was next to mine at a festival recently and he walked out like he was Elvis or something.”
You’ve started writing your own songs now, but your dyslexia can be a challenge. How do you find a way around it?
“Basically, how I write now is that mentally I put stuff on a washing line. I just hang it all up and pick different parts in my head. So then I pick odd socks, lyrics- wise, and I put an odd sock to an odd sock and think, ‘How can I make that a pair of pearly whites?’ It’s weird.”
What did you learn from working with Chase & Status on ‘All Goes Wrong’?
“To not rush and just to be calm with a song and calm with the process. When I went in there I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to take a tune with me.’ But we got to it and let it happen naturally. That’s the beauty of a song, the spontaneity of it, and I love that.”
Musically, your first EP is pretty raw. Where do you go from here?
“The EP is raw and real; it’s an introduction to the world really, basically saying, ‘I’m Tom, I’m going to do bigger than this, but this is me right now.’ I just want to make an epic sound, like an orchestral sound. Violins, cellos, trumpets, saxophones, all that kind of stuff – just epic.”
Photos by Zoe McConnell
Styled by Koulla SERGI
Jacket, £350, Stone Island.Jumper, £75, Champion. Shoes, £105, Dr. Martens.
Jacket, £565, Maharishi at Harvey Nichols. Shirt, £113, MISBHV. Jeans, £60, Common Homme at Urban Outfitters. Trainers, £62, Nike at Schuh. Ring, £126, O Thongthai
Jacket, £430, CMMN SWDN. Jeans, £60, Common Homme at Urban Outfitters. Shoes, £105, Dr. Martens. Ring, £126, O Thongthai.
Best Track: ‘Something In The Water’, Tom’s smoky vocals compliment his subtle acoustic strum on his debut EP’s finest moment
Having played in youth teams for football sides Aston Villa and Luton, Grennan turned down the opportunity to play abroad in the US. At a party celebrating his decision to stay, he discovered his voice.