Redbrick Meets: Tom Grennan | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Redbrick Meets: Tom Grennan

An excitable Tom Grennan sits down with Sorcha Hornett to talk tour details, his love for hip-hop and why Bedford's music scene is the most underappreciated in the country

Tom Grennan’s seven date UK headline tour starts next month following the release of his latest single ‘Sober’. With his debut album, Lighting Matches, not due to be released until May later this year, this is purely just a warm up to get fans even more excited about the album and to firmly put his name on the map.

He never intended to be a singer and it was only after drunkenly singing ‘Seaside’ by The Kooks in front of his friends that they assured him his voice was something special. After graduating from university, he was discovered by Chase and Status and featured on their single ‘All Goes Wrong’, later joining them on their UK tour. Now instead of being a support act, he is taking centre stage and will be performing at the O2 Institute in Birmingham on March 17th.

Tom Grennan’s music is laced with soul, with each single he’s released so far being guitar-heavy catchy anthems. His latest single ‘Sober’ is a classic Tom Grennan track: one written from the heart with a pop-soul feel. While it is slower than previous releases like ‘Royal Highness’ and ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’, it is one laced with emotion that highlights Grennan’s signature raspy soulful voice. His setlist for the upcoming tour is looking impressive, and I’m excited to see him perform live. I had the opportunity to chat to Tom prior to the start of his tour and ask him about his musical influences and what we can expect from him in the future:


Hey Tom, how are you?

Yeah, a bit hungover, but I’m alright thanks.

Yeah, I heard you were at the NME awards last night?

Yeah it was pretty crazy, I just posted a picture with the HAIM girls, they’re lovely.

Are you looking forward to your upcoming tour and releasing your forthcoming album?

I’m so excited. The whole tour has sold out which is just mad, and the new album, I’m so excited to get people listening to the new album, it’s going shock a lot of people. I’m so excited to get back on the road, the road is where my heart is, and the stage is my home. I just love performing, I’m so excited.

I’ve been listening to ‘Sober’ ever since it came out, I saw the video for it dropped recently and while it’s an amazing video – you look freezing!

Oh my god, it was so bloody cold. You can literally see my breath in the air in the video, I’ve never been that cold like it was just insane.

It’s a great video, so it was definitely worth it. What’s your favourite venue you’ve played so far?

There’s so many venues I love playing, from like small ones to pretty big ones. Rock City in Nottingham is one of my favourite venues, Brixton [Academy] is also one of my faves and Bedford Esquires, obviously as I’m from Bedford, but it’s actually a sick venue. Birmingham on the tour was amazing, I played the middle room at the Institute, it was my first big sell out date on both tours and the atmosphere and the energy that the Brummies bring is mad so I’m well up for it.

You’ve been a supporting artist before for Chase and Status, how does it feel to now be headlining your own sold out tour?

It feels unbelievable, there’s no other words for it, it’s crazy, it feels weird, crazy, amazing, it feels right, you know what I mean?

Yeah, and with your first album... you’ve only released EPs up to this point, so it must seem so surreal.

Yeah, it’s an album that is so organic and happened so naturally, and I so enjoyed making it. There was no part of it that stressed me out when making it and it’s so honest and true to me. I’m so excited for people to get their hands on it and make it theirs as well as mine.

'It’s crazy, it feels weird, crazy, amazing, it feels right, you know what I mean?'

What’s your favourite track off the upcoming album?

There’s a song on there called 'Aboard' which is my favourite, I think... in fact, it is.

Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?

I grew up on grime music, I also love Amy Winehouse, Adele, Plan B, Robert Johnson and I love the Arctic Monkeys. I love The Kooks; their first album is still amazing to listen to now. I’m also a massive hip-hop fan, massive Eminem fan, Snoop Dogg fan, Tupac fan, Gucci Fan.

Speaking of the Arctic Monkeys, are you excited about their impending comeback?

Absolutely buzzing for it, can’t wait for them to release new music.

What music are you listening too at the moment?

I haven’t been listening to loads, I can’t lie, but I love J Hus and also Kasabian’s new album.

'Expect Tom Grennan to be everywhere, expect an album, who knows. Who knows what the future holds, but I’m here to stay, I’m not going nowhere'

You’re on the bill for a lot of festivals this summer, any one in particular you’re especially looking forward to playing?

It has to be Reading and Leeds, the line up is incredible, I’m fucking buzzing. Festival season is amazing, last year was my first time ever playing a festival, so yeah I’m excited to do it again.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Expect Tom Grennan to be everywhere, expect an album, who knows. Who knows what the future holds, but I’m here to stay, I’m not going nowhere.


Tom plays the O2 Institute on March 17th. Tickets are available hereLightning Matches is released on May 18th via Insanity Records.

second year english lit student that drinks a lot of coffee and thinks she can write. (@sorchahornettxo)


1st March 2018 at 9:00 am

Images from

Sony Music