In his youth, Tom Grennan showed great promise. Yet, for the boy who would become such a feature of the BBC Sound of 2017 longlist and the gravel-throated star of that Chase and Status collaboration, that promise did not initially suggest the development of his now-blossoming musical talent.
Instead, he was a talented footballer, whose sporting apprenticeship saw him represent the youth teams at Northampton Town, Stevenage, Luton Town and Aston Villa. In fact, he nearly moved to the U.S. to pursue his football career, but as he told Music Week last year, “something was telling me not to – and obviously it was music.” Evidently.
Football’s loss is music’s gain. Grennan’s voice, which will become increasingly ubiquitous as his upward trajectory inevitably continues over the summer, places him squarely in a rich canon of earnest, resolute male vocalists – think Joe Cocker, Otis Redding, or, more recently, Rag‘n’Bone Man.
Shades of blues and soul pepper his songs, which nevertheless retain an unmistakably contemporary edge. His debut EP, Something in the Water, is an understated but potent record, which lays bare his outstanding vocal and eloquent approach to lyricism. Tom will be touring the UK this autumn – catch him this time around, and you’ll have witnessed his set in a far more intimate setting than the cavernous venues that he’ll be selling out soon enough.