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Tom Grennan

Seems that ever since Paisley pop star PAOLO NUTINI gate-crashed the music biz back in 2006, there have been an abundance of funky forgers ready to fill his shoes; though the Scotsman had been conspicuous by his absence since 2014. That long and ever-expanding queue was led by such stars as EZRA, ODELL, BAY, and HOZIER and, of course, GRENNAN, whose 2018 album, despite spawning no major hits, cracked the Top 5.
Born 8 June 1995, Bedford, England, the half-Irish, London-based TOM GRENNAN had desires on becoming a professional footballer, having kicked a ball for Luton Town, and gleaning trials at Northampton Town and Aston Villa. Surviving a serious street mugging in 2014, for which he consequently received four metal plates screwed into his jaw, his acting studies at university were put on hold. Recovering over the course of the next few years, Tom began performing in small venues around the capital. A particular performance at a Finsbury pub resulted in an A&R person at the fledgling Insanity independent gleaning his signature.
His discovery led to a couple of credited billings for dubsteppers CHASE & STATUS (`All Goes Wrong’ in June 2016) and grime MC, Bugzy Malone (`Memory Lane’ in July 2017). Sandwiched in between these aforesaid minor hits, a prial of download EPs kick-started the gritty GRENNAN’s pop career: `Something In The Water’, `Release The Brakes’ and `Found What I’ve Been Looking For’. Showcased on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, Later… with Jools Holland, and the money-spinning MTV Music Awards (in which he was shortlisted for a newcomer prize), the stage was set to drop his debut album in July 2018.
The Dan Grech-Marguerat and Fraser T. Smith-produced LIGHTING MATCHES {*7} album was well received by reviewers and the media, but why the belatedly-issued `Found What I’ve Been Looking For’ didn’t crack the Top 75 was indeed a conundrum. Maybe the funky track’s sleight-of-hand recalled The KOOKS’; fused with a hybrid HOZIER hue cross-pollinated the minds of a resurgent radio listener. Incidentally, Tom was said to have performed The KOOKS’ `Seaside’ back in the day. And whether the string-addled `Sober’ and the soul-tinged EZRA-esque `Barbed Wire’, were bona fide singles was a contentious one, but both certainly should’ve been – and promoted well to boot.
© MC Strong/MCS Jul2019

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