INTERVIEW: Tom A Smith | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The rise of Tom A Smith has been nothing but incredible. Armed with a backlog of covers, the Sunderland sensation played his first gig aged eight, and became Kendal Calling’s youngest ever performer (under the moniker of Tom ‘Mouse’ Smith). Now at seventeen, freshly and more maturely re-christened, the performer is ready to show the world what he’s capable of on his debut EP.

With a newfound confidence and maturity to his sound, the young musical polymath is keen to prove his mettle. “When I was young I based everything around covers, I was a young lad doing covers of Led Zeppelin, which was great for the time because it got me so many incredible opportunities. But with this EP, I see it as a way to prove that I’m quite a decent creator as well. It’s really nice to be able to show the world what I can do.”

Tom has had a crazy response to debut single Wolves, which came out in late 2021 and garnered airplay on BBC Radio 1 via Jack Saunders, Radio X and BBC Introducing, but he’s more excited about soundtracking the footie. “The Radio 1 thing is absolutely mental – Jack Saunders is phenomenal – but I am a massive football fan, so to be in the background of the Brentford highlights was pretty cool! I’m completely blown away, couldn’t have asked for more really and it makes you more excited for the next thing. It’s been pretty tough to wrap my head around things to be honest! It’s all been a bit mad!”

I see it as a way to prove that I’m quite a decent creator as well. It’s really nice to be able to show the world what I can do

As the lead track on the new EP, Wolves sets the tone for the rest of the release, which is full of indie rock grandeur. “Wolves has got that very nostalgic Cure sound, with the chorusy guitars,” he says, admitting Robert Smith and The Cure are firm heroes. The rest of the EP explores other styles: Convince Yourself feels like a darker Arctic Monkeys, showing off Tom’s powerful vocal range; while the lighter indie rock of recent single Dragonfly has a propulsive and engaging sound. The final track, Crucify Me, will impressively be the original home demo, demonstrating a beautifully mellow side to the versatile songwriter. “I think it’s really important to show the authenticity, and how natural the music is and that it is just myself.” He says.

While he may be courting national radio airplay and getting high profile live shows under his belt, Tom’s keen to keep his feet on the ground – albeit with a couple of ambitions on his wishlist. “The one thing that’s important to me is not to just be a massive touring artist – of course that would be lovely – but to have maybe Paul McCartney or Noel Gallagher listen to one of my songs and know who I was!”

Tom A Smith releases his debut EP on 25th February.


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