Never Look Back (Official Music Video)
Thank you to everyone who is listening to the record ‘Never Look Back’!
For as long as he’s been making music, Tom Gregory has been trying to create “something that I feel could exist in two different worlds – both on a festival stage and in pop playlists” (on the radio or on streaming services), says the 27-year-old singer-songwriter from Northern England. A musician who wears his heart on his sleeve, Tom had a massive series of airplay hits across Europe including ‘Fingertips’, ‘Rather Be You’, ‘Never Let Me Down’ (w/ VIZE), ‘River’, ‘Footprints’ and more recently ‘Forget Somebody’ and ‘Rather Be You’ since the release of his debut single ‘Run To You’ about 8 years ago now.
“My dream has always been playing on big festival stages around the world, but then my breakthrough came during Covid”, says the singer-songwriter who released “two albums during the pandemic – a very strange thing to say.” With over 800 million global streams already under his belt, the Blackpool-born musician has spent the better part of this year on the road, playing for crowds of tens of thousands, or in the studio defining his forthcoming third full-length offering. “It’s going in a
direction that I always wanted to end up in,” he adds, quoting “essentially bands” from Keane to The Killers to Kings of Leon as key sources of inspiration but also P!NK, a singer he loves for her incredible range of styles.
“Honestly, a lot of the music I heard growing up was CDs handed down by my dad”, Tom clarifies. He was a shy teenager, and initially struggled to express how he felt about music to anyone. For a long time, singing was a hobby he kept to the confines of his bedroom, where he also began writing his own song lyrics. But everything changed when his dad signed him up to audition for The Voice UK when he was 16 years old. Tom impressed showrunners enough that he made it through to
the live audition round in London, where he was plonked onto a stage in front of the celebrity judges. Coming from a rundown seaside town, he was fairly convinced that this would be his one and only chance to make it as a singer…
“I got knocked back!” Tom says, laughing. “No one turned around for me! I thought it was the end of the world”. Miserable at school and with the whole The Voice setback still fresh in his mind, Tom even went through a bout of depression as a teenager. “I had a lot of problems with my mood, which is why I’m really open now talking about mental health, especially among men”, he says. He was forced to repeat his final year after failing his exams, and watch the rest of his friends head off to university. Desperate for a new outlet, he nicked an acoustic guitar from his school’s music supplies.
“We didn’t really have much money at the time”, he says, referring to the period in 2008 where many families came under heavy stress due to the financial crisis. “I’ve still got the guitar now”. He actually used it to write what is, to date, his biggest hit – ‘Fingertips’. For the record: Tom plans on returning the guitar to his old school. “I’ll say sorry for pinching it, but also tell them it changed my life”, he says. “I think I would have gone down the wrong path if it weren’t for that”.
He tried a brief sojourn in a band, named Kiings, and received some airplay on BBC Radio 1, before deciding he wanted to pursue a career as a solo artist. After finishing school, he signed up for a course in music production, only to quit after a week when he realized it was the wrong choice. “I didn’t think it was going to get me to where I wanted to be”, he says. “I needed to take a risk”. Fearful of telling his parents about his decision, Tom was standing in the university carpark when he received
a call from a casting agent. Inspired by his cousin, Coronation Street star Lucy Fallon, he thought he’d try his hand at acting. And now the BBC was offering him a part in its drama series, The A Word.
“Unfortunately, I hated acting”, Tom says, laughing. He has nothing against the people he worked with, and feels grateful for those experiences on set. “But I didn’t like pretending to be someone else. I didn’t like conforming to a character”. Acting career over, Tom was back to square one. He flew to Germany to see a mate, and found himself in a club speaking with that friend’s older brother, who offered to be his manager.
A chance conversation inspired him to start recording his own music, in between his new job, working on the admissions stand at The Grand Theatre back in Blackpool. He uploaded his songs to SoundCloud and managed to catch the attention of a dance label back in Hamburg. They paired him with a producer, who happened to be from… Fleetwood, Blackpool. “I
couldn’t believe it”, Tom says. “All the producers they could have found, and they had this guy who lived five minutes down the road from me!” That producer was Matt James of the electronic duo M22; James, his partner Frank Sanders, and Tom wrote “Fingertips”, and most of the songs that eventually became the hits we all love.
Just this summer, Tom completed a first run of shows that comprised a festivals tour in August, playing for crowds of 15,000 to 50,000 fans, and opening for pop superstars band OneRepublic in London (Wembley Arena) as well as all over Europe (Rome & Naples in Italy, Germany, Switzerland…).
Before embarking on another tour around the UK, Ireland and the EU this fall, Tom will unveil some brand new music; starting with dance-pop smash ‘Dive’, a collaboration with Lost Frequencies – out September 1, 2023.
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