Blending elements of folk-rock, pop and some indie-rock undertones, Tom Bright is a singer-songwriter with an intriguing sound. Critically acclaimed, Bright has been featured on Gigwise, Radio X, Love Music Love Life, BBC Radio 6 and many, many more. We speak with Bright about his upcoming single ‘How Young We Were’, musical inspiration, future plans and favourite smells.
OSR: What can you tell us about your upcoming single ‘How Young We Were’?
Tom Bright: ‘How Young We Were’ is the second single to come off the upcoming second album (dropping in late 2021). It’s an uplifting track and fits well with February’s first single, ‘Legacy’.
The track has been produced by titan Ed Harcourt, mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road and features the wonderful Gita Langley (Elbow/The Streets) on strings. We’ve had some big radio support early doors with this new record from the BBC, RTE and the heroic John Kennedy at Radio X. In fact, he’s just given it its premiere play there and had me on for another Isolation Session. Top man!
OSR: Did you face any challenges when recording the single?
Tom Bright: Everything slotted in well time-wise. I escaped London for six months last year when the sh*t hit the fan, wrote the whole album (and a book) in my Derbyshire shed during the first lockdown, demoed it out and was over at Ed Harcourt’s gaffe getting it down in late July over a marathon three-day recording binge. Three 14-hour days and it was done. 13 tracks. Bosh.
If you could change one thing about ‘How Young We Were’ what would it be?
Tom Bright: Absolutely nowt.
OSR: Who inspires you to make music?
Tom Bright: Less of a who and more of a what, really. Inspirations for my writing come from a wide range of places. Album one was full of observational stuff – there was always a character and a story analysing very ordinary stuff. This second record is much more personal, picking apart things I’ve been through/felt.
OSR: What do you hope people take from this song?
Tom Bright: Hope. A smile. A positive reflection.
OSR: Do you feel ‘How Young We Were’ diverges from your past work and if so, how?
Tom Bright: Album one was all very stripped back. These new songs are much fatter in production and this second single differs from the first (‘Legacy’) by being less anthemic and more nostalgic, I guess.
OSR: Where do you hope to be in ten years?
Tom Bright: Multiple credible albums out and millions of people inspired by the multi-faceted work I put out. Keep spinning multiple successful plates, more and more and more.
OSR: What is your creative process?
Tom Bright: I’m always writing. It never switches off whether it be in my diary, in my phone, on my voice recorder, it’s a constant. Like a waterfall. Sometimes it slows, then all of a sudden it’s waking me up in the middle of the night again.
OSR: What is your favourite smell?
Tom Bright: Frying garlic with onions – sofrito!
OSR: What are the pros and cons of being a solo artist?
Tom Bright: I’ve been “a band” previously when I was finding my way and figuring out what I wanted to do. Obviously, in a band you have multiple schedules/personalities to contend with, added logistic issues, much more to thank about tech-wise, so being a solo act eradicates a lot of that.
I write everything stripped back, so it’s very easy for me to rock up and bash out what I’ve written. No plugging in, just the strings in the boot of a car and I’m away. It’s a mega pro!
It’s a lot of graft though which many might see as a con; although, this life choice is a pain game. I manage myself, along with other acts (Shea Rafferty & Shaun O’Reilly) and run the brilliant Islington Radio.
OSR: Do you think the Covid-19 pandemic will have a long-term effect on the music industry?
Tom Bright: The industry is going to rise from the ashes and be bigger, badder, better than ever. Radio is flying, venues are chomping at the bit, fans can’t wait to have pints of piss chucked all over them again, the lot. It won’t go back overnight but we’ll get there. Those who hung in there will feel nothing but euphoria.
OSR: Do you have any future plans?
Tom Bright: So many. As mentioned, I’ll be releasing many more albums, building on my already growing fanbase and mega radio support. I’ll write more books (and an autobiography will no doubt come one day). I’ll keep working my socks off for the artists I manage, will help coach others, keep up the work I do for the Joe Strummer Foundation and oversee the very exciting Islington Radio, which I was proud to launch at the end of 2020. We’re already moving into our own cafe in Archway during the spring and have our own beer launching (courtesy of Gorgeous Brewery) in a few weeks.
Lots going on, so stay in touch! I’m @tombrightmusic on all the socials and on www.tombright.co.uk