I'm proud of my Irish roots, says singer-songwriter Tom Grennan ahead of his Live At The Marquee gig 

From impending soccer stardom to touring the world after realising his calling toward music, singer-songwriter Tom Grennan is on the cusp of mainstream, household-name success. His upcoming Live at the Marquee show allows him to see the end result of years of hard work, he tells Mike McGrath-Bryan.
I'm proud of my Irish roots, says singer-songwriter Tom Grennan ahead of his Live At The Marquee gig 

Tom Grennan: To play Live At The Marquee this week. Picture: PA

Big moments come along a few times in a lifetime, and set the tone for years, if not decades, of the life that follows, the path taken of many to be travelled. For singer-songwriter Tom Grennan, a turn away from a soccer career that had brought him Championship experience with Luton Town, and to the cusp of a steady living in the game Stateside, brought him toward his destination in music.

It’s not steered him wrong, as he went from entertaining friends on couches at house parties, to London’s open-night scene, to signing a record deal and guesting on pop producers Chase and Status’ tune ‘All Goes Wrong’, and beyond, to radio domination and top-10 hits with ‘Little Bit of Love’ and ‘Let’s Go Home Together’.

On the crest of a wave, Grennan has been out and gigging around the world, including making inroads to America. On the phone after a busy few weeks, Grennan reflects on how it’s been since venues reopened in his native England.

“It feels like Covid and the lockdown is finally gone — and I’m traveling to different countries, including Ireland, and I can’t wait to come — it’s a big part of my life. And it’s going to be amazing.

“Just being back doing what we love, and what I love, that’s where I really feel like I’m at home, just doing my thing, singing songs. When I’m making people happy, that’s what makes me happy.”

Grennan’s upcoming Marquee date is part of promotion for last year’s ‘Evering Road’ album, now at the tail-end of its whole touring cycle.

He discusses how it’s been to look at the album now as a “finished” product at the end of a promotional process that spanned the Covid crisis and society’s weird bridge to the next chapter.

“(The album) was a big moment. I feel like right now, a year on, it’s taken on its own life, and it belongs in people’s lives. It’s changed my life, and I hope that it’s changed other people’s lives. I let people in, I let people understand what was going on with myself at that point. It was an honest album, and I think people understood that.”

 Tom Grennan can't wait for Marquee gig.
Tom Grennan can't wait for Marquee gig.

Debuting at number one on the UK albums chart, and going Gold with over 100,000 sales and equivalent streams, ‘Evering Road’ was written and recorded at a strange time for music and in-person collaboration, with the guts of it assembled during the crisis.

If the whole process was waylaid by circumstance, though, Grennan seems unfazed looking back at how the album came together.

“When we were doing it, and writing it, it was a time that I could be honest, tell my story. And I was in the room with great people, (UK producer) LOSTBOY being one of them — it was great. I do music to try and change things, and for my music to be out in the world, and doing that for certain people, then I’m doing something right.”

With his Irish roots, Grennan’s arrival in Cork to play at the final series of Live At The Marquee gigs represents a moment to take in the events of the last few years, and enjoy the moment before another inevitable whirlwind of festivals this summer.

Ireland is a massive part of my life, my dad’s Irish, and I’m proud of my roots

“I can’t wait, man, Ireland is a massive part of my life, my dad’s Irish. So, to be coming back into Ireland to do my thing, and just letting the people know that I’m one of them is an amazing thing. And I’m proud. I’m proud of my roots. Honestly, if I become one of the biggest artists to come out of England, then one aim is to be one of the biggest in Ireland.”

With that being said, there’s a steady momentum behind Grennan now, following his chart domination — and the intention is there to make hay while the summer sun shines.

“Mate, I’ve just finished my third record, so I’m not rested, I’m ready to go. I feel like we live in a world where everything is so fast, and I feel that right now I’m in sixth gear, and I don’t want anybody to forget about me, really. And so I’m going to put another record out, see how it does. It’s all under wraps, but what I will say is, it’s colourful, exciting, and yeah, it’s gonna be a good one.”

Tom Grennan plays Live At The Marquee on Tuesday, May 31. Tickets on sale now at ticketmaster.ie

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