Interview with Tom Prior
We interview British singer-songwriter Tom Prior as he ends his Coffee House Sessions
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When The Sunday Scene came out in 2016, the world was introduced to a new sound from a new name.
Tracks like Looks Like Rain have catapulted Tom Prior into the spotlight and have gained him fans including the likes of Paloma Faith, Tinie Tempah, Labrinth, Maverick Sabre and the Arctic Monkeys.
What makes north-London raised Tom Prior so impressive though isn’t just the fans he’s amassing (both famous and… regular), or his extremely talented vocal ability, or his amazing songwriting... but how even whilst he’s on the up he’s collaborating with other up-and-coming British talent to help them too.
After releasing The Sunday Scene he also released the ‘Lock In Sessions’ which was a re-recording of the EP with collaborations with the likes of Haus, Jake Isaac, Lauren Aquilina and Prose.
We interviewed Tom Prior whilst he was on his Coffee House Sessions tour around UK Universities.
WR: How did you first get into music?
TP: I've always been interested in music. In the early years of secondary school everyone began rapping in the playground, it got competitive quite quickly. I spent most of my school life writing lyrics in my school books before moving away from Grime to more Indie Music around 2010.
WR: You got signed to Island Records a couple of years ago – what was it like to finally get signed to a major label?
TP: I was never desperate to sign a record deal but it was a massive privilege to sign to Island. I'm a big fan of their heritage and very proud to call it home. The internet means that there isn't a huge difference being signed to a major but I have a great relationship and respect for my A&R Darcus and so far we've worked well together.
WR: At the end of 2016 you released your EP, “The Sunday Scene”. What was the creative process behind that release?
TP: I had never intended to release a third EP so it was important to me that I kept myself interested in the process. I released three versions. The second was a collection of Unplugged performances and the third was called The Lock In Sessions. The Lock In Sessions were live collaborations filmed and recorded at Ray Davis' KONK Studios, it was a big personal highlight for me.
WR: Has it been strange, for you, to hear your own songs on the radio and fans signing lyrics back to you at gigs?
TP: Absolutely but I don't plan on wishing it away. I'm very honest in my music, going into rehearsals for gigs i'm always very focused on putting on a good show and making it worth everybody's trip. Right now a lot of people are being introduced to my music for the first time and seeing people take my songs into their lives is very rewarding.
WR: You’ve also supported Corinne Bailey Rae among other artists – what challenges have you faced performing in front of crowds that aren’t your own?
TP: There's a lot of music around because of the internet. In the end it comes down to how good your songs are so I focus on that. I'm grateful to all to music lovers and the curious that are looking for something new. I enjoy being on stage so it's never a chore. Playing to another artist's crowd definitely thickens your skin.
WR: What has the experience of the Coffee House Session tour been like?
TP: It's been enjoyable. It's given me time to work on the songs acoustic and play some that I haven't played for a while. The travelling has been intense, some days I've played three shows in a day, all in completely different cities. Having to work hard to get people on your side is never a bad thing though.
WR: What can we expect from you coming up this year?
TP: More shows and more songs to be honest. I'm releasing a song called Sundays next, it's sort of influenced by Gorillazand Foals. Most of my mates reckon it's quite different for my EP's so I'm looking forward to people hearing it. I'm going to release some more volumes of The Lock In Sessions. I have planned the next two and I have some wicked artists on board. Mostly just more shows with my band, the show has a different identity with the band and i'm looking forward to playing with them round the country.
For more information about the Coffee House Sessions, visit: www.coffeehousesessions.com.