Hugely-passionate about music, Tom Smith, 17, is well known on the local music scene and over the years his talent and drive has seen him perform on national stages such as Glastonbury, as well as on home turf such as the SAFC Fan Zone, rubbing shoulders with artists such as James Bay, Sam Fender and Tim Burgess.
To keep himself occupied in lockdown, the East Rainton teenager turned to his passion and crafted more than 150 songs in a year and a half.
After signing with a management team, the songs have been curated to form his debut EP which will be released on February 25, preceded by new single, Dragonfly, which is released on January 21.
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Titled EP 1, the record was produced by Larry Hibbitt, who’s worked with Nothing But Thieves, The Snuts, Sea Girls and Lauren Hibberd.
Speaking about his inspiration for the tracks, Tom, who studies music performance at Gateshead College, said: “I’m still only 17, so there’s not a lot of things in my life I can write about yet, so during lockdown I would ask my friends and family to pick a song or a theme and I would create something taking that as inspiration.”
“It was a tough one,” said Tom of the process of whittling that wealth of material down to just five songs for an EP. “I wanted it to be a statement. It shows the versatility of what I’ve done and demonstrates the different styles that I can do.”
Tom first picked up a guitar when he was just four-years-old when he was taught music by Johnny Bond, who’s gone on to be the guitarist for Catfish and the Bottlemen. When he was eight he would go on to make his first stage performance, supporting Detroit Social Club at The Cluny.
Over the years, he’s racked up more musical coups than most people do in a lifetime, performing at Glastonbury and being hand-picked by Tim Burgess, of The Charlatans, to perform on his Kendal Calling stage.
He has played live with local hero Sam Fender and Catfish and the Bottlemen and his self-uploaded performances have won him fans amongst rock and roll royalty. The week David Bowie passed, his widow Iman shared Tom’s cover of Bowie’s Lazarus online, commenting on the emotional impact of Smith’s rendition.
Tom, who performs as Tom A.Smith, released his debut single Wolves at the end of last year, which received airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6
Music, BBC Introducing and more.
To coincide with the new release, Tom’s announced a string of live dates and he says he can’t wait to get on the road.
"I’m over the moon to be back performing,” he said. “And I can’t wait for people to hear this EP. I’ll be playing with some amazing bands.”
:: Tom A. Smith’s debut EP ‘EP 1’ is out February 25 on all regular streaming platforms
Tom A. Smith Live Dates:
::23rd Jan - Birmingham, The Sunflower Lounge - Supporting M60
::26th Jan - London, Colours - Supporting KEG @ Abbie McCarthy’s Good Karma Club
::16th Apr - Stockton, Stockton Calling Festival
::28th May - Warrington, Neighbourhood Weekender
::4th Jun - Birmingham, Sonic Wave Festival
::18th Jun - Czech Rep, Rock For People Festival