Sunday, February 16, 2014

EXCLUSIVE! Thomas J. Speight INTV!

From Paul McCartney to Ryan Adams to Keane to Graham Norton, English singer/songwriter Thomas J. Speight is gaining famous fans fast. The London born, Liverpool educated songwriter has had both great British cities to use as a source of immense learning and inspiration. Now, as he preps his debut album and gains a tremendous amount of buzz back home, we are pleased to get one of his first American interviews. We spoke to Speight about his music, his influences, and where he wants all of this to take him. His unique sound and captivating personality is what has drawn us in, we hope it shines in this interview. Take a look below:

Hailing from London, how has the city influenced your work?

I love London and I'm super proud to be from there. I suppose the biggest influence is the music scene and the great bands that have come out of London. I have also been influenced by Liverpool because of my University days. I think generally the British music scene is strong at the moment.

Being a singer-songwriter, what drives your topics and themes of songs?

I think all the songs come from a story or something that has happened to me. However, i do want people to relate to the songs so it's never going to be too indulgent.I think the key to any good song is to make the listener to connect to it and provoke some form of emotion. I don't think you need to have the most poetic or cryptic of lyrics, you just need to deliver what you wanted to say in the song.

You’re latest single, “Just Where I Want To Be” is inspired by a near death experience. What happened?

It's inspired by quite a few things. I had to take a break from music as a result, I have quite a serious illness called Crohn's and at that time I was in and out of hospitals.The song for me is about bouncing back and the making most of your health and life.

After all these years, what is it like to be recording your debut album?

It's been a slow and steady process of me developing as an artist and building a fan base. I'm just very much focused on making the best possible record I can.

Your debut EP was produced by members of Keane, how did you link up with them? Will they be producing your debut full length?

Jesse Quin from Keane message me on MySpace back in the day saying he liked my music but it needed to be more produced so he asked Tim from Keane if he wanted to get on board too. I ended being the first act to record in Tim's studio. They have been great friends and supporters of my music and I'm sure I will definitely do something more with them.

 Ryan Adams came and gave you great praise about your music. What was it like to achieve such high marks from someone like him? Are you a fan of his work?

I'm a huge fan of his music! It was like a stamp of approval for me. He is definitely up there with the best

More importantly, Sir Paul McCartney is a fan of your work. How does someone like Paul get a hold of you and get a shirt to endorse you?

I went to a school in Liverpool and got chosen as a writer to show him my songs. I ended playing about 6 songs with him. Not a bad day at all!

Being a Beatles fan, what was it like to get high marks from Macca? 

It was very much like an out of body experience because it almost didn't feel real. He was very sweet and generous with his time. I loved every moment. However, I got the worst Polaroid picture of me and him..the photographer managed to crop off my head.  

Where do you go from here?

This year is about getting the new singles out there and raising awareness of my songs and having a lot of fun in the process. I would also love to play Glastonbury and hopefully meet Emma Stone. Fingers crossed!

What has been the best thing about this journey thus far?

That's a tough question..I could tell you a couple of highlights for sure! Playing the Roundhouse in London with Travis was pretty crazy, Sir Paul McCartney singing my songs with me was another highlight and recording with Keane was a great experience.

What does the rest of the year hold for you?

The first single comes out in February and then I'm touring in March.  I imagine the second single will be out very shortly after that and then I'm into the festival season. 2013 was a great year for touring for with Travis, Fossil Collective etc but I didn't have any new music it just feels good to be getting it out there.

When can we expect you in NYC?

I've been to New York about 3 hopefully very soon. I got very lucky one time because it was around the ash cloud so I was there for about a month. I ended playing some very cool shows and recording some material. I was also lucky enough to meet Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers..he was very cool! I'm looking forward to playing Rockwood again!