Let’s start from the beginning, when did you first get into music?
Well, my family has always been musical; both my brothers set the pace for me starting with piano, then on to drums and finally guitar. At 15, I had been playing and writing on guitar for about a year and just decided to share some of my first songs with people. From that first school concert, I just wanted to keep on writing, keep on playing and just keep getting better.
How would you personally describe your sound and the genre of music you produce?
That’s always such a tough question to answer, even though I get asked it all the time. Everyone has their opinions, but for me, what I’m trying to achieve is a sound that’s fun and summery, but with a deeper sense of feeling and soul. Like any good ‘Coming of age’ movie - I’m a ‘coming of age’ artist.
Who would you say has been your biggest musical influence as an artist?
John Mayer has had a particular influence on my music as a guitarist and a songwriter. I just find myself trying to learn and replicate these versatile songwriters like Mayer, Matty Healy, and Childish Gambino. They seem to have this understanding of what makes a good song, do it repeatedly in different forms, and still express their character through it all.
When you perform a gig what reaction is it that you really want to see and feel from your audience?
As a regular audience member, I always want to feel comfortable listening to the artist - just trusting that they have command of the stage, their instrument and voice. So I try and do that. I want people to enter my head space when I’m in my songs; that’s all I ever want to achieve as a songwriter and performer.
Which of your songs would you say you are most proud of and why?
The two, in particular, are my most simple songs, where I didn’t try to be clever and I just wrote whatever needed to be written at that moment.
On Instagram, I've seen you post videos of you singing from your toilet. I'm a particular fan of the hashtags used: #bogbangers #pooppop… Can you tell us a little more about that?
Amazing, yeah so I’m currently living in halls at uni and turns out our little toilets have amazing acoustics. So I decided to record a video and song from my toilet - it’s on the single and the videos on YouTube so check the acoustics for yourself. Very bizarre I know, but it works - I’m planning to release some more toilet tunes in the future.
Describe the process you go through when writing a song?
It’s never the same - sometimes there’s a particular chord progression or melody I come across when I’m messing around on a guitar. Sometimes, I find myself in a particular head-space where I need to just write something about it to sort myself out. A few times I’ve just decided to write a type of song I’d like to play live and that’s all it took. The main thing I’ve learnt is that if nothing is coming, don’t stress about it too much; it all comes in waves.
Are there any highlights from your journey so far that you'd like to share with us?
There are just so many lovely moments that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t put myself out there initially. So many great people, shows, opportunities that have just come out of me picking up a guitar and singing about how I think too much about everything.
Tell us about some of your past gigs?
One of my more recent gigs was special. I put on this night for my single launch. I played my set and there was just this moment where I looked out and see this room full of some of my closest friends singing the melody to my favourite song - I don’t think any of them realised how much that particular moment meant. It’s all small when you talk in the grand context of the heights you’d aim to reach as an aspiring musician but, I think if I don’t appreciate these moments now then I’m just going to struggle to enjoy anything regardless of where I end up.
Finally is there anything exciting you’ve got coming up for our Phlexx readers to look forward to?
Well, I’ve been busy getting a band together so you don’t have to just listen to me anymore - so that’s exciting. There are a few projects in their infancy and then I’m planning to record a load of my favourite stuff in the summer. By Autumn there will be some fun stuff coming. For now, listen to ‘Tell Me’ and maybe look forward to some more ‘Bog Bangers.’
Listen now on Spotify
Facebook: Tom Featherstone
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