Tom Odell has just released his debut album but the music market opened its doors for him much earlier. Winning the prestigious Critics’ Choice Award has set him a high target. But it seemed to be a really easy task for him. If everybody knew how to take their first steps in the music market, the industry would look completely different. The premiere of Long Way Down turned to be a great opportunity to ask Tom few questions.
musicis.pl: It’s a really important week for you Tom, after rescheduling, you’ve finally released your debut album Long Way Down. How do you feel about it?
Tom Odell: It feels great! Thinking it’s finally out brings me great feeling. I finally feel that what I’ve created is real.
musicis.pl: What about recording this album? Did it take a lot of time to write all the songs?
Tom Odell: I started writing the songs when I moved to London. Then I started working with my record label. I was going there everyday and actually this album became what it is now there. I finished it in the end of last summer.
musicis.pl: Long Way Down – that’s the title song of your album. What does it mean for you?
Tom Odell: I wrote Long Way Down right after moving to London. I guess it’s about being up on a high building, looking over at everything what’s happening down below as if it’s not important at all. I called the album the same because the atmosphere you can hear on it is really similar.
musicis.pl: Did you expect Another Love turning out to be so popular, not only in Europe, but also in the world?
Tom Odell: Nah, not at all. It’s really weird actually. When I wrote that song, I didn’t believe in it at all. I actually threw it to the corner of my room and after some time I played it to my friend. She said: Tom that’s a great song, you should totally record it! So I went to the studio and recorded it. But I didn’t think it would become a single though.
musicis.pl: Winning the BRIT Awards has changed your career completely. Do you think that without winning this competition it would have been harder to get to your audience?
Tom Odell: I don’t know actually. It kind of worked out for me. It’s a great thing to win because of it so many more people heard my music. Although, it definitely exaggerated my career. My album was really anticipated and I didn’t want that pressure.
Musicis.pl: What do you think of popular singers right now? Do you think people forget more and more about the power of lyrics?
Tom Odell: I think popularity changes the point of view at what you’re doing. You know, suddenly people want to hear more of your music, you feel pressure, create something that you didn’t want to. However, I believe the whole idea of lyrics and music will always be around you and what you’re doing because it has a big power. Power, that always defends itself.
musicis.pl: Do you enjoy making music videos? Because Another Love already has two of them.
Tom Odell: Yeah, however, one of it is a short film. I love making videos, I really enjoy that. I’m kind of excited to do it. I’ve always loved the way that you can combine music and a video, it can fit really well and be really moving. I was blown up when I met Jamie Thrace and when I’ve heard his idea for that film – I loved it. You can just play your character that you created in the lyrics, it’s magic!
musicis.pl: When you need inspiration, where do you look for it?
Tom Odell: It’s interesting… I don’t really know. When I was writing Long Way Down I was very, very inspired. I wrote over 100 songs for this album. I tend to write music pretty much the whole time but I never know whether it’s gonna be good or not. I’ve never had a massive problem with looking for inspiration. The problem is to write music not only I can understand but also my fans.
musicis.pl: Did you always know you would become a musician one day?
Tom Odell: Actually, yeah (laughter). I had that dream and it helped me to believe it’s possible. I’ve worked pretty hard for it though. It’s been a really long road to get there.
musicis.pl: There are a lot of albums released recently. Which of them you like the most?
Tom Odell: It’s not really my kind of music, but I really like the Disclosure album. They are a British electronic duo, I met them a few months ago. It’s nice to see they created something so good while being that young. I think their album is great!
musicis.pl: Is there anybody special you would like to collaborate with?
Tom Odell: I really don’t think there’s someone right now. I just want to play my music with my band. At this moment I want people to hear this album live, not me with somebody else. That’s what I want to focus on now.
musicis.pl: Did you already think about songs for the next album?
Tom Odell: I’m definitely thinking about it, yeah. I’m inspired pretty often (laughter).
musicis.pl: In November you’re coming to Warsaw. Have you ever been here before?
Tom Odell: No, it’s going to be my first time, I’ve never seen it, so yeah, I’m excited.
musicis.pl: If you had to choose between coming back to the normal life without popularity or becoming the star that music industry can’t stop talking about – what would you choose?
Tom Odell: Of course I’d stay where I am right now! I’m happy now.