Tom Odell, Nick Grimshaw and Harry Styles at a pre-Brits dinner
He wowed us all with his mind blowing performance at the Burberry A/W 2013 show on Monday. And tonight Tom Odell will be attending his first ever BRIT Awards with his mentor Lily Cooper, having been awarded the much coveted Critics Choice Award last month (previous winners include Adele, Florence Welch and Ellie Goulding to name a few…). So with a tour in the pipeline and his debut album set to be released in April, it’s fair to say 22-year-old Tom’s really got it going on. We caught up with the Chichester born singer for an exclusive chat on the morning of the BRITS.
Grazia Daily: Congratulations on your BRIT Award. How did it feel to be the first male to win?
Tom Odell: It was quite surprising and it’s still sinking in. It’s crazy but I’m really happy, and it’s mad that I’m the first boy to win. Over the past five years the girls have been doing really well and there have been some brilliant singers. But maybe it’s time for the boys now.
Grazia Daily: What does it feel like to follow in the footsteps of Adele and Florence Welch?
Tom Odell: A little bit of pressure… I try not to think about it to be honest I’ve been quite busy preparing for my tour so I don’t tend to stop and think about these things too much. If I did I might have some problems. I met Emeli Sande after she won last year, she’s really cool and has given me so much advice telling me not to see it as pressure but as being rewarded by people who like your music, which was really nice.
Grazia Daily: You’re signed to Lily Cooper’s - nee Allen – record label. What’s she like to work with?
Tom Odell: Lily’s great. When I first met her we went to a gig, then for a drink and chatted about our favourite bands and artists for an hour and then she told me that she was a fan of my music and wanted to help me release it. She doesn’t get involved too much in decisions and lets me do my thing which is what has been amazing about being signed to her. She’s so supportive but she keeps her distance respectively. We’re going to the Brits together, and she’s a BRIT Awards veteran so that’ll be fun.
Grazia Daily: Which BRIT Awards performance are you most excited about?
Tom Odell: There are a lot of bands performing who I wouldn’t normally go to see like One Direction which will be incredible. I really want to see this worldwide phenomenon that everyone is going crazy for. I want to know what’s so good about them, and the same for Taylor Swift’s performance. I’m also looking forward to seeing Mumford and Sons, they’re phenomenal live. But mainly I’m just excited to be there.
Grazia Daily: What is your favourite BRIT performance of all time?
Tom Odell: It would have to be Blur when I was a kid. That’s always stuck out in my memory. I remember being quite young and being completely blown away.
Grazia Daily: Who are your musical influences?
Tom Odell: One month I’ll be completely obsessed with Bob Dylan and the next Arcade Fire. I like early Elton John and David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. I listen to a lot of American bands. But I like listening to new bands too.
Grazia Daily: How would you describe your style?
Tom Odell: Quite casual, I’m not very good with style and I tend to buy something I like and then wear it to death. I love a pair of Chelsea boots, I guess they’re my staple. I’m going to keep it quite casual tonight because I’m performing at a pre-party and aftershow so I don’t want to wear a suit because it leaves you a little restricted to play the piano! Burberry have given me some clothes too, which is great.
Grazia Daily: What would be your dream gig?
Tom Odell: I’d love to play Glastonbury Festival! I’ve never been but I’d absolutely love to perform at it on one of the smaller stages in a tent as they have such good atmospheres.
Tom’s debut album Long Way Down is released on April 15. His debut single Hold Me will be released on April 1.
Interview by Lottie Lumsden