Where’s Tom Odell from?
Thomas Peter Odell was born in Chichester, West Sussex, on the 24th November 1990. With a pilot father and a primary school teacher mother, part of his childhood was spent in New Zealand because of his father's job.
going to my hometown today. singing live and signing at @hmvChichester from 5pm. xxxx #wrongcrowd
He caught the songwriting bug at an early age
He’s had a love for music since he was tiny, with one of his fondest childhood memories involving “seeing a band when I was four years old at the village fete.” His love of a good melody only grew, especially when he started piano lessons at just 7 years old (and 7 was also the grade he eventually reached in the instrument – impressive!) He began penning original material at the age of 13, but he didn’t tell anyone because he thought it was "uncool."
My second album, Wrong Crowd, turned 1 year old on Friday. And I'm still 5 inside.
Ditching university to pursue a solo career
At the age of eighteen, Odell ditched plans to attend the University of York, in a failed attempt to gain a place at a music college in Liverpool. Whilst part of a band, he decided he didn’t want to have to rely on other people, and opted to focus on pursuing a solo career. He appeared at local gigs, open mic events, and regularly travelled to London to build his reputation. It was during this period that he honed his performance skills and found out which songs worked well live.
Tom Odell’s TV debut on Later... with Jools Holland
The Chichester-born musician made his television debut in November 2012 as a performer on Later... with Jools Holland. The show's producer - Alison Howe - went on to describe his appearance as "a classic Later debut."
After releasing his debut EP, Songs from Another Love, in 2012, he won the Critics' Choice BRIT Award, replacing the much-loved Lily Allen, who took Keane’s hit ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and launched it straight to the top of the charts.
Producing music In the Name Of Lily Allen
In early 2012, he was signed to Lily Allen’s label ‘In the Name Of’, who suggested she noticed him because "his energy onstage reminded me of David Bowie." The hit-maker allowed Odell to just get on with his own music, in his own style and time.
Given that this was a man who’d signed a deal after just four gigs, a little room for growth was to be expected. However, with his popularity blossoming, Odell's debut album, Long Way Down, was released on 24th June 2013 and went on to reach number 1 in the UK official chart.
But, not everyone was a fan of his music
After getting a not-too-complimentary review from the NME, Tom Odell’s dad made headlines by calling the magazine to complain about the comments a reporter made. Rating his debut album a mere 0 out of 10, many people got behind his dad to question the theory behind the rating.
Tom Odell's dad 'calls NME to complain about poor review' http://t.co/fklR485aoG
‘Another Love’ by Tom Odell
Although, he recognises people don’t think he’s a “particularly brilliant singer,” Odell claims he’s ok with being mediocre when it comes to belting out a tune (although, we disagree!) because he tends to focus on the songs themselves. ‘Another Love,’ the hit single from his first album, sold more than 800,000 copies worldwide. Not the type to blow his own trumpet he thinks “it’s a good song and that’s why it did so well.”
Ivor Novello Awards in 2014
Winning the ‘songwriter of the year’ for Long Way Down at the Ivor Novello Awards back in 2014 was an achievement very close to his heart. He’s been quoted in interviews reminiscing about his earlier dreams of stardom: “I thought back then it would have been mind-blowing to win that, so when I did it meant a lot to me.”
The John Lewis Christmas advert
On top of the music scene at the time, the critically-acclaimed musician’s next milestone song was a cover of The Beatles' ‘Real Love’. The track featured on 2014’s John Lewis Christmas advert and has since become one of his most notable songs. Within days of the advert being aired for the first time, it went straight to twenty-one in the UK top forty.
Wrong Crowd: Tom Odell’s second studio album
After working on his second album the previous year, June 2016 saw him release the full album Wrong Crowd with Columbia Records. After admitting he felt a bit “naïve” with his first time in the studio, the second time round left him feeling like he “had a little more creative control.”
Tom Odell songs: Here are some you’ll know
Believing there should be more to songs than a catchy tune and a few weeks’ airtime, Tom’s passion is to create songs that enable you to discover something new each time you listen to them. His musical inspiration for creating such emotional and raw songs comes from the likes of his musician friend Elton John.
You’ll probably recognise a lot more of his songs than you think…
1. ‘Another Love’
2. ‘Can’t Pretend’
3. ‘Hold Me’
4. ‘Grow Old with Me’
5. ‘I Know’
6. ‘Real Love’
7. ‘Wrong Crowd’
9. ‘Here I am’
10. ‘True Colours’
Tom Odell on YouTube
On Tom Odell’s official YouTube channel, the most-viewed video is ‘Can’t Pretend (at Dean Street Studios)’, with over 10 million views:
That’s eclipsed, however, by the video for his breakthrough track ‘Another Love’, hosted on the TomOdellVEVO channel, which has reached almost 150 million views at the time of writing!
And here are a few more of Tom Odell’s YouTube videos for your viewing pleasure…
Tom Odell: 5 things you didn’t know
1. How tall is Tom Odell?
He comes in at 5ft 9in, or 175cm – that’s just below national average!
2. What’s his best-selling song?
If you missed it earlier, ‘Another Love,’ the hit single from his first album, sold more than 800,000 copies worldwide.
3. What’s his most famous song?
It’s sold a lot of copies that’s for sure. But judging by its 149 million views on YouTube alone, we think ‘Another Love’ is almost definitely the most popular.
4. What was the first record he bought?
Tom once said in an interview that the first record he ever bought was ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ by Elton John.
5. What did he do with his first pay cheque?
After being given an album advance to work on his music, he bought a lime green Mini Cooper, only to have it stolen three weeks later whilst touring in Scotland. Bad luck Tom!
If you want to shop all things Tom Odell, you can find everything you need here.