British singer-songwriter Tom Walker has enjoyed an immense rate of success since the release of his multi-platinum winning single ‘Leave The Light On’ last year.
A song written to support a very close friend who, at the time Walker wrote the song, was battling drug addiction, you might wonder how it resonates with Walker that a song written from a place of support should end up being the reason for his rapid rise to fame – the answer is, with great humility. “I think about that a lot, actually,” Walker begins.
“It was four or five years ago and we’ve been best friends for my whole life. There is a happy ending to that story though; he’s totally fine. But yeah, it is weird that my career launched off of something terrible that happened to my friend.”
It’s suggested to Tom, given the happy outcome for himself and his friend, that perhaps this song (and others Walker writes like them) means he might hope in future to be a beacon of hope and reassurance for other people going through a similar situation, be it on either side of the coin.
“The songs I write on my album are very depressing, but always have that underlying tone of hope – d’know what I mean?”
Walker’s broad Northern accent is reasoning through any potential subliminal intentions he may have had through his writing process. “There’s always something in there like, ‘Yeah it’s pretty crap right now, but it’s all gonna get better’ – I think a lot of the songs have that in them because, I dunno, it’s nice for someone to tell you things are gonna be fine, innit?”
And that’s the overarching anthem to Walker’s album 'What A Time To Be Alive' – it says it right there on the tin. An extensive record that stretches and pulls at Walker’s peak of potential as a performer.
To carry so many sentiments and emotions in such a diverse way is something; Walker says it's just part of who he is. “All the stories and the kind of influences from different genres on the album are just things that just really resonate with me, d’know what I mean?
“All the songs are about real things, like none of it is fabricated. It’s all stuff that’s happened to me and my mates, my family, my friends.
“It’s the same with the music – I’ve been influenced by so many amazing artists over the years, I didn’t want to make an album where every song sounds the same. I think that’s boring. It’s been good to mix it up.”
When that diversity and those personable experiences extend on a global scale to a point where Walker is receiving phone calls telling him he just went platinum in one country, gold in another, it’s in those moments Walker’s grounded nature comes to light.
“I try not to let that stuff get too much – there’s more to life than the number of sales you make. I think it’s more important that people really resonate with the songs.
“I’ve had so many people tell me through various songs that they’ve helped them through a tough time in their life, and that for me is that much more positive – the songs being commercially successful is cool, but like, it’s actually better that if the stuff I’m writing is helping, well, that’s way cooler than going platinum if you ask me.”
Down to earth, Walker’s music isn’t about material gain but about the outreach. “It’s like I’m getting to come and do gigs in Australia because of songs I wrote in my bedroom, which is absolutely mental if you think about it!”
Tom Walker Australia Tour 2019
Thu 22 Aug - Max Watt's (Melbourne) Fri 23 Aug - The Metro Theatre (Sydney) Sat 24 Aug - The Tivoli Theatre (Brisbane)