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BOY WONDER

He’s top of the charts, he’s pals with Elton John — the future looks bright
for Tom Grennan. But the singer-songwriter takes Craig McLean for a trip down memory lane along the Hackney street that inspired his new album

Photographs by Lauren Maccabee Styled by Danielle Whiteman

Like the rest of us, Tom Grennan has struggled to get through the past year and to connect — physically, emotionally, normally — with his family. Thankfully he had Kanye West and the best part of a grand on his side.

‘I bought me and my mum a pair of these Yeezy slides,’ the 25-year-old singer-songwriter says, waggling a foot in my direction. ‘They’re the comfiest thing,’ he says of the pricey, moulded footwear from the rapper’s Adidas collaboration. ‘They’re a bit orthopaedic but they got me through lockdown. And to be honest, wearing shoes is just a different thing now, innit?’

Innit, indeed. But with spring and (certain) freedoms looming, it’s about time we got ready for vaccination nation and smartened up our
act, right? Grennan — tattooed, pierced, statement
jewellery-favouring and ordinarily partial to a suit-and-T-shirt combo — agrees. Appearing on The Graham Norton Show last month to perform boozy ballad ‘Let’s Go Home Together’ with Ella Henderson (it would later reach the top of the charts) he wore an Ami two-piece and a string vest. ‘We pushed the boat out for Graham,’ he chirps.

“I miss dressing up and going out with a purpose. When this lockdown finishes, I feel like everybody’s gonna be in a suit in the booming Twenties! Everybody’s gonna want to dress to impress.”

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“I just got consumed in it all. I lost my head a bit, with going out, ego… I was definitely slipping into a place where I could have been partying too much”

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“a year without being able to hold my granddad or grandma’s hand is tough. I love them to bits and it makes me emotional, mate”

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‘Evering Road’ is out now via Insanity Records