Coffee House Sessions: Tom Prior

Photo: Tom Prior

‘It’s a long day’ as Tom Prior described his time touring the UK, 5 days and 11 shows into his tour the man expressed his weariness. But Tom’s aura and character spoke otherwise and was an absolute delight to speak to as The Linc caught up with him on the 7th of March, when he played at the Swan.

Releasing his latest EP in November of last year, Tom seems to have loved being on the road since then, despite its tiring nature. He went on to say there will be no more EP’s from this point, only singles; yet he has begun ‘picking up instruments and not being ashamed of how they sound’, immersing himself in the creative process.

‘My progress has always been slow and steady’, one of the many reasons Tom deserves to rise to the top, he’s worked at his craft for years now, to begin with, he used to think of himself as a rapper, before surrounding himself with virtuoso’s like himself and honing his art form.

Tom has a unique understanding of genre and style, saying ‘I think the tribalism in music is falling away very rapidly, what’s most important is that I’m honest with my music’. This show’s hugely in his songs, there is such a variance between ‘Bad Advice’ and ‘Looks Like Rain’, yet they both sound fantastic because they feel genuine.

‘I feel like staying in one image is a hindrance sometimes, people who have bought into ‘Bad Advice’ may feel let down when they hear a ballad’. He went on to say, ‘I’m just being me, and I feel like people who are really into what I’m doing will understand that’.

Diving deeper into his motives surrounding his music, Tom spoke of his admiration of the ‘conversational’ tone in the likes of Alex Turner and Mike Skinner’s music. ‘It’s very real life just reflecting what’s going on and just saying it how it is’.

Photo: Tom Prior

Tom Prior’s music is hard to summarise, it is soulful in some aspects, in others it’s rocky and loud, and in songs like ‘Don’t worry’, I personally am reminded of Jamie T, one of Tom’s biggest influences as he described. Furthermore, Tom’s aura reminded me of the likes of Ed Sheeran, he could be making music for the millions, or just the few, and he’d still be playing the way he loves to.

In many ways, Tom seems to be just a genuinely great person, like the kind of person you’d go to the pub with, and a final quote sums up his casual outlook on music perfectly.

‘It’s just about being as good as Bob Marley’.