Headliner chats to Scottish singer-songwriter, Tom Walker, about his rise from culinary busker to BRIT Award-winner in what on one hand seemed like no time at all, and on the other, an eternity.
Tom Walker made the journey down to the capital when he was 19, bringing with him his guitar and, perhaps more surprisingly, his chef whites.
“I was 19, I was a full-time chef, and all I really wanted to be was a professional singer songwriter,” opens Walker, with a smile. “I actually applied for a guitar course, but they were like, ‘er, yeah you’re not the best, what about songwriting?’ And before you ask, yes, that is an actual thing, believe it or not! And I was like ‘sweet, okay,’ and although I’d been looking to do a songwriting course, I had no idea that one actually existed. So I did a three-year degree, and busked around London for a year while also chefing full-time.”
A bizarre route into the industry – and it certainly hasn’t been a simple one, either.
“Oh, making your way into this business is literally the hardest thing ever, I was soon to find out,” Walker concedes. “It’s funny, because when you are in it, you realise it’s really small, but to open that first door felt almost impossible for a long time. You have to keep a focus, and you have to keep believing; and eventually I managed to bash down some doors and got signed to Relentless Records.”