“If music is the food of love, play on!” This famous Shakespeare quote applies to few more than it does to Tom Wykes. A clarinetist, vocalist, and guitarist, Tom is a young musical artist with both covers and original works to his name. Today, I was lucky enough to hear what Tom had to say - and he said a lot! He told me about all sorts of things,  ranging from his origin story, to his charity work.

Surrey Comet: Credits to Mia Felton (Instagram @mia.takes.photos)Credits to Mia Felton (Instagram @mia.takes.photos)

Question: How did you first show an interest in music?

Answer: I’ve been interested in music right from a very young age. It really started when at my primary school, a pupil in the year above played a clarinet in our school concert, and I absolutely loved it. I began to pursue my passion, I found myself playing a lot of Jazz clarinet. For my 11th birthday, I was given a Bass Guitar, and I took some lessons.  Since stepping up my musical career, I began singing lessons, which has helped me develop my voice, and my musical horizons.

Q: Tell me about the charity work you do with the Basement Door?

A: So to begin my musical career, I got in touch with Kevin Westbury, who owns the charity The Basement Door - a charity which aims to provide a safe place for young musicians to play in front of a paying audience. It is a friendly environment with no alcohol or drugs - just people enjoying good music. This is really awesome, because in most of London, you don’t get this kind of opportunity at all. Unfortunately, it is a rare thing to be able to perform in front of ~150 people, with incredibly high production values, in a youth-friendly setting. The Basement Door also helps young musicians to record their own music.  An artist who recorded her album with the help of The Basement Door ended up #3 in the UK country music charts on the day of release.

Surrey Comet:

Q: What advice would you give to someone of a similar age to yourself trying to get into a career in music?

A: In my eyes, I always think never give up on what you’re doing - if you enjoy doing something, keep working at it, and it will pay off. Busking is great, as you’ll find out what works in front of crowds - it's often different to playing in your bedroom. Once you’re comfortable with nerves and crowds , start sending emails out to local places, local charities, local open-mic giggs, and finally, you’ll land one. The hard part is getting a gig - once you’ve landed one, offers will start.

Q: Have you got any music coming up that you can tell us about?

A: Actually, this is currently a really exciting time for me, as in February, I can officially say that I have an original EP coming out on February 22nd, as well as a headline performance at The Basement Door in Richmond. I’m gonna play some tracks off of my EP. You’ll be able to find the EP when it drops on Apple Music, Spotify and iTunes alongside some of my existing work under the name Tom Wykes - there might even be a few previews on my Instagram, @tom.wykes!

Photo credits to Mia Felton @mia.takes.photos