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'tough time' Singer Tom Grennan tells of how difficult relationship break-up inspired new album

British-born Grennan (25), whose dad is from Ballycumber, Co Offaly, is now set to storm the charts with a fresh attitude and positive mindset.

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SINGER and songwriter Tom Grennan says he's a changed man as he returns with his second album, which was inspired by the breakdown of a relationship.

British-born Grennan (25), whose dad is from Ballycumber, Co Offaly, is now set to storm the charts with a fresh attitude and positive mindset.

"The past two years have been a bit of a crazy rollercoaster, full of emotions and full of changes," Tom tells Shuffle over Zoom.

"This new album is about a past relationship. It's a break-up album, but it's not the typical, 'I feel sorry for me because she did this or did that'. It's more like, 'actually, I didn't love myself through that relationship. I need to love myself before I can love anybody else.'"

Was it his first big serious romance?

"Yeah, it definitely was," Tom says.

"But I just let loads of things get in the way of it. I let going out and doing stupid things get in the way. Like I said, I wasn't in love with myself. I needed to find that self-love before I could invest in anybody else.

"I feel it's hard for guys to admit to not having self-love. It was a tough time, but I'm just so glad that that time did happen. I'm in tune with myself now. I understand my emotions. I understand what's going on in my head and how to deal with that."

Why did he have a lack of self-love?

"I think it was a combination of a lot of different things. I didn't realise what I was doing, who I was chillin' with, who I was hanging around with and what I was kind of getting up to. It was just loads of different things. I couldn't really pin what exactly it was.

"I figured out I needed to sort my head out, so I moved back to my mum and dad's house and I pushed the reset button. Lockdown was the first time I stopped drinking and smoking."

Was he affected by his success at a young age?

"Definitely," Tom says. "I had a little bit of an ego. I definitely thought that I was better than I was. I felt like I had done everything. I felt like I had completed life when in fact I was just getting started."

The pop idol has found love again and says: "I've really, really changed and now, as regards my mental health, I'm just happy. I've grown up and I feel like a young man now. I've moved on. I've got myself fit. And I'm just really excited for this album to come out.

"I am so proud of it. The singles that people have heard are on the pop side, but when they delve into it there's a lot of soul in it, a lot of deep songs. My writing is so honest and I can't wait for people to hear it, especially the Irish."

Grennan is close to his Irish uncles, aunts and cousins.

"I'm proud to be Irish," Tom tells me. "I love it and I'm on a big WhatsApp group with my cousins who are all over in Ballycumber, Shannonbridge and Horseleap, which is on the border of Offaly and Westmeath.

"My dad, who is a builder, plans to retire back to Ireland. He's the funniest man I know. In the first lockdown he was on my Instagram and now he's got his own fan page. They all love him.

"My mam and dad are buzzin' over my music career. Dad bought a radio for the building site and he has it blasting away all day every day. When my song comes on they all stop. My brother and all of my mates work for my dad now. I did it for a year and during the winter I realised that 'this isn't for me.' That's real hard work, man."

TOM Grennan's new album, Evering Road, is out now. Tickets are now on sale for his shows next year at Dublin's Olympia Theatre (March 28) and Belfast's Ulster Hall (March 29).


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