It’s been a tough 18 months for everyone who believes in the power of live music, and Tom Odell is nothing if not a devotee to that cause. The Brit and Ivor Novello award-winner has come out of lockdown with a new album – Monsters, his first since 2018’s Jubilee Road – and a renewed belief in the importance of creativity. “The arts, the culture of the UK, is what makes this country,” he explains.
A working musician since he was just 21, Odell found huge success with his debut album, Long Way Down, which rocketed to the top of the UK charts and went platinum. Ten years into his career, The Music That Made Me finds a mid-career Odell still learning from the greats that went before him – but also drawing inspiration from the next generation. Watch Odell discuss his choices at bigissue.com.
Tom Odell: The Music That Made Me
Inspiration from Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish is just an inspiration for us all. She’s phenomenal and formidable and fearless. I’m 30 years old. I’ve been doing this job for 10 years, and I’ve never looked at another artist who was younger than me and really been inspired. Until I heard Billie Eilish. She is seeking the truth. It is so commendable.
There’s a song, idontwanttobeyouanymore, which says, “Tell the mirror what you know she’s heard before: I don’t wanna be you anymore.” I find that, on so many levels, so wonderfully deep and relatable. Dare I say, even philosophical.
Mentoring from Elton John
Elton is a mentor for me. He calls me up every three or four months, and he says, “How you doing?” Every time he calls, it doesn’t get any less mind blowing. Like, Jesus Christ, Elton John called me!