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Behind the Music 2018 – 1st Edition with Tom Kay

1create - behind the music with Tom Kay

1create - behind the music with Tom Kay

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Here is the latest edition of
Behind the Music

Providing insight into what makes musicians tick, in their own words.

In this first edition we get some insight from Tom Kay.

Where do you find continued inspiration?

I find inspiration from lots of things.

Working with different musicians and producers can spark inspiration as can playing in different genres. You can find something new in one genre and carry it over into another.

Nowadays you can go and watch other amazing musicians that are on a whole new level at the click of a button thanks to YouTube. Sometimes I’ll come across a guitarist on there that inspires me to try and up my game.

As for lyrics, inspiration to write usually comes from life experiences. It’s a bit of a cliche answer but I think for a lot of people music reflects our lives whether good or bad.

What do you hope to achieve?

I hope to be still playing and writing music when I’m an old man.

I hope to better myself as a musician and keep growing and learning.

Playing music is a journey, there’s always something new to learn, someone else to collaborate with, another venue to play.

Obviously everyone has some goals that they’d love to achieve along the way but I try to focus on just enjoying what I do and trying to better myself as a guitarist and a singer/songwriter.

What are your struggles?

This may take a while! I don’t know any musician that hasn’t struggled at some point.

There’s a lot of pressures on artists that people don’t see. There’s pressure to write better songs, record quality material, pressure to play bigger and better gigs, to sell tickets, pressure to market yourself to sell your music, pressure to maintain relationships with your band or producer, the list is endless. You’ve just got to remember why you do what you do.

For me personally, I don’t play to please anyone but myself. If other people like what I do, that’s amazing and I’m very grateful that I’ve been fortunate enough to have people like what I do and be very supportive.

I appreciate every single person that has ever come to a gig or bought an album but ultimately you have to be selfish and please yourself first because you’re not going to please everyone.

Have you achieved what you want?

For me personally, the goal posts move the closer I get to them.

I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far.

I’ve worked with some great musicians and producers, I’ve played some amazing gigs and I graduated from University with a degree in Music.

I’m currently working with some great companies and to have people that support what I do, coming to gigs and buying my music is an amazing feeling and I’m very grateful. However, there are always more goals you want to achieve that are higher up the ladder and so you keep on climbing.

How did you achieve your success?

To put it plainly, I worked my back side off!

I practiced guitar from being 5 or 6 years old, as I got older I would put 8 hours practice in a day, I strived to just better myself in every way and I still do.

I also teach guitar and many of my students want to be great straight away and the most important piece of advice I can give to them is to practice. I’m a strong believer of you get out what you put in and that goes for every aspect of being an artist.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from others, pester that promoter to book your band, rehearse that difficult song until your fingers bleed, look at similar artists to you and see where they are playing and see if they can share any contacts.

Just take every opportunity you can and grab it with both hands.

It’s a slow process for a lot of people but it pays off!


Tom has also played with the Broken Orchestra as seen in this review article from their debut night also at Kardomah94 on 25th August 2017
1create - broken orchestra debut 25th august 2017
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Tom’s next performance

Tom will be performing at Kardomah94 in Hull to launch his new single Learning to Live following a performance by Dom Major.

See below for details:

Date: 24th February 2018
Doors Open: 7:30pm
Dom Major: 8:15pm
Tom Kay: 9:30pm
Location: Kardomam94, Alfred Gelder St, Hull HU1 2AN.

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