With more than 23 million streams on Spotify and more than 42 million views on his YouTube channel, it's clear that in just under two years, ICMP graduate Tom Bailey’s musical career has gone into overdrive.
His winning way with a song has taken the web by storm, seeing him and his music propelled up charts all over the world. He has so far featured in The Spotify Viral 50 Charts in 14 different countries, illustrating the global appeal at the heart of him and his music. Tom’s schedule is a busy one with collaborations with producers from Russia and Brazil all due for release in the coming weeks. Ahead of this musical action, we caught up with him to learn about his experiences at ICMP and how he became a YouTube sensation…
How did you first begin your musical journey?
I started learning guitar from age eight and always loved composing my own music. I started up a YouTube channel in 2009 titled TomBaileyMusic where I upload original backing tracks and instrumentals. In a few years, it gained a good amount of attention so I took advantage and started to upload weekly content. Now I have 76,000 subscribers and over 42,000,000 video views.
Who or what inspired you to want to start making and writing your own music?
I am not sure if there was anyone person who inspired me to write or compose music. Music is just something I love to do.
Who is your favourite songwriter?
My all-time favourite band is Coldplay. I have always loved the way they compose music. However, I am very open to all genres of music. No musical style is bad to me. I think as a composer it is great to be adaptable. Never put yourself in a box.
What current projects are keeping you busy?
My latest track titled ‘Your Love’ is with Warner Music Parlophone is doing great in France at the moment. I’ve just recently come back from Nice where I was rehearsing the live version of the track for possible TV and radio sessions. I am always keeping busy with new projects and collaborations.
You've a few international collaborations due for release - how did you make these connections?
It all started with my YouTube channel. It gave me a good platform to advertise myself as a composer and a singer. Two years ago an artist Bjonr saw some of my music online he contacted me, we wrote a song together, we sent the track to Spinnin’ Records and they signed it. After this it was much easier to gain good connections because I had a good release to show for. It takes a bit of luck but I believe luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
You studied at ICMP - what did you learn from your studies that has equipped you to succeed in the wider music industry?
It is a great environment to be in, surrounded by musicians and is great for making possible friends in the industry. The first course I studied was a higher diploma in guitar and it was great. A very intense year of studying but I loved every minute of it. I learnt so much in one year.
For anyone thinking of studying at ICMP, what would you advise them?
If you want to learn and perfect an instrument then ICMP is a great place to do it. It can give you the tools to then go out and make things happen.
Your YouTube channels have some seriously impressive subscriber stats on them - have you got any tips on how new artists can grow their followers/online engagement?
My YouTube channel has helped me a lot. It has given me a platform for my singing career and has allowed me to create my own business within the music industry. I now do music full-time and I feel like YouTube helped make this happen. YouTube is hard to get into because there are so many people trying to do it. But i would say be consistent and do something that no-one else is doing.
Have you any tips for emerging artists?
Start creating music as soon as possible. If you can create great music, you can do something not many other people can do.
Watch the video of Bjonr ft. Tom and their collaboration, 'Broken'.
Find out more about Tom and his projects at tombaileymusic.com.
If you’re looking to take your playing and performing to the next level like Tom, then join us here at ICMP.
Our Admissions Team are on hand to help you, call them on 020 7328 0222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org - we still have places available to start in September 2017!