Hailing from the countryside of Hampshire, Tom Clay was the epitome of a small town boy with big dreams from his earliest days. The creative youth bravely moved from his rural upbringing to pursue a career acting in Los Angeles at only twenty years old.
A few years later, Clay made yet another change in his life, abandoning the bright lights and big city atmosphere of Los Angeles and acting to return to the UK and chase musical ambitions. He joined a group of his childhood friends to play bass with the rising group Flight Brigade, but that wasn't enough for Tom Clay. The soulful crooner found release recording solo music on the side.
Earlier this year, Clay released the first taste of his upcoming solo effort, the heartwarming single "Sanctuary." The indie-pop track resonates with an uplifting message set over a stripped back production. It's a strong debut for the UK performer, and "Sanctuary" most definitely leaves us hungry for more!
PopWrapped had the chance to chat with Tom Clay about his impending solo project and the release of "Sanctuary," and we learned a good amount about what to expect from the soulful crooner. Read on below to learn about what goes on behind the scenes of Tom Clay's recording process!
PopWrapped: Although you’ve said that music has always played a role in your life, you haven’t always considered it as a career opportunity. What made you realize that music was where you wanted to be after a few years of acting?
Tom Clay: I think I’ve always known that that was what I should be doing. I just had a now or never moment a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back!
PW: How would you say your solo music differs from your other musical projects?
TC: It’s definitely a more isolated experience -- more personal and much more exposed.
PW: Can you tell us a bit more about what to expect with the release of your collection next year?
TC: More of the same but with a few curve balls thrown in there for good measure. I hope there's something for everyone.
PW: What is your favourite song on the record thus far?
TC: I don’t really have a favourite. There are some that are more fun to play live though.
PW: How does the rest of the music compare with the sonic direction on “Sanctuary?”
TC: Music from one source is always going to have the same kind feel, but I hope I’ve captured something different with some of the other tunes.
PW: Speaking of “Sanctuary”, the song seems to come from a very personal place. Can you talk about the creative process behind it?
TC: The creative process is pretty similar for most of the songs I write. I hear something and walk around with it for a while before sitting down with a guitar to find the music. The lyrics always come after the music.
PW: What do you think is the most important element to bring to a writing session for a project?
TC: My guitar! And an open mind. I think you have to leave room for a song to develop; not being too rigid about how a song should sound is important.
PW: Growing up in Hampshire, you made the decision to move to Los Angeles at 20 years old. Your original goal was to pursue a career in acting, and clearly things have gone a little differently than originally expected. What do you think is the most important thing that you have learned on your journey?
TC: Have a good team of people around you. Closing who to work with and who not to work with is so important. It can either move you forward or really hold you up.
Huge thanks to Tom Clay for taking the time to chat with us! Keep your eyes peeled for additional news from Tom about his solo project as we move into 2016. He can be found on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.