Tipped for stardom, Tom Walker cracks UK top ten
June 25 2018 11:19 PM
SMASH HIT: After spending 14 weeks on the singles list, Leave a Light On reaches the top ten chart, driving the singer to the release of his debut album.

By Geoffrey Rowlands

It’s taken quite some time but singer /songwriter Tom Walker finally has a UK top ten hit with Leave A Light On. The song spent 14 weeks on the singles chart before eventually cracking the top ten. But this is nothing compared to the fact that Leave A Light On was actually released as long ago as last October.
“I wondered if maybe it wasn’t going to happen for me in Britain,” said 26-year-old Tom. “Leave A Light On became a top ten hit in numerous countries and even reached number one in France. I’m so happy that things have come good in the U.K.”
Not that Tom lacked a British fan base. He plays sold out concert tours and his songs rack up millions of plays on streaming services. But significant chart success had always proved elusive.
“I hope Leave A Light On will be my breakthrough song when it comes to having chart hits. I’m particularly pleased that it has appealed to so many people. It’s a special song which is very personal to me.
“I wrote Leave A Light On about a very good friend of mine who was going through a tough time battling addiction. Thankfully, he is fine now. But I wanted to write something at the time which would be a message of support to him and any other person who is going through a dark period in their life. There is always going to be someone there who will be that light for you when you need it most.”
Although he was born in Glasgow, Scotland, Tom’s family moved to Manchester, England, when he was very young. He was inspired to become a musician after attending an AC/DC concert, an Australian rock band.
“My dad is a big fan of AC/DC. He took me to the concert. I was only a young child so the whole day was an amazing experience. I was captivated by Angus Young. He played guitar while darting around on the stage. Watching him made me realise what I wanted to do with my life.”
Tom’s music and style of performance could hardly be more different from AC/DC. But the inspiration of Angus Young saw him develop a natural affinity with the guitar which led on to his also mastering a number of other instruments. In terms of his own music, it is artists such as John Mayer and Paolo Nutini who have been particular influences.
“I have so much admiration for Paolo Nutini. I love the sound of his voice. Everything he does is just awesome. But we’re in a time when there are so many wonderful singer / songwriters around. I’ve been lucky enough to be the support act on tours with Jake Bugg, Gallant and George Ezra. They are all incredibly talented artists.”
Tom’s success with Leave A Light On should see him playing much larger venues on his future tours. It is a prospect which leaves him with mixed feelings.
“I love playing the smaller, more intimate concerts but I also love playing music festivals. I’m not a massive fan of Adele but I saw her performing on the main stage at Glastonbury and it was the best concert I’ve ever seen. The energy on that stage was just at another level. I’ve been asked where I’d like to see myself in five years’ time and my answer is headlining the main stage at Glastonbury.”
His next step towards this goal is the release of Tom’s debut album. The release date is another matter. He has around 150 concerts scheduled for 2018.
“Solid gigging worked for Ed Sheeran so I’d love to follow in his footsteps. I think he did about 350 gigs in a year so I’m slacking in comparison. I’m hoping the album will be out some time this year. But I can’t do everything at once and I would like to make the most of all the opportunities that are coming my way at the moment.”

in brief

Pitbull and Leona Lewis
Gotti has been awarded a mark matched by very few other films. The biographical crime drama chronicling the three-decade reign of New York mobster boss John Gotti was given an approval rating of zero percent on the Rotten Tomatoes film and television review website.
The movie was panned by critics after it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. American critics were equally scathing after Gotti received its general release.
Perhaps there will be a more positive response to the film soundtrack album. The first song released as a single is Amore, a duet between American rapper, Pitbull, American rapper and Leona Lewis, English singer.
The two artists previously collaborated on Only Ones To Know, a soundtrack from Pitbull’s 2017 tenth studio album, Climate Change. That song was not released as a single but Amore should be given the full promotional treatment. As yet though, there is no accompanying video. 

Luis Fonsi/Stefflon Don
The Despacito man is back on the music scene with another reggaeton dance floor filler. 
Luis Fonsi, Puerto Rican actor and singer collaborated firstly with Daddy Yankee, rapper and then Justin Bieber on his 2017 worldwide smash, Despacito. The follow-up, Echame La Culpa, saw Luis partner with Demi Lovato, American singing star. This song also proved hugely popular in Spanish speaking countries but only peaked just inside the top 50 on both the U.K. singles chart and Billboard’s Hot 100.
Luis has now released his new single, Calypso. The featured artist is rather less well known than his previous collaborators. It is British rapper Stefflon Don.
She has never had a hit record in America and there must be many music fans hearing Calypso who know nothing about Stefflon. But her inclusion on the song is not quite as strange as it might initially seem. 
Stefflon was nominated in the Best International Artist category at the 2018 Black Entertainment Television Awards and named in the prestigious 2018 Freshman Class by American hip hop magazine, XXL.
This kind of recognition has effectively seen the former hairdresser and cake decorator labelled as an up and coming artist in the rap world. Her apparently unlikely collaboration with Luis Fonsi on Calypso would therefore seem to make a good deal of sense.
The song is mostly sung in Spanish but there are some verses in English. 

The killing of rap artists never really comes as any great surprise. It is a genre which frequently glorifies drugs, guns and violence mostly performed by people who, no matter how much money they earn, seldom seem able or willing to leave behind their all too often criminal past.
Jahseh Onfroy, better known as XXXTentacion, may perhaps have been an exception. The 20-year-old star had not been a good person. He was no stranger to the criminal justice system, youth detention and prison. He was also facing further charges of false imprisonment and witness tampering.
But XXXTentacion did seem to have recognised his numerous faults and was genuinely trying to become a better person. Critics have suggested his recent acts of philanthropy and charitable work were nothing more than an attempt to improve his public image ahead of a trial which could have seen him jailed for decades.
We will never know the truth. XXXTentacion’s murder may have robbed the hip hop community of the prime example of a bad guy gone good.
Although police are currently investigating his death as an armed robbery which escallated into murder, XXXTentacion’s altercations with fellow rappers leave things open to doubt. Rumours persist that his shooting was actually an execution ordered by others in a rap world. Indeed, members of XXXTentacion’s family have said they do not accept the police line of a robbery gone wrong and firmly believe he was deliberately killed.
The arrest of 22-year-old Dedrick Williams may provide some answers. Already on probation for grand theft of a motor vehicle, Williams was initially arrested for stealing another car and operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s licence. Police have not yet said how he was then linked to the slaying of XXXTentacion but Williams has been charged with first-degree murder.
XXXTentacion isn’t even the most recently murdered rapper. Just hours after his death, 21-year-old Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo, real name Travon Smart, was killed in a drive-by shooting. Police seem to have no solid leads in his murder.

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