MEET THE ARTIST: Chris & Tom, Belfast

Musicians Chris and Tom may be relatively new to the scene in Northern Ireland but these talented young lads have a bright future ahead of them.

Now both 16, Chris and Tom met at school and found a mutual interest in music and in 2015 they began busking in Belfast city centre.

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Get to know them:

How did you get started in the industry?
“We started off when we met in school at 11, not too long later, we became really close friends when we began doing music together. Later down the line, we began busking in Belfast in the summer of 2015 as a hobby and ever since we’ve been gigging, writing our own music and having great craic.”

What genre style do you create in?
“Alternative/Acoustic”

What would you be best known for?
“We think that if we were to be known for anything it would be the videos we make on our Facebook page, ‘Chris & Tom’ covering some of our favourite songs! They are what really made us start thinking that we could actually play gigs and go somewhere with our own music.”

What would you consider your biggest achievement?
“Definitely, having our own music recorded and produced about to be put out on to online stores. The excitement is real at the minute, especially with the different styles of music in our tracks. We are also really proud at having success in selling our own merchandise.”

What would you consider is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in the industry?
“Make contacts and friends! Especially with your ‘competition’ because in reality we are all trying to get to the same place and doing what we love, you never know who could help you out. The more people you know the more your network grows to help you! Also, you can never be too nice…”

What has been your biggest challenge to date?
“We think that our biggest challenge has really been getting our name out there and trying to grow our audience to new people. So we really appreciate every opportunity we get to do a new gig with a different crowd or even things like this Q&A we are doing for your magazine because it really helps us to try and get ourselves out there on the music scene.”

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Tell us a little about your personal life, are you married, kids, hobbies etc?
“We are both Year 13 students in St Malachy’s College and Tom is actually a classical opera singer who, apart from our Chris & Tom, plays and sings classical music in St Peter’s Schola Cantorum and City of Belfast Youth Orchestra (CBYO). Alternatively, Chris is a young instrumentalist playing guitar, bass and piano. He has recently began playing bass for Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra (UYJO) and is also a member of the Events Organisation Team, Volume Control run by The Oh Yeah Centre.”

Tell us about your most recent work:
“Most recently, we’ve working on the release of our original single, Stay The Night. It’s been posted all over our Facebook and Instagram and looks to be a promising success from the reception!”

PLUG!
“Our single Stay The Night was released last month on online store. It’s a bluesy/pop tune which we’re extremely proud of and know it’ll take a while for you to get out of your head!”

If you had to describe your music to someone who has never heard of you what would you say?
“An Opera Singer and a Jazz Guitarist gone wrong…
“We range from Bluesy Pop pumpers to chilled out Acoustic tunes. A lot of influence comes from The Beatles, Panic! At The Disco, and Ed Sheeran.”

What’s the funniest experience you’ve had in the industry?
“Our funniest experience hands down would have to be our second gig. A lot of our friends were excited to come down and support us, however, what we didn’t realise was that it would actually be preceded by a workshop for a sign language and African drumming… Safe to say our friends were unamused for a quite a while…”

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What would our advice be to young people hoping to pursue the same industry?
“Our advice would be to just keep doing what you love because if you’re enjoying yourself then you’ll love every minute of every event you play. Also, be sure to make as many contacts as you can because you never know when an opportunity is going to appear, and you need to be ready to grab it.”

Who do you look up to and why?
“We look up to a lot of artists, local and world wide. Locally, we really look up to acts such as Gemma Bradley, Rebekah Fitch, The Bell Diver Spiders and Red House. All of which have a range of musical ability, and are always sure to put on a great show! No matter how big or small.
“More worldwide we would look up to Panic! At The Disco, Jacob Collier, and Ed Sheeran. These are all artists who aren’t afraid to jump to a new style, and when they do make brilliant music in the process for us all. Not to mention, with all the attention the keep level headed and provide a mass amount of shows for the fans when they can.”

Find Out More

Facebook: https://facebook.com/chrisandtombelfast/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrisandtombelfast/

If you would like to be featured in MEET THE ARTIST just simply log onto www.tinyurl.com/BAM-MeetTheArtist and download the questionnaire 🙂 

About the Author

Tina Calder
Journalist, commentator, author and content creator specialising in showbiz, entertainment, business, trade, human interest and lifestyle.