Rudimental vocalist, session singer and songwriter Thomas Jules has toured the world and collaborated with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Wretch 32, The Script, Jessie J and MNEK, alongside regular club performances as a DJ and MC. As part of our ongoing Masterclass program, Tommy paid a visit to BIMM Brighton last week to impart his wealth of industry experience and tips to an eager crowd of students.
Tommy started out in the industry at a young age. His first big break happened nearly twenty years ago when he started touring with Grammy nominees Back Street Boys shortly before signing a publishing deal as a songwriter. Over the years, he worked his way up the industry ladder, eventually landing the Rudimental gig through an audition with their management team.
Having been in the industry since just before the rise of social media, he commented on how wildly the music business landscape has changed since he first started.
“The industry changes all the time. I wouldn’t know how to be a brand new artist now because it’s changed so much since I was a new artist. Music and integrity seem to come second over social media.”
His frank and practical advice for students looking to make a success of themselves as performers was ultimately to be true to themselves, focussing on fine tuning their craft as well as staying up to date with how the industry currently operates.
“Just do you! Be yourself and enjoy what you’re doing. In time, you’ll learn what works, what doesn’t work and who doesn’t work. You have a great chance to do something amazing here, and possibly earn loads of money. So, know the industry as it is now, know yourself, trust that voice in your gut and get the music banging! That’s the important part.”
Tommy’s work with Rudimental saw him touring solidly for 6 years, performing on festival stages in the UK and abroad including slots at Bestival, Ibiza Rocks, South West 4 and Wildlife to name but a handful. But Tommy’s advice was applicable to performers of all levels.
“Normally, this industry doesn’t feel like ‘work’ – You’re just creating. Performing anywhere is better than throwing bins in the back of a truck for a living.”
Tommy’s advice rings true for anyone looking to forge a career as a performer in the music industry, and he’ll soon be carrying out more masterclasses for aspirant musicians, songwriters, DJs and MCs. Take a look at his website for more information.