There’s a difference – ever so slight – between being famous, and being internet famous. One involves being mobbed in the street, the other involves being mobbed in your Twitter mentions. Tom Misch, though, looks as if he’s about to get both.
The producer – still only 21 years old – released ‘Beat Tape 2’ last year, a collection of tracks, ideas, and whimsical notions he’d recorded in his bedroom. 10 million streams later, and Tom Misch finds himself in the unusual position of being something of a web celebrity.
On the phone to Clash from a quick break to the French coast, however, he seems entirely bemused with the proposition. Focussing on each step at a time, his sights fall entirely on new EP ‘Reverie’. “The work for me is done, on the EP,” he admits. “I've made it. So, in terms of the work that I'm doing, it's about writing new music and playing shows.”
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Working from his home studio, Tom finds it relatively easy to create in such familiar surroundings. “I try and be as disciplined as possible, but I find I can't really set myself a day-to-day schedule because sometimes I'm just in the mood, or sometimes I just can't match it. I just try to make the most of when I'm feeling creative.”
“I think, basically, up until recently I was making music pretty much every day,” he continues. “And pretty much every week I was releasing something new. There was pressure in that sense as it was just me creating constantly, and just having stuff online. I guess the pressure comes when I say, OK this is my debut album, because that's when I have to really think about why I love the music I'm making.”
The ‘Reverie’ EP feels like a definitive step beyond ‘Beat Tape 2’, with the young artist focusing on more on songs – in the classic sense – than the electronic vignettes of his mixtape. “I try and evolve my sound, so I try not to use old tracks because where I am now is very much different to where I was three or four years ago. But every now and then I might use like a drum template I made three years ago. I try and start fresh and use new ideas, and sounds.”
Tom is aware that his output seems to be building towards something, and has already begun to sketch out the space that his debut album might encompass. “I like the idea of having a body of work, but I've never known how to quantify it. I mean, how 'Beat Tape 1' came about is that over time I would release music on SoundCloud and people were asking 'where can I get this?' so I just compiled it into a project. But I've never had a proper urge to make an album. But perhaps in the future!”
“Up until now it's just been a natural way of spreading music,” he continues. “It's word of mouth, friends telling friends about my music. But I guess, there's going to come to a point with this album where it's actually got some money behind it, and people actually are spreading the word in a more commercial way, I guess. Not to say that the music is any different, but it's just going to be the way that it's distributed and advertised. Which is exciting, because I'll get more fans, I guess.”
Selling out London’s Village Underground in just a few minutes is definitely a start. Despite the hype, though, Tom appears to be remarkably non-plussed about the whole thing. “I wasn’t expecting that, but it was really cool. I think most of my fans are in London!”
“I kind of went in at the deep end, as I built up a fanbase, and I wasn't playing live for a couple of years, and then suddenly it was like, I'm going to do my first headline show. And it was packed out for my first show. Which was like a weird feeling. But I'm enjoying playing live.”
It’s certainly all coming together. With plans to head back into the studio and play a flurry of additional live shows, Tom Misch could be forgiven for wanting to escape to the French countryside for a few days. “I came here two years ago with same group of boys. We came for like a week, and we're like a ten minute drive from where you surf. It's a really chilled house. It's a nice break from music stuff.”
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'Reverie' EP is out now.