As part of Rising in association with Busk in London, we’re introducing the best talents from across the capital right now.
First, it’s over to folk singer-songwriter, Tom Butler, who’s gone from Weezer fan to Iron & Wine enthusiast, and travelled across the Atlantic to play in London.
We talk inspiration, top tips and, of course, busking, with the Seattle musicians below…
What artists do you look to for inspiration?
“James Bay, The Weepies, Iron & Wine, Ingrid Michaelson, Angus & Julie Stone, William Fitzsimmons.”
What made you want to perform in public?
“I love playing music for people, making them smile and helping them enjoy the day.”
How do you prepare before a performance?
“I do about 15 minutes of vocal warm-up (that’s my main prep) and sometimes and I’ll play through some songs on just the guitar. Also, I practice for weeks with my band.”
Did you begin by performing your own material or covers?
“My own material, because I wasn’t good enough at guitar to play any covers.”
Who did you look to for inspiration when starting out?
“I listened to Green Day, Good Charlotte, Weezer and Linkin Park.”
Do you suffer from stage fright?
“A little bit, but stage fright only becomes a problem if I’ve not properly prepared for the performance.
What are your three favourite albums of all time?
“Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie, X&Y by Coldplay, and Babel by Mumford & Sons.
How would you describe your sound in three words?
“When busking I just try to play songs people like to hear.”
If you could tour with any act, who would it be?
Again, James Bay, but also Mumford & Sons, Coldplay, Dan Wilson and Katy Perry.”
What is your dream venue to play?
“It’d have to be Wembley Stadium in the UK, or The Gorge in Washington State, USA.”
What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you while busking?
“A guy did the worm during a One Direction song I was playing.”
What would be your advice to new artists starting out in busking?
“Just keep going and keep practising.”
Have you any other top tips for performing live?
“Always bring extra batteries, picks, strings and whatever, so that you can keep busking. The worst is when your amp runs out of battery and you can’t recharge then and there.”
For all things new talent and Busk in London, head to Ticketmaster.co.uk/Rising