The two have become email pals
It was just 18 months ago that Tom Odell was being inspired by Elton John's music; these days the legend's encouraging him over the phone or via email.
“It's completely mental,” he says from the back of a tour bus. “It's one thing to meet your hero but it's very surreal and very inspiring. Elton John is a big hero of mine. He originally called me up, we spoke, I supported him at the Roundhouse, now we talk on email quite a bit. He is really there for me, we played in LA together, he's just one of the loveliest people I have ever met. It has been a real joy meeting him.”
Just over a year ago he was recording his debut album, Long Way Down, and playing to a handful of disinterested punters. “It is amazing how quickly things happen. I was talking to the band the other day about how it was not quite a year ago we were opening for Jake Bugg to about ten people and now we're doing a tour playing to 2000 or 3000 people. This year has felt like ten years but in a really good way. I've just had a lot crammed in. I've slept the least amount of any year of my life.''
There's no doubting Odell's talent and part of that is his unique ability as a storyteller. “Music is such a magical thing. Someone bought me this David Byrne book, How Music Works; every musician I've ever met told me to read it. I started reading it and it was very insightful but I thought, 'I don't want to know.' I don't ever want to know how the magic works. I want to keep it that way.”
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