Over the coming months we will be meeting some of the Liverpool City Region’s most famous TikTok stars.
From musicians to make up artists and everyone in between, we will be finding out what makes the viral video stars of today tick.
Kicking off the series, we have none other than Tom Rogan. Tom has done more in the last couple of years during the pandemic than some could only dream of in their life time. With more than 300k followers and tens of millions of views, the singer has topped the charts and toured the UK.
We met the charismatic young lad from the Mere Lane area of Everton in the iStay apartments on Temple Court, providing a relaxed yet slightly rock star backdrop. Tom arrived with his manager Chris, and the pair soon settled down with a beer and we got talking.
But what started it all? Surprisingly, it wasn’t the music or his now infamous Scouseman Pat, it was in fact, his lockdown haircut or rather lack of it. In true Scouse style, criticism became water off a duck’s back, when someone online remarked on his needing a haircut – during the original lockdown of 2020 – Tom, with his now trademark authentic, sightly tongue in cheek style, blew up.
From there inspiration just came naturally, “If I get an idea I’ll just run with it, try it out, but being authentic is key.” he tells us – indeed all too often these days we see forced humour attempting to go viral on the TikTok platform, and Tom’s natural Scouse charm and wit seems to both translate and travel the world over. Consistency is a fabled key to success on the platform and that is one thing Tom is. Consistently putting out hilarious yet relatable content, served alongside a healthy smattering of sarcasm and of course lots of music videos. Quite the opposite of his extremely well produced released recordings, on his TikTok, a more relaxed Tom will often be found playing acoustic with his guitar around the house, belting out a few notes of a classic.
It is the music that is his passion though and this shows. The singer – who counts muscians such as Jake Bugg amongst his followers – pens all his music himself and considering he is still only a baby in the grand scheme of the game called life, the emotion, the feeling, the soul, it’s all there. Tom experienced chart success early last year with his track ‘Here We Are’ – “that was actually recorded in my bedroom” he tells us, which surprised us as much as the instant success he found with the track did himself. He already had a bit of an underground following in the city with his simple yet powerful ‘Lonely Hearts of Everton Park’ however it was his track with Chris Grant – himself an accomplished musician – that truly propelled Tomto stardom. This isn’t an artist just chasing hits and one hit wonders though, the lad who finds himself nestled amongst Scouse heavyweights such as Cast and Space on Spotify playlists, took great pride in telling us he has recorded at Parr Street Studios. Indeed not many artists his age can say that, let alone comfortably match the calibre of recording alumni at the world famous studios, such as Coldplay.
Tom had not long returned from supporting another of Liverpool’s next generation of world class acts around the country, Jamie Webster. “That was unreal,” he tells us “it was a privilege to support Jamie, the fact every night was a sell out made it even better”. You can see Tom’s eyes light up as he tells us about the tour, and actually if you’ve seen him perform on stage you can see why. When commanding the stage he can rile a venue into a complete ruckus within seconds with his humour or hush them into a stunned silence with that voice. His dream venue to play? “That’s easy,” and it is if you know him, “Anfield, got to be.” We have no doubt this boy who has gone from strumming about heartbreak on The Brow to UK chart success, will very soon be performing to a sell out stadium in his own backyard.
So what lies ahead for Tom? “Well there’s my O2 gig coming up in July and we are hoping to release an album in September” – that news gets us excited, you heard it here first too – “I’ve been busy working on it for sometime now, and looking forward to getting it out there”… and of course plenty of TikTok content to keep us amused in the meantime.
Tom plays Liverpool’s O2 Academy on July 23rd. Tickets available here and we’ll be reviewing the gig ourselves. In the meantime follow Tom on TikTok @tomrogan8