Tom Jones opens up on ‘looking different’ at the start of his music career

Tom Jones on the importance of his song for his late wife

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Sir Tom Jones’s iconic music career began with a string of top-ten hits in the mid-1960s but the Welsh crooner has admitted there wasn’t “anybody like him” when he first arrived on the scene. The Voice UK coach opened up on the beginning of his career and the different challenges he faced compared to those starting out in the industry today. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Tom and The Voice co-star Olly Murs shared their advice to singers starting in the music industry. 

Tom explained: “With me, I don’t know, I mean I really don’t know.

“There are so many really good singers around today, more so today than when I came into the business.

“For instance, when I came on the scene it was all groups, British groups dominated the world charts.”

Read more: Tom Jones leaves Anne-Marie ‘worried’ ahead of The Voice UK finals

“And then I come on, looking different, curly hair, big voice, there wasn’t anybody [like me],” he continued.

“I didn’t have any competition really, in what I did. PJ Proby, I don’t know whether you remember but he was the only other new male singer at that time. 

“Nowadays, you’ve got a lot of a lot of singers but the only problem is they sound similar. 

“There’s a lot of voices today that sound very similar and they’ve got to do a lot of runs today, in order to outrun somebody vocally and then somebody else comes on with a different kind of voice.”

“But I think it’s harder to break through today but then you’ve got more outlets, from what I’ve seen you know kids can get their music out there more now than we could,” Tom remarked.

“There was nothing like that when I was a kid you see there was no social media that you could get stuff out.

“If you didn’t get a record deal, nobody heard you but now you can be heard before you get the record. So it’s swings and roundabouts really.”

Olly warned: “I would say to my contestants don’t try and look at my career and try and follow what I have done purely on the basis that when I came out, the industry was a whole different ballgame.”

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“It’s a lot different now than when I first started and I think like Tom said, we still even now as artists, no matter how much success we’ve all had and how many number ones we’ve all had, when we release our new music it’s still hard,” Olly said. 

“You’ve got to fight, we’ve got to keep going and I think it’s even harder in these lockdown times.

“Tom has got a new album coming and I think if Tom wasn’t in a lockdown he would probably do loads more promo than what he’s doing now because you know a lot of doors are closed and we’re having to adapt and change.”

“I feel for my contestants that have won the last few years because they haven’t been able to promote their music as much as they could,” the hit-maker added.

 

“But, like Tom said good voices stay around forever and Tom’s a great person to look at for that.

“[He’s had] 50 years in the game and one of the most recognisable voices and Tom’s had the highs and the lows in the industry.

“So I would say to any singer your voice has got to stand out, you’ve got to keep going keep believing keep pushing.”

The Voice UK continues on ITV on Saturday at 8.30pm.

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