Jack Maynard heads out on his headline tour around the UK later this year and recently held a competition to see who would be supporting him on his London tour date – on Friday 26 October at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. In a video released on YouTube, the overall winner was revealed as Drew Thomas, who will be supporting him in London.
The panel consisted of several other YouTubers. The remaining acts from the Top Three – J Elle, YLR and Sweet Facility – will also be supporting him on one of his remaining tour dates, at either Glasgow (Monday 22 October), Manchester (Tuesday 23 October) or Birmingham (Wednesday 24 October).
Here at CelebMix, we had the opportunity to exclusively speak with the four support acts. Keep reading to check out our interview with winner Drew Thomas and band Sweet Facility.
Drew Thomas (Winner)
Singer and song-writer Drew Thomas was the overall winner of the competition. His vocals were absolutely breath-taking, performing both tracks on a piano. His first track was a cover of popular The 1975 hit ‘The Sound.’ For his second song, he performed phenomenal original track ‘Vultures,’ also performed on the piano. We spoke with him about how it felt to win the competition, his musical influences and more. Keep reading to check out our interview with him!
You were recently unveiled as the overall winner of Jack Maynard’s competition to perform as a support act on his upcoming tour and you will be performing at his London show. How does that feel?
‘To be honest, I was really surprised I got picked by the guys. I kind of entered on a whim and didn’t expect to even get to the Finals, never mind win it! Jack said the nicest things about my music too, which was lovely to hear. I’ve been going to gigs at Shepherds Bush Empire since I was about 16, so I’m very excited to be playing it for the first time!’
What can be expected from your set?
‘I’m so used to playing my music in bars and small venues, so it’s going to be a massive shift for me. I’m going to play some of the new tunes I’ve been writing and throw in a cover or two as well I think!’
How did you decide the songs you performed at the audition?
‘I’ve always been a massive fan of The 1975, so it made sense I chose ‘The Sound’ as one of my first tracks. My second track ‘Vultures’ is a song I wrote that kind of sums up my experience of moving to London last year. It’s a song I’m definitely going to put in the Shepherds Bush setlist.’
When did you realise music was something that you wanted to pursue?
‘I wrote my first song when I was 13. I get such a natural buzz from writing songs and playing them live and I’ve never really wanted to do anything else. I started playing piano when I was really young, but only really fell in love with it when I started writing my own music and by the time I’d left school, I had decided I didn’t want to go to university and wanted to put everything I had into music instead.’
Who are your musical influences?
‘My favourite bands are The Killers and Fleetwood Mac. To me, it’s all about the songs and both those bands just blow me away. Recently, I’ve been listening to an Australian artists called Tash Sultana a lot and it’s really got me thinking about how far I can push myself musically – she is a ridiculously talented musician and can play about twenty instruments, which is mad!’
Can you talk us through your plans for the remainder of the year/next year music-wise?
‘I’ve locked myself away writing music for the past year and I’m so excited to start putting the wheels in motion and get some music out there. Hopefully by Jack’s show, I’ll have some music online to share with the world. I want the first music I put out to really connect with people musically and lyrically and I’m really proud of some of the music I’ve been writing recently.’
Finally, do you have a message for your supporters?
‘The response I’ve had since being announced as the winner of Jack’s competition has been amazing and it’s so awesome to see so many lovely comments about what I’m doing. Thank you for sharing so much and supporting me already. This is just the start!’
Huge congratulations to Drew for winning the competition and we can’t wait to hear more from him in the coming months!
Make sure you stay up-to-date with Drew Thomas on his social media channels:
Trio Sweet Facility – made up of members Luka, Matt and Torin – describe themselves as ‘a blues band.’ They stripped back nature of their first track was well matched with the use of instruments. Their talent truly shone through and Panel member Will Manning described their harmonies as ‘unexpected.’
Here at CelebMix, we had the opportunity to speak with Sweet Facility about how they formed, what can be expected from their set and more. Keep reading to check out our exclusive interview with the band!
Firstly, how did you guys meet?
Luka: ‘We met during college. I wanted to start a band, so Matt and I started Sweet Facility. We made music together for a bit and then Torin joined us later.’
Matt: ‘We all met back in college. We’d each jammed with each other in different bands, but never all together. When our first drummer (Joey) left, it made sense to get Torin on board and we found the line-up that works best for us!’
Are you looking forward to supporting Jack Maynard on one date on his upcoming tour?
Luka: ‘Yes! We’re so happy and thankful to have this opportunity. We can’t wait to get out there and get the crowd going.’
Matt: ‘Yeah, absolutely! It’s always fun to play to new audiences and new fans, and Jack’s been great to us for giving us the platform to do so.’
What can be expected from your set?
Luka: ‘Our set is mostly going to be loud and energetic. We plan on doing some originals and maybe some covers, but our main priority is to give the crowd a good show and get them pumped for the main act.’
Matt: ‘Loud energy! Any excuse to crank some amps and vibe with a crowd!’
Hit The Road Jack! Here's a lil impromptu Ray Charles jam…
because the main footage on the proper camera got lost…
Enjoy! ?? pic.twitter.com/922PFmPwdF
— Sweet Facility (@sweetfacility) September 6, 2018
Who are your musical influences?
Luka: ‘I listen to a lot of different genres. When I was little, I enjoyed musicians and bands such as The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Manu Chao, Erykah Badu. But at this stage in my life, I’m influenced by a lot of hip-hop and soul, such as Anderson Paak, Charles Bradley, Kanye West and Al Green.’
Matt: ‘Personally, my playing is inspired mostly by blues guitarists – Steve Ray Vaughn, Rory Gallagher, Hendrix, Clapton and Gary Moore. But I listen to stuff from Robert Johnson through to Bruno Mars, which has more of an effect on my song-writing.’
Torin: ‘My approach to writing drum parts is mainly influenced by progressive rock and metal drummers, such as Danny Carey, Gavin Harrison and Matt Garstka. I grew up listening to heavy music, but recently I’ve learned to appreciate songs that aren’t quite so angry, such as our music in Sweet Facility.’
Finally, do you have a message for your supporters and for those who will be coming to the tour?
Luka: ‘We can’t wait to see you at the show and we really do hope you’ll enjoy our set.’
Matt: ‘We’re looking forward to seeing you all! It’s going to be a lot of fun for us, and we hope it will be for you too!’
Make sure you stay up-to-date with Sweet Facility on their social media channels:
Stay updated with CelebMix, as our interview with remaining support acts – band YLR and J Elle – will be published shortly!
For a full list of tour dates and to buy tickets to the ‘Headlines Tour,’ click here.