One to watch Tom Ferry is an interesting character. For one, he’s a self-professed introvert, but you’d never know from listening to his music. Whether he’s making uplifting summer house (check the Love Island sync), synth heavy or deep house, or the type of tune that goes on rotation with Above & Beyond, he’s got all bases covered. Following releases on Ultra Music, working with the legendary Duane Harden and filling his bag with 80 million streams, he now unveils his debut album ‘shapes’ on ChillYourMind. We spoke to Tom about how it came to be, finding inspiration in his fellow Liverpudlian Mike Di Scala (Camelphat) and his very niche interests on YouTube…
Hi Tom, welcome to DMC World. How’s life in Liverpool?
Pretty good! Everything is back to normal and clubs are back open so there’s a lot more energy and positivity around which is nice to see
Congrats on the release of your debut album, shapes. How long did the album take to come together? Is there a concept behind it or rather a collection of tracks that sum at where you’re at musically?
Some of the tracks on the album are two years old, and some I made a week before I sent the album to ChillYourMind. I go through bursts of creativity and I’d ended up with too much music to release, which is a pretty good problem to have, but a lot of them were too good to shelve or pass on to somebody else. So, me and my manager decided it was an appropriate time to try the album format and release a bunch of them at once. They’re quite varied too, starting very poppy, going into piano style summer house tracks and ending quite dark and synth heavy, but all tracks I’m proud of and want people to hear.
Your being tipped as a One To Watch. Where did your musical journey start?
I remember discovering dance music when I was really young and really enjoying it but never understood it at all. A guy called Mike Di Scala, who is now Camelphat, arguably the biggest house name in the world, had a single at the time back in 2001 and I really liked it. A couple of years later I found out he’s also from Liverpool and he’d made this great track that was in the charts and was doing so well that I thought – if he can do it, I probably could too.
I downloaded some software called Mixcraft and just started chopping up other people’s songs and turning them into something else, sampling drums and trying to make my own beats. I didn’t understand any of it – I had no musical knowledge or experience, but I kept doing it for hours every day. Now, 15 years later or something, I’m still doing it and at some point along the way people started to notice and it somehow became a job. I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing though.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given so far?
Make the music you like and don’t try and fit it to a certain label or goal. I don’t always follow that advice, but I try my best to just make whatever I feel like making
Who are your all-time inspirations?
Mike di Scala for inspiring me to get into production. Eric Prydz was like a God to me back in the early 2010’s with his use of melodies and arrangements. Skrillex is a huge inspiration for how creative a song or an element can really be. I’ve had too many over the years to name honestly
We’ve read that you don’t listen to much dance music. What is your favourite genre to listen to?
I’ll listen to almost anything. My favourite is probably alternative/indie stuff or soul/R&B. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of late 90s-00s pop punk.
We also read that you have a love of cars. How did that happen? Would you ever switch from producing music to building cars?
I really liked them as a kid and growing up was obsessed with the video games, magazines and video series like ‘Getaway in Stockholm’. As I got older, I found it nice to have another interest other than music so that I don’t get burnt out thinking just about one thing. And with YouTube you can really find your niche interests, like watching a German guy called M539 rebuilding and reviving classic BMWs. As interesting as I find them though, I don’t have the mind for mechanics at all, I’m useless with my hands. Sitting in front of a computer suits me best I think
You’re a bit of a dab hand when it comes to remixing having reworked for the legendary Giorgio Moroder, the EDM powerhouse duo Tritonal, and of course unofficially on Ariana Grande’s ‘Into You’ which made quite the splash. Do you have any remixes coming up we should look out for?
I really enjoy working on remixes. I recently did two remixes, one for Kovic and one for an LA artist called Boyuntitled. They’re both out really soon
What was the impact of having your single ‘Not Going Home’ played on Love Island USA. Did you see a jump in Shazams / streams?
There was a little jump, but it’s nice to see my music getting spots on TV shows so even if it didn’t, I’d still be happy with it.
Does the person Tom Ferry differ from Tom Ferry the producer – would you say your music reflects your personality?
I think it’s probably very similar. I think about music so often that it is who I am. The only thing I’d say is different is that I’m much more introverted than I might seem online.
Lastly, what three tracks do you have on rotation right now?