In January 2019 Tom and Debs spent some time alone in Mexico, and Tom first properly discovered his songwriting ability. Overflowing with ideas for hundreds of songs, Tom returned to London and recorded 130 of them. Any doubt about his purpose in life had finally been removed. Tom decided to become the biggest pop star in the world and to prove his talent as a songwriter. He started releasing one single per week on September 1st 2019, which will continue indefinitely, and has now embarked on a tour of all 48 states of the US, which finishes in December.
When Tom gave up drinking in 2017, aged 27, he finally decided to take music more seriously. His friend, Nick Whitehead, was absolutely instrumental in this. The two had met, completely by chance, at an Elton John concert and started a band together. Tom took up the drums by ear, inspired by his friend, Nigel Olsson. He then met Simply Red's Kenji Suzuki, who recorded songs with him at The Village in Los Angeles and first encouraged him to sing lead vocals. He also cut tracks at Abbey Road with John Lennon guitarist and longtime David Bowie sidekick, Earl Slick. In 2018 Tom performed 100 gigs, singing lead and playing drums at the same time.
After Bristol, keen to avoid "real jobs", Tom and Debs started selling clothing under Tom's name, funding the idea with a £6,000 start-up loan. Their designs, especially The 30 Year Sweatshirt, saw their business take off all over the world and gave them the chance to make clothing for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Stiller, Rod Stewart, Hugh Grant, Danny McBride, Frankie Valli, Stephen Merchant, Jeremy Piven, Brandon Flowers, Robbie Williams, Daniel Craig, Clint Eastwood, Kendrick Lamar and Nigel Olsson, who became a dear friend of Tom and Debs', inviting them backstage to countless Elton gigs. Tom and Debs also started Debs' marketing agency, Deborah Marx Management, representing the likes of Rubik's Cube and Henry Poole. The success was undermined by Tom's heavy drinking and his depression at not following his real dream: writing his own songs.
Tom had been due to study Law at the University of Bristol but his previously stellar academic performance had deteriorated as he took to cigarettes and alcohol. Aware that his A Levels would likely fall short of the required standard to get into Bristol, Tom asked to switch to Modern Languages before results day. Tom's "catastrophic" A and 3 Bs at A Level, as predicted, would have been insufficient for Law but they saw his clever ploy to get into Uni succeed. Sadly, he never rediscovered his former passion for academic life and did not engage with his studies at Bristol, despite scraping a 2:1 degree in French and Portuguese. Bristol was, however, a crucial turning point in Tom's life, as it is where he met Deborah Marx, the love of his life and his partner in everything. He also became a big fan of Elton John for the first time, something which would also change the course of his life forever.
After Maidwell Hall, Tom went to Eton College from the age of 13. Again, Tom initially found it difficult to fit in but his love of music, entrepreneurship and performance continued to develop. By the end of his time at the school, he was House Captain, had directed several plays, captained football teams and even recorded demos with a band he was briefly a part of on guitar and bass. Sadly, his attitude began to seriously suffer by his final year in 2009, as he took up a lifestyle of heavy smoking and drinking, leading others astray in the process. He also was severely reprimanded by the school for making £3,000 in a week through selling t-shirts. His punishment was overturned when he proposed donating the money to Médecins Sans Frontières.
Soon after Tom's family moved to Northamptonshire, he started Prep school at Maidwell Hall. He initially found this difficult as the Maidwell was centred around rugby, a sport which didn't appeal to Tom, unlike football, which he loved. He had also discovered The Beatles, becoming hooked on their Anthology docuseries and collecting their records, learning all the songs off by heart. Sadly his passion for the Fab Four was not shared by his classmates but, by the end of his time at the school, Tom started playing guitar with a band and was thriving in lead roles in school plays.
Tom Cridland was born in London on October 1st, 1990, the son of Jonathan and Manuela Cridland. He is half British and half Portuguese. His brother, James, was born in February 1993. The first record Tom remembers hearing is "My Blue Heaven" by Fat's Domino, followed by The Lion King's soundtrack, the movie being the first film he ever saw at the cinema. Tom is and has always been very close to his family.