Aussie-raised and London-based Thomas Headon has been gaining a legion of fans since he released his debut single “Grace” in 2019.
His first two EP’s amassed over 40 million streams, and his 440+k TikTok followers are kept amused with his prodigious output. Last year Thomas embarked on a tour in the US with his good friend Alfie Templeman, and also supported Norwegian star Sigrid on her European tour. He also had his own headline tour in the UK, selling out 2000+ capactity venues.
Thomas has just released “Georgia”, the first track since his third EP, Victoria, and it’s a beautiful summer bop. He came back home to Australia over the New Year, and I caught up with him for a chat. One over-riding feeling from Thomas is that as well as being talented and a genuinly lovely person, is that he is having fun. Loads of it.
Hi Thomas, how’s your New Year been?
It’s been good thanks! I played two shows which was nice. To be honest, I’ve been at home and at the beach for most of the New Year so far. I’ve spent time in the sun, which is better than being in the cold!
So – you went back home to Traralgon?
Yeah – I went there for Christmas, and mum has a place on Philip Island, so we went there with friends, which was great. Then we had a show in Melbourne with Remi Wolf and also in Sydney. And the weather is nice, so life is great
Elton is out here at the moment – I saw a picture of you and him on your socials. Are you catching up ?
That was pretty wild. I’m seeing him on the 17th – which I’m excited by. I met him and played on the same bill in London, and now I’m home and get to see him. And I managed to get my mum tickets, so she is over the moon. We are excited.
Congrat’s on “Georgia”. I’ve been playing it loads. It’s a real bop!
Thanks heaps. I think it’s my most played song on triple j – I just spoke to a friend and they said it’s perfect for summer. I’m enjoying the feedback.
You’ve got a couple of songs with person and place names. “Victoria”, “Georgia” – what gives?
Yeah – I tend to name them after people, which I need to stop doing. Else I’ll end up with an entire catalog full of people’s names. I’ll stop eventually.
“Georgia” is about the place though. It’s not really about a person – it kind of is about the person. But the person isn’t Georgia. It’s an emotion – is it a person, is it a place? We don’t know. It could mean a couple of different things for the listener.
Music is up for interpretation – that’s my opinion. Whatever Georgia means to you, is what it means to me. The circle of life
You’ve toured the US with Alfie (Templeman) – how was that?
Yeah – that was really great. We got stuck in a snowstorm in Buffalo. That wasn’t so great. But the Alfie tour was fun. He is one of my really good friends, which is lovely. We’ve made music together, but we actually spend time together outside of music life, and just hang out at the pub. It felt like such a natural tour to go on. His crew was great. The US is such a fun country to tour, especially with your best friends. It’s like touring Australia. I would do it again.
Did it get really rock n roll ?
It didn’t actually (laughs) – we made a joke before we went on the tour – is this going to be a constant party tour ? Honestly, I think we were in bed by 11pm every night. The show finished, then we were on the bus, and it was ‘goodnight’, which was great because I’m an early bed person, and so is he apparently. Not as rock n roll as some would imagine! We can tell people that it was. Write it up that it was total rock n roll
11.30 some nights!
Ha ha! Rock n Roll!
You had a busy year in 2022. Supporting Sigrid must have been one of the highlights.
Oh yes – that was last year. That was so great. That was my first time playing Europe. That was really fun. It was a highlight definitely. It was like the Alfie tour, me and my friends touring Europe basically. Her crew and band are lovely. I’ve been lucky that in the tours I’ve done, I haven’t met anyone yet who is an arsehole. Everyone has been really nice. Doing that tour was really fun. I’d do that again. It was great.
It looked like a cracking highlights tour of Europe.
We did such lovely places. I think Berlin is one of my favourite cities in the world. It reminds me of Melbourne. We also played in Poland, Italy, Czech Republic. So many places I wouldn’t have thought of going to, but I loved them and want to go back.
And you did some big shows in the UK….
In October we did a headline tour in the UK. That was fun. It was really weird. It was my second tour in the UK and there were just so many fucking people. There were something like 2000 people a night. Which was really scary when I look back it it. It’s one of those things that you do, and don’t think too much about it except ‘wow there’s a lot of people’, and then you look at the numbers, and think I don’t think I’ve ever seen 2000 people in front of me before then! So that was cool!
It was sick. I enjoyed it. And having people sing your songs back to you was fun. The most fun. As opposed to a support tour where you often feel the need to impress.
Of all the parts of the process. The writing, the recording, the playing, creating your TikToks, what’s the bit you enjoy most?
I love touring. Touring is great. It’s such a weird thing. I’m always thinking, if this was to stop, if my job stopped, what would I miss. It’s probably all of it, but touring is the forefront of it. I love playing shows. The most fun I have. They are all fun in different ways.
Writing music is great – I do a lot of it by myself and my friends. “Georgia” I wrote with just myself and my best friend on a really relaxed day. There was no time schedule. All of it is great in different ways.
It’s crazy – with touring I get to see the world. I’m 22 and have that realization sometimes. Touring I would miss the most. Here’s to touring!
How’s your writing changed since you started recording?
I think I’ve gotten better at it. I’d hope so anyway! I approach things in different ways. I think what I’m writing about is still me. From the beginning till right now, my writing is still really personal. Sometimes it’s fucking heart breaking, or really fun. The only thing I’ve really changed is the way I approach things when getting stuck, or some technical aspects. It’s boring things like ‘what would I do different to what I used to do.’ But that’s exciting. It can push you creatively.
I feel it’s really authentic. Nothing I’ve released has been bullshit, I’ve never released anything that hasn’t been authentic.
That’s the feeling I get listening to your songs – they sound like they are real relationships you are writing about.
Yeah – they are.
Do you get any blowback?
(laughs) I haven’t dissed anyone! It’s definitely awkward sometimes singing other people names that are past things. No one has sent me an angry DM yet, which is a relief. It will come. Maybe I should release a really mean song about someone. Maybe that’s my next step. The Thomas Evil era.
You never know. I can imagine the headline now. ‘Thomas Headon’s album is really mean’.
So what’s coming in 2023 for you?
I have a body of work coming. So that’s exciting. I’m doing a lot of writing, which is fun. I’m figuring out how I want to do it, and who with. I might do some writing in the States which is great. I’ve got friends in the States, I live in London, but here is home, so I’ll be spending my time writing between these three places.
Are you still settled in the UK ?
For now – I love summer in the UK, but the winter is so cold. I’m not sure how much of that I can handle.
I know what you mean – I lived there for 3 years but another winter would have killed me!
Whereabouts – London?
Portsmouth! I saw that you played in the Wedgewood Rooms there…
Lovely – a beach town! That was great.
London is great – especially at this age. I like being at a place where it feels that nothing ever stops.
You’ve played festivals – how’s that experience been?
Yeah – the best festival I’ve played, and this is not bullshit, is Groovin the Moo. Especially Bendigo. That was one of the wildest experiences I’ve every had. So many people, and Australians that go so hard.
I also played Reading and Leeds festival in 2021 and that was crazy as well. I love playing at festivals. I don’t want to stop playing them.
Musically, What were your early influences?
My first ever concert was Elton John. I don’t have a musical family at all. Mum grew up in the ‘80s and was a big ABBA fan, which was always playing in the car. As well as the Pop Party of 2004 disc. On that CD I remember being Busted and Avril Lavigne and McFly. Also, I love guitar music, that’s one thing for sure. But I’m also a big fan of really good pop music.
My influences change. When I was a teenager my sister was a big The 1975 fan, Twenty One Pilots. It’s constantly changing. But that’s where it started.
What are you listening to now?
I’m a big The 1975 fan. Their new album is great. And Harry Styles, his new album is amazing. Probably my favourite album of last year.
I’m such a playlist listener though. I know that for many ‘music’ people that’s a bad thing to say. But having not come from a musical family, I listened to playlists and not albums. I have so many playlists of mine that I’ve created, and go from one to the other.
Do you see much live music in London?
Yeah – I live in East London – which is hip and cool with the kids. I go to see bands all the time. Within a five minute walk from my apartment there are five venues that have live music, which is so lovely.
Thanks Thomas – let’s go and shoot some photos!
All photos – Bruce Baker