Page last updated at 08:16 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Talking Shop: Tommy Reilly

Tommy Reilly
Songwriter Amanda Ghost compared the singer with Bob Dylan

The teenage winner of Channel 4's Orange UnsignedAct competition has secured his first UK top 20 single.

Tommy Reilly, from Glasgow, entered the chart with Gimme A call at number 14.

The 19-year-old impressed judges and with his acoustic-led songs during the competition, which aimed to find the best young unsigned artists in the UK.

The first prize was a deal with Universal Music's A&M Records, home to The Courteeners and Duffy. His debut album is due for release in June.


How does it feel to have your first top 20 single?

It means everything. I've been listening to Radio 1's chart show for years. As wee guys, we always used to listen to it and to have your tune on it, it's just mind-bending.

How has life been since you won the competition?

It's been mental, it's been fun. As soon as I heard the single, I was running around the house trying to get people to come and look at the computer going, 'Is this really happening?'

I've got a lot of work to do now because I've got a little tour planned for the end of the month. Some of the shows have sold out now so we've added a couple more dates.

What has the reaction been like back home?

It's been amazing. I've had some time to catch up with mates because up until now, I've been really busy with the show. Everyone has been really happy about it, it's been brilliant.

My friends have been having a good laugh about it, they're all looking for gig tickets. They think I can get them stuff now.

What about such a positive reaction to the single?

The judges were all really kind to me but it has been really weird. My friends have it on their phones and they're like, 'Yeah, we downloaded it from iTunes'. That's really strange. I don't know what to say to it half the time.

What is the best advice you have had?

Keep chilled out, don't get too caught up in it too quick, just keep doing what you've always been doing, that's what I've been told by most people.

Keep writing as well. I've been writing more songs these days than I've ever done because I have been concentrating on this. I have not been going to uni, I have not been going to work, so I have definitely got more songs.

And what about the debut album?

It's something I've been thinking about for about a year-and-a half. I used to sit in my room and write down what songs I wanted to be on it and joke about it with my mates. Suddenly, to have it in front of you is a totally different thing.

I'm going to record as many songs as I possibly can and then cut it down.

Are you hoping to play any summer festivals?

I really, really want to and I'm hoping that getting the deal will help me. The festival I have dreamed of playing is T in the Park. It was the first festival I ever went to and as soon as I got there, I was like 'I really want to play here'.

Getting to play it would be the icing on the cake, I don't think my year could get any better. We'll see what happens.

Tommy Reilly was talking to BBC entertainment news reporter Kev Geoghegan.

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