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West Sussex, UK
Christmas came early for 22-year-old Tom Odell when he became the first male artist to win the BRIT Awards’ Critics’ Choice Prize on December 20. Following in the footsteps of Adele, Emeli Sandé and Jessie J, the award looks set to pave the way for a big 2013. Hailing from West Sussex and having studied at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music, the blond singer-songwriter was originally scouted by Lily Allen and signed to her label In The Name Of almost immediately. He is now signed to Columbia Records. Inevitably when dealing with angel-voiced, sensitive male singers, the Jeff Buckley (who was also on Columbia) comparisons have started flooding in, though he has cited Elton John and Bob Dylan as influences. In reality, his is a more contemporary British sound, borrowing a few Coldplay tricks and letting them fly solo. Expect a big, big album in the summer.