Onions have layers, Ogres have layers, and the young Southeast Londoner Tom Misch has oh so many layers. Apologies for one of the cheesier introductions I’ve ever let slip, but the singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ is only 21 years old and has inevitable success written all over him. He’s lived a life defined by forbearing practice, learning to play the violin at the age of 4, seamlessly picking up the guitar at age 9, and developing the finer points of rounded musical composition by the age of 11. From there, his recognized stints of success were nothing more than experiments. His first release, Beat Tape 1, was as provisional and unexpected as it was uncreatively named, as Misch was simply responding to overwhelming demand surmised from inquiries on his SoundCloud page. “’Beat Tape 1′ was just beats I made while in lessons at school when I shouldn’t have been”, he says. “I wouldn’t think of them as proper songs. ‘Beat Tape 2’ was the next logical step. It’s a combination of beats and more fully fledged songs.”
Fully fledged is an understatement, as Misch has built up an incredible amount of potential in supporting some of London’s most exciting underground acts. In the particular case of “Wake Up This Day”, Jordan Rakei provides vividly jazzy lyricism in a refined impression of legends like Otis Redding or modern stars of soul like Leslie Odom Jr. “Beat Tape 2” and his 2016 EP “Reverie” have placed Misch among modern boom-bap royalty, lacking any identifiable missteps that most young artists/producers would stumble upon. Misch’s post-classical training could be the source of such perfectionism, while the focus on a generally untapped genre stems from an unlikely origin. Although Misch grew up listening to legends of the ax like John Mayer, Kurt Cobain, and Anthony Kiedis, his introduction into his current adaptation of the soul world can be attributed to his sister’s childhood boyfriend, who turned him onto the work of old-school hip-hip producers like J Dilla and Erykah Badu. “I was thrown into the deep end with that and really fell in love with it. I got heavily into jazz and hip hop and it opened up this whole new world of soulful electronic music to me.” Misch ironically opens up forgotten worlds with his nostalgic beat tapes, and these worlds can only expand given the imminent years of prosperity ahead of the young star in the making.