Behind The Music: Tom Odell On His Big Burberry Prorsum Moment

Performing for a crowd that includes Kate Beckinsale, Anna Wintour, Michelle Dockery, Rita Ora, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Freida Pinto sounds pretty daunting. But, doing so while Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Edie Campbell, and Karlie Kloss glide past you in Christopher Bailey’s luxury wares and millions of people watch the whole thing go down via live-stream seems downright impossible, right?
Not so for singer-songwriter Tom Odell, who handled himself like a pro while performing his new single, “Hold Me,” live during Burberry Prorsum’s fall ’13 show. Backed by a group of gospel singers and perched at his piano, the 22-year-old Brit appeared on the catwalk about halfway through the show, with even front rower Tinchy Stryder unable to resist recording the performance. Turns out, an emotional love ballad was just what everyone needed, particularly during the presentation of a collection rife with heart prints.
So, how did the whole thing come about? The Chichester native first performed for the label’s Taipei store opening last spring, then had his track “Another Love” featured in the spring ’13 show in September.
“And then Christopher emailed me over Christmas and said ‘let’s do something more, I’ve got this great idea for the fashion show,’” Odell told Refinery29, backstage after the show. “I had a song which seemed right, and it’s the next single. I wanted to do something different, so I found some amazing singers to accompany me. We were going for a Graceland sound.”
As it happens, the SXSW-bound musician wasn’t even aware of the celebrities watching him perform, though he revealed that Cara Delevingne did walk into his dressing room…by accident, he thinks. Occupational hazard!
“I really hope to do more with Burberry,” says Odell. “ I just think they’re a brilliant brand and I’m so proud to be working with someone like Christopher Bailey, who’s such a visionary. He really respects your art.”
Odell’s debut album, “Long Way Down,” will be released in mid-April. Watch this space!
Photo: Courtesy of Burberry Prorsum

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