Interview: Thomas Headon is coming home for GTM 2022

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Interview: Thomas Headon is coming home for GTM 2022

Words by Chloe Waddell

Brought up in the regional Victorian town of Traralgon, Thomas Headon is excited to be heading back to regional Vic this year for his first time performing at Groovin the Moo.

After two years of cancelled events amidst the pandemic, Groovin the Moo is officially back on tour in 2022, with a mix of local and international acts. Major names include Aussie faves Hilltop Hoods, Peking Duk, and international import Wolf Alice.

Among the lineup this year is a new face to the festival scene, 21-year-old Thomas Headon. Known for his chilled vibe and often relatable lyrics, Headon has had success in Australia and abroad, being named a “star-on-the-rise” by triple j. His recent single How do I Know?, traverses new love and lust, with an upbeat and beachy sound. ‘

Born in London, growing up in regional Victoria, and jumping on a plane back to London pre-pandemic to grow his music career, Headon is looking forward to coming back to perform to a home crowd, and to bring his Mum along. 

“It’s sick, I’m excited. It’s going to be fun”, Headon says to Forte about his upcoming GTM performance. 

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Touring around regional areas for GTM, Headon explains that “I really wanna see the difference between like a New South Wales crowd, versus a Victorian crowd”. He goes on to say about performing in Bendigo, “there’s such a homely sense in me, ‘cause it is basically my home ground. I grew up in Australia, and especially  Victoria, so that’s gonna be quite a moment… I might bring my Mum. She might like that.”

Looking through this year’s stellar GTM lineup again while chatting to us at Forte, Headon’s face lit up, seemingly impressed and excited, saying “that’s my name, oh sick, wow”. 

“Seeing who I’m there with, and in the same size as is weird. Like, I’m there next to Wolf Alice… like that’s crazy. That’s really cool”. 

Clearly a fan, Headon has a few acts from the line-up he would be keen to collaborate with. “Wolf Alice, they’re way bigger than I am, but I would love to do something with them”, he says. “I think Sycco is sick, and we are friends as well. I would love to do something with them”.  

Headon has already worked with past GTM favourite G-Flip, who has since gone on to perform at the Australian Open, Mardi Gras, and is currently touring the US. Released last year, their song Not Even In Vegas came about on Headon’s last trip back home.

“G is so much fun. When I was, like, 18, G Flip was the most popping artist, everyone knew G, it was so sick. Then I got back to Australia…and I got an email being like, do you wanna hook up with this artist G Flip. My manager had no clue, and I was like ‘what? Yes I fucking do’, and we just went and had a few beers”. 

Headon and his Mum came to an agreement that if after a year or two in London his career doesn’t take off, he would return home and go to uni or find a more stable job. When asked if he ever got nervous that he would have to fall back on a plan B, Headon says “Totally, I think I still worry about it now. I think I’m right for the next year at least, but it’s still a definite worry for the future”.

Although he says it is not something that has him shaking in his boots, “it definitely crossed my mind a few times” that it wasn’t going to work out. But even the height of the pandemic couldn’t quash his rise to success, as he rose to Tik Tok fame during UK’s lockdowns. “That’s the thing with Tik Tok”, he says, “it’s overnight virality”.

Posting videos about his music, showcasing his funny side, and featuring his life-sized Harry Styles cardboard cut-out (which he promised to gift to me when he returns to Australia, thanks babes), Headon explains “I was lucky. It’s one of those things where you never expect it to happen, and then it happens, and it’s like… oh, that helped me massively overnight”.

@thomasheadoni know u picturing the person rn♬ original sound – thomas headon

Headon is a remarkably relatable and relaxed artist to chat to, who comes across as someone who is just enjoying making music and following that adventure wherever it takes him. “If you were to tell me when I was like busking at Phillip Island, that I would be doing what  I’m doing now, I would be amazed and think that my life was amazing, and like ‘oh my god I’ve made it, this is so sick’”, says the emerging star. “I’ve got people I call friends now who I grew up watching online, which is just sick”. 

Thomas Headon’s latest EP, Victoria, is out today. Unfortunately not named after the Aussie state (despite his Mum’s joking belief that it is), Headon says he is “a little bit nervous” about this release, “because it’s the most honest songwriting I’ve ever done, and the most personal songwriting”, but that he is mainly just looking forward to getting the music out there. 

Although asking a singer-songwriter to choose a favourite song is like asking a parent to choose a favourite child, Headon says “I think I would’ve said Nobody Has To Know which was the first single that was my favourite, but then it changes between that and Victoria”. He goes on to explain that his favourite song from his EP will probably change again after its release.

Returning to Australia straight from his American tour to perform a host of headline shows in our major cities, and to join GTM on the road in regional Australia, Headon has a jampacked few months ahead. “The headline shows are gonna be fun. But I’m more excited for Groovin the Moo, I think it’ll be quite a fun experience. And I love Australians”. 

“Come see me at Groovin the Moo”, Headon says, and that we certainly will!

‘How Do I Know?’ by Thomas Headon is out now via Warner Records UK.

Tickets for all GTM locations are on sale via Moshtix. For those who kept their 2020 tickets, they remain valid for GTM 2022 – you can confirm within the Manage Tickets section of your Moshtix account too. Find out more here