Just eighteen months ago, Tom Andrews was an ordinary Exmouth teenager who dreamed of being a pop star.

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Now he finds himself with a major record deal, a string of prime time American TV appearances, and an upcoming debut album seemingly set for big things.

It’s been a meteoric rise for the 17-year-old, who only began singing four years ago.

He said “For me, singing was just a hobby, and it was a gradual progression from there to the point where I started to think about it as a career choice, because I was enjoying it so much.

“Then one day I got a call from chat show host Ellen DeGeneres, saying “I really like your music – would you like to come on my show”.

“I went out to LA, and went on the show singing It’s a Man’s World by James Brown, which was just the start of where I am now.

“Since then I’ve started working with some managers, and started working with the record company to get my first album finished.”

Although he is happy to sing covers, Tom writes or co-writes all of his own material.

“I’m really into writing my own music, and I’d like the album to be all my own stuff, but we’ll see what the record company says about it.

“My main song writing influences are mainly old soul music, like Marvin Gaye and the Four Tops.

“I also like Freddie Mercury, and I’m influenced by a lot of the stuff in the charts at the moment.”

Since being signed by Ellen, Tom has made several transatlantic trips to perform and record, and is beginning to enjoy his share of showbusiness perks.

“When I go to the US, my manager Bill Silva is always promoting gigs at the Hollywood Bowl, and I’ve got to see LCD Soundsystem and Kylie Minogue, which was nice.

“I also got tickets to see last year’s American Idol semi-final, and the last time I went over Lady Gaga was on Ellen and I got to watch her rehearse, which was really cool.”

Tom is now preparing to return to the States for another visit, during which he hopes his debut album will come together.

“I’m going to do some more writing for the album, at the moment there’s lots of songs floating around that could be on it, but nothing solid yet.

“In the next trip we’ll solidify it a bit more and make it more of a real thing.”

Tom’s single Carry Me On is available now on iTunes, and his debut album is due to be released later this year on Eleveneleven Records.

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