Busker Tom amazes judging panel in Open Mic UK contest

Tom Stephenson (Busker Tom)
Tom Stephenson (Busker Tom)

Crawley musician Busker Tom is just one step from the National Grand Final of the Open Mic UK singing competition.

Tom Stephenson, who has performed as a licensed busker in Crawley and Horsham in his spare time, wowed the judging panel at the Open Mic UK Regional Showcase in Brighton,

Now he’s through to the Area Finals on Saturday, November 29, at Ferenham Hall, Fareham.

This event marks the semi-finals where successful acts will go on to perform in the Grand Final at London’s O2 Arena.

Open Mic UK 2014 is the biggest search for unsigned talent in the UK, and travels the country every year in search for the UK’s best singers, singer-songwriters, rappers and vocalists of all genres performing either covers or their own original material.

The competition is organised by Future Music, the company behind the discovery of artists, such as Atlantic Record’s Jacob Banks, Warner Music’s Birdy and Sony Music’s Jaymi Hensley from Union J.

Over the years the competition and Future Music have discovered some of the best new talent and propelled them to the big stage, working closely with Sony, Universal, Warner and Syco.

Thousands of hopefuls entered Open Mic UK nationwide and the best unsigned singers from across the country were chosen to perform at the live Regional Final shows.

Busker Tom performed in front of a capacity audience and professional judging panel on October 18 at the Area Finals for the chance to progress to the National Grand Final, where he will be fighting to win a £5,000 cash prize to spend on the development of his act.

The competition is divided into age categories – under 16, 16-20 and 21 and over – and all types of singers, vocal performers, groups and acoustic singer-songwriters are invited to enter.

The Area Final Showcases will provide acts with the opportunity to impress many guests from the music and entertainment industry.

Previous judges to Future Music competitions include DJs that have worked for Radio 1, such as Ras Kwame, Daniel P Carter and Annie Nightingale MBE, four time Ivor Novello award winner Mark Hill, Noddy Holder and the legendary Malcolm McLaren. In recent years the Grand Final has seen A&R representatives from the three major record labels – Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group all present.

Click here to find out more about the competition.