Gerry Cinnamon's booking agent has spoken to Music Week about the singer's under-the-radar ascent.
Cinnamon's self-released debut album Erratic Cinematic peaked at No.20 after being released in 2017 but has racked up sales of 91,780, according to the Official Charts Company.
After standout festival slots on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury and Trnsmt in his native Glasgow, where he performed on the main stage before headliner Stormzy, the singer/songwriter heads out on his biggest UK & Ireland tour yet in November. Dates include headline shows in Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Leeds, Cardiff and Newcastle, along with two nights at O2 Academy Brixton.
Here, we sit down with the 33-year-old's agent Andy Cook of CAA to find out where it all went so right...
This is a real movement, and it's just the beginning
How long have you been working with Gerry?
"I started working with Gerry in January 2018, shortly after seeing him play, and sell out, two nights at the Barrowlands in Glasgow. I was blown away by his performance, and by seeing how much he meant to the people who were there."
How has his live career developed, what have been the key moments?
"We announced Gerry’s first UK & Ireland tour shortly afterwards. He toured 500 to 1,500 capacity venues last spring and sold them all out in advance. Obviously Trnsmt 2018 was a huge moment for him, where he played in front of 45,000 fans in the middle of the afternoon. It felt like a headline show. Everyone was there to see Gerry. His profile continued to grow nationally, and he toured with The Courteeners last November, which was a great opportunity for him to play in front of a lot of people. I’ve never seen a support act get the kind of reaction he did across that tour, and he won over masses of new fans as a result. We announced another run of bigger headline shows off the back of that tour, and sold out everything in an instant. His Glastonbury performance was a huge moment too, you couldn’t get anywhere near the John Peel [Stage]. It was so busy and the atmosphere was like nothing I’ve ever seen in that tent previously."
Why do you think he has connected to the level he has and how crucial has his Scottish fanbase been in his rise?
"His Scottish fans have of course been a big part of the story from the beginning. The energy of the crowd is a big part of what makes a Gerry Cinnamon show such an experience, and that all started with his fanbase in Scotland. But it would be a big mistake to think his appeal stops there. He’s just sold 80,000 tickets for his next tour in England, Wales and Ireland alone [including] 10,000 tickets in London. People love him and connect with him because he’s 100% authentic and it’s all about his songs. This comes across when he performs. People walk away from his shows with huge smiles on their faces and tell everyone how brilliant it was. This is how Gerry’s fanbase has grown to where it currently is. There’s been zero PR, he’s done it all his own way and he lets his music and shows do the talking. This is a huge part of the appeal."
What convinced you this was the right time for his to step up to arenas?
"The reason he is playing the rooms he’s playing on the next tour is simple – his last tour sold out within seconds of going on-sale, leaving a huge amount of his fans disappointed that they could not access tickets. He is taking the next logical step in the cities he’s playing on the next tour. And again, as with every Gerry Cinnamon tour previously, everything has sold out incredibly quickly. Over 80,000 tickets, and this does not include any Scottish shows, which are not yet on-sale – a huge achievement for a completely independent artist."
What can he go on to achieve?
"His fanbase is going to keep on growing rapidly as more people discover his music and see him at festivals across the summer. He’s just put out the first single from his second album, which will be released early next year. He has some absolutely massive songs coming, and some very exciting plans for touring in 2020 and beyond. This is a real movement, and it’s just the beginning."