It was a great pleasure to interview 13-year-old singer Cormac Thompson. He is an amazing young singer. I decided to reach out and see if he might be interested in doing an interview. His dad replied, happy for the opportunity, and let me know that Cormac did some Cub Scouting too.
Cormac auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent, singing “Run.” Simon made a comment, 'It was a brilliant choice of song. You sang it beautifully and made it you're own '. He advanced to the following round but sadly did not reach the semi-finals.
As if that was not astounding enough, in December 2020, he signed with Decca Records and released an album entitled Hear My Voice. Then in 2021, he reached the final of the ‘'BBC's Young Chorister of the Year’'.
Sorry, Cormac, I know you’re supposed to be on break, and I am sure the last thing you want to do is answer a bunch of essay questions. At least it's not a test, and there are no right or wrong answers!
Cormac, your dad, shared with me that your first competition was in ‘Cubs got talent’ and that you had some fond memories of camping. Please, tell us more about ‘Cubs got talent,’ like what it is, as it is not something we have here in the states.
It is a talent show for cubs - you can do pretty much anything, and it is a fun evening. I brought my keyboard and played and sang a cover of Keane’s “Somewhere only you know” and was fortunate enough to win :) I have great memories of cub camps, BBQs and being around the campfire, and just generally having fun.
Could you share more about your time in Cub Scouts? For example: how long were you in Scouts, what kinds of things did you do, did you earn any cool badges, a fond memory or two, favorite places you camped, a favorite scout song, etc.
I was in cubs for about three years, I can’t remember all the badges, but I remember outdoor leadership and teamwork and some related to crafts and skills. I used to enjoy the annual cub scout march from Church around the town and back. I got to hold the flag for part of the time, but it was too small to hold for the whole journey! We live in the NW of England, so we camped at Bowley Scout Camp near a place called Whalley.
What do you think is the most important thing you learned in Scouting?
I liked working as a team and tackling new challenges.
It is sad how COVID-19 prevented so many from visiting their family, near or far. In your case, you couldn’t visit your family in Northern Ireland, which led to your mum posting videos of you singing for your Nannie. I bet your Nannie loved every second! Does she have a favorite song that you performed for her? How do you feel about those videos leading to the world discovering and having the opportunity to enjoy your talents?
Yes, she loves “Danny Boy,” so that was why I sang it for her and posted it to YouTube. It’s crazy that singing that song leads to all the other opportunities, but it is hard work to keep singing and recording to a very high standard. Nannie was very proud when my songs were played on the radio and TV.
What was it like to perform on Britain’s Got Talent in front of all those people and the famous judges? I bet you were as nervous as a dog at the vet. My dog normally lays in my lap or behind my legs shaking up a storm.
Yes, I was very nervous, although I got some reassurance backstage from some of the older contestants, so that helped. My voice was also starting to change a little as well, so that added a bit more to the nerves as some high notes to hit! My arms did go numb during the performance which was weird!
What is it like to work with Dominic Ferris and the rest of the team? What do you find is the most difficult part of recording a song?
The way I work with Dominic is quite unique in that I sing live to his accompaniment, and each take is different, so we do many takes until we get the right “feel.” Sometimes this can be the first take or the last. This is totally different from the way most studio songs are recorded - ie, to a pre-made track. I liken our piano ballads to a duet of voice & piano.
Are there any songs you are looking forward to being able to perform in the years to come that you currently are unable to?
I am now recording songs in the lower to the middle part of my range as I can no longer hit the top notes, as in Ave Maria or Pie Jesu. So my repertoire is constantly changing. On the one hand, I’m sad to lose my treble voice but also excited to use my emerging voice. If all goes well, I would love to be able to sing some of the “big” tenor songs or even just have the power for other pop ballad-type songs - some of |Queens’ hits are on my list to perform at some point. I would also like to try again some of the songs I sang as a treble when an adult and hear the difference!
Do you like going to school? Besides music, what is your favorite subject? What subject do you struggle the most with?
Yes, I love my new school - I just started high school. I like biology, and I’m quite good at languages but struggle with Physics. I would normally say Math, but it is not too bad at the moment :)
What do you think is your greatest accomplishment to date?
I actually like the satisfaction of making a really good recording because there is a lot of hard work in advance to make sure the finished product sounds good. I can’t really pick one achievement performance as they all mean a lot in different ways.
How do you envision your life ten years from now?
That’s a difficult one! I would like to be still involved in singing and making music. It would be nice to make a career of it, but it can be very difficult, so as mum says, I need to have a “Plan B”
Do you have any advice for young scouts who want to sing and perform?
Yes, choose a song that is appropriate to your age - not an adult pop song. Understand the meaning of the song so you can convey feeling - and practice a lot. Performing is difficult, but lots of practice makes it easier as you will be more confident on stage.
Thank you, Cormac, for taking the time to answer my questions, and to your dad for making this interview possible.
If you would like to learn more about Cormac Thompson or experience his amazing voice, check out his website at https://www.cormacthompson.com/ and his YouTube channel at youtube.com/@CormacThompson.