Red Light Management

Ten Tonnes

Artist Bio

For someone who was, by his own admission, “extremely shy” as a young child, Ethan Barnett, aka Ten Tonnes, cuts a strikingly confident figure. The 21-year-old musician from Hertford possesses a breezy, seemingly effortless ability to fashion snap-crackle lyrics and earworm melodies.

Huw Stephens has already emerged as an influential fan, and has backed Ten Tonnes with regular airplay and even named him in his Alternative Tips for 2018 list. More support came from MistaJam, Phil Taggart, Jo Whiley, John Kennedy, Radio X and BBC Introducing, while MTV profiled him as a Get To Know breaking artist. Meanwhile, his live shows have included sold-out headline shows at The Camden Assembly and The Lexington and a tour as guest to Rat Boy. A run of arena dates with Stereophonics and further shows with Tom Grennan are also on the cards.

So that’s where Ethan’s at now. The question is, how did he get here?

Until the age of nine, when he enrolled in the same drama club that his elder siblings had once attended, he scarcely spoke a word in public (he’s certainly making up for it now). “You used to have to do singing in the club, and a play at the end of the year. That helped me massively. It changed my character completely, because I’d been very self-contained before that.”

Home life was nurturing, his parents, both teachers, encouraging their children to be creative, to express themselves. Ethan’s dad “had a couple of guitars around the house, and there was always music on, things like Paul Simon and Van Morrison.” He started out playing drums at the age of nine before switching to guitar five years later.

That passion continued, leading Ethan to study music production at York University. He quickly discovered it wasn’t for him. “For me, when it comes to music, I want to do it, not learn about the theory. I wanted to get out there and go for it. Besides, so much of that course was about the science of it, and I’m absolutely shit at science. I mean, really bad. And working out what a sound is, I’m not bothered about that. I just want to make the sound.”

That year in York involved, Ethan says, a lot of late nights and very little work. “I ended up getting zero marks, because I didn’t hand any work in. My parents were very good about it, all things considered.”

From his independently released debut EP ‘Lucy’ through to his Warner Bros. Records debut ‘Born To Lose EP’ and the recent single ‘Cracks Between’, Ten Tonnes’ songs capture a mix of wry humour, wistfulness and poetic imagery with a real power of observation.

“Maybe I lean more towards the diarist side of songwriting, but having said that, I don’t tend to think: ‘This happened to me, I’ll write a song about it.’ But things do come out, it’s just that you’re not necessarily aware of that at the time. I suppose that’s the magic of songwriting. You like to think you’re in control, but most of the time you’re not.”

It’s an approach that allows him to express immediately relatable thoughts about often complicated emotions. His latest track ‘Lay It On Me’, produced by regular collaborator Hugo White, is a case in point. As he explains, “The song is telling someone if they need you, you’ll be there. You’ve been away and distant, but now you’re back.”

Ethan isn’t bothered about what people call his music – besides, it’s out of his hands now, he says. Mention genres such as garage-rock and folk-pop and he smiles enigmatically; adjectives like propulsive, raucous and tender produce a similar response. It’s all just music, isn’t it, he eventually suggests. “Everyone goes on about things being cool or not cool, but I can’t see the point of that. What does it mean, anyway? I couldn’t make music with that hanging over me. And why complicate things? The songs I write are pop, but the rough edges are still there. That seems pretty simple to me.”

Labels aren’t important, all that matters now is getting out there and delivering the goods, he says. “To me, I’m already living the dream. I’m like all guns blazing; you know, ‘Let’s smash it.’ I’ve got one stab at this. It’s time to do it.”


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Agency - ROW

Agent - N America

Tour Dates

May 05 2019
Hit The North, Newcastle City Centre
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
May 07 2019
O2 Institute
Birmingham, United Kingdom
May 09 2019
Rescue Rooms
Nottingham, United Kingdom
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May 10 2019
Brudenell Social Club
Leeds, United Kingdom
May 11 2019
Saint Luke's
Glasgow, United Kingdom
May 13 2019
Manchester, United Kingdom
May 14 2019
Waterfront Studio
Norwich, United Kingdom
May 16 2019
The Bullingdon
Oxford, United Kingdom
May 17 2019
London, United Kingdom
May 25 2019
Neighbourhood Weekender
Warrington, United Kingdom
Jun 01 2019
Run Fest Run
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Jun 21 2019
Southside Festival
Neuhausen Ob Eck, Germany
Jun 23 2019
Hurricane Festival
Scheeßel, Germany
Jul 07 2019
Barn On The Farm
Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Jul 26 2019
Y Not Festival
Pikehall, United Kingdom
Jul 27 2019
Truck Festival
Steventon, United Kingdom
Jul 28 2019
Kendal Calling
Lowther, United Kingdom
Aug 09 2019
Beyond The Woods Festival
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Aug 23 2019
Reading Festival
Reading, United Kingdom
Aug 24 2019
Leeds Festival
Leeds, United Kingdom
Aug 25 2019
Bellahouston Park
Glasgow, United Kingdom



Ten Tonnes begins 2018 in style, in the lead up to his debut album on Warner Bros.

Already announced as support to Rat Boy on his current UK tour, main support to Stereophonics on their UK arena tour, and main support to rising star Tom Grennan on his UK…

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