IN MANY ways TRNSMT fans are given a glimpse into the future of Scottish music every year. They see the acts poised to make it big and are able to say they saw them way before they sold-out the Barrowlands or the Hydro.

This is even the case for fans before they have even hit the festival grounds. On one occasion at least, before they had made their way through the gates, there before them was a star in the making. Dylan John Thomas, busking outside the biggest festival in Scotland.

The singer stood with guitar in hand, entertaining the masses as they made their way to Glasgow Green. Now, the Lanarkshire man has already played the festival, and is preparing to make his main stage debut this summer. The journey is quite something – a celebration of determination. From where he stood then, to where he will be come July, the scale of his progress is not lost on the singer.

“It was only a few years ago,” Thomas tells The Weekender. “I was busking outside TRNSMT with people walking past, the majority of them not caring.

“It’s weird to look back – to timeline it – and to see where you were to where you are now. It’s difficult to comprehend at times.

“Back then, I’d play because I love music. But it’s weird to go from a time where no one was really listening to playing the Barras, with 2,000 people screaming at you when you walk out on stage.

“There was always the belief,” the singer adds. “We always had the belief that we would get to the level we are at.

“I’ll hopefully have another tune out before then; so, we’ll be getting the set sorted now and hopefully we’ll smash it.”

Since those busking days, Thomas has been all around the UK with some of the biggest acts on the scene. He has supported Liam Gallagher, Sam Fender, Ocean Colour Scene, Stereophonics and Gerry Cinnamon – with the prospect of supporting Noel Gallagher at the Dundee Sessions later this summer as well.

It has been a near-perfect apprenticeship and sets him up for following a similar path. He has been able to take so much from the experiences, tapping into a range of varied fanbases and holding his own among some of the country's foremost touring talent.

“I was thinking about it recently, actually,” he says. “And it’s absolutely bonkers. Over the past few years, we’ve supported Gerry (Cinnamon), Liam (Gallagher), Sam (Fender), Ocean Colour Scene and Stereophonics. And now, Noel Gallagher in Dundee.

“That is the most mental thing ever, when you think about it. I’ve just mentioned some of the top acts in Britain and we’ve toured with all of them – it just blows my mind sometimes. And I think it’s a big acknowledgement that we deserve to be where we are. It’s some buzz.

“And they are all sound as well. Everyone single one of them. They are all happy to come up and talk to me about guitar playing. Steve Craddock from Ocean Colour Scene came up to me and said it was amazing how I play. I just said that I had taught myself, and I don’t even know how I play – and it’s probably wrong, but it’s the only way my brain can compute me playing.

“Then, a couple of weeks later, I got a guitar through the post and I opened it up to see a 12-string that was used on the old Ocean Colour Scene albums. He sent me his old guitar – it’s sitting in my room right now; I play it every day.”

Thomas, of course, stands on his own right these days – far flung from the era of being ignored on the doorsteps of TRNSMT. Indeed, a sold-out show at The Barrowlands is just yet another milestone in a path laden with so many already.

The singer credits his unique styling and focus on delivering a genuine and energetic show for audiences that provided the platform his has been able to build. For now, the premier stages is where he and his band belong.

Thomas adds. “We’re comfortable with the bigger shows and the bigger stages. It’s all those years of busking and touring that got us to this level.

“To get a crowd bouncing at a live gig, you usually need to sacrifice a bit of musical integrity for some sort of style. But the way we work… I do this finger-picking style that I love through the verses and I can keep that integrity and so it’s not just a dance show or something throughout.

“It’s always been important to be able to write a two-to-three-minute contemporary pop song that gets the crowds bouncing, but to keep that music integrity. We’ve managed to create a style that keeps all those musical influences in mind, but also has the dynamic to play live.

“We worked extensively as a live band – that was something that we felt was always in our control, as opposed to the streaming side of things. And it’s got the point now that when we play these shows, and we come off and just look at each other and say: ‘No way did that just happen’.

“It is the most mental feeling ever: playing those shows and having a couple of thousand people just jumping around to the tunes.”

Dylan John Thomas plays the main stage at TRNSMT on Sunday, July 10. Tickets are available online now.