Calum Scott has come a long way since his beginnings on Britain’s Got Talent two years ago. Since then he’s gone on to release hit single 'Dancing on My Own' gained a Brit nomination and is now supporting Emeli Sande’s ‘Long Live the Angels’ tour. Radar sat down with him ahead of the first night of the tour.
This is the first night of the tour, how are you feeling?
I’m feeling really good actually. I’ve been looking forward to this for what feels like months now but it’s great to finally be here. I’ve not walked on stage yet and it’s still daunting me. An arena is a big deal for me, I’ve played at academies in the past but arenas are a pretty new thing for me.
How are you liking Aberdeen?
This is my first time in Aberdeen actually. I’ve not even seen any of it yet; I’ve been on the tour bus. I had to get my head down because we had a thirteen-hour drive from London so I’ve been sleeping. But I’m up and I’m showered and ready so if I can get out into town then I’d love to.
What was it like being asked to support Emeli Sande?
It’s one of those moments where you’re like seriously? You really want me to do this? I love Emeli, I think she’s incredible, an amazing artist, and we’re label buddies. It blows my mind that I share the same label as her and I’ve wanted to work with her for ages because she’s an incredible song-writer. It was one of those situations where I’ve always wanted to be like 'we should do something' but never had the balls to just straight up ask. Then a couple months later, my label was like we’ve got an amazing opportunity for you and I was like right well you don’t need to ask me twice. An opportunity like this is rare and there’s hundreds of other artists out there she could have chosen. I feel very privileged and I can’t wait to start.
Since ‘Dancing on My Own’ you signed to Capitol Records, how did that go about?
What happened was after we put out the single it just went crazy, it was reaching all corners of the world and my manager said "look with your fan base we’ll maybe sell 10,000 records" and then since signing with Capitol we’ve sold over 5.5 million singles worldwide, which is just mind-blowing for a little Yorkshire man like myself. Some huge labels in America had seen it climbing the Spotify charts and were like well this guy isn’t signed, who is he? What’s his story?
The first time I was in America was when I was flown over to speak with the label and that was a very surreal week for me. I’d come off the back of the Boyce Avenue tour on their UK run and soon as the tour finished I was in America. It was mind-blowing just sitting with these huge labels and having conversations about my music and the possible deals on the table. It didn’t take long before we were having some really serious conversations with Capitol. Every time I went over there it just felt like home. To be home to The Beatles, Sam Smith, Niall Horan, Katy Perry. There’s such incredible artists on their roster and their philosophy and the way that they treat their artists just made me want to sign with them and I’m happy now to be part of the Capitol family.
Were any of the acts signed to Capitol major influences for you?
I’ve always been a fan of The Beatles, Sam Smith and Katy Perry. That’s the thing when I looked at Capitol’s roster there was so many acts here that I love and rewinding earlier from that I just didn’t even think my life would take this trajectory and I never thought in a million years that I would be having a conversation with Capitol.
Of course, the acts on there are inspirations of mine but to be part of that family as well is just mind-blowing and I’m just very proud to be on the same label as huge stars like Katy Perry.
When I met [Perry] at the Capitol 75th Anniversary it was just weird you know, sat next to Katy Perry after knowing her songs back to back; it was one of the first times I’ve ever been star struck
You released ‘Rhythm Inside’ when you were signed, how different was that to releasing ‘Dancing on My Own’ independently?
With ‘Rhythm Inside’ it was more of a way for me to be able to release some content for the fans that have been so loyal to me and have been with me from day one.
The way that it worked was that I started writing music with some really talented songwriters in London and we were starting to work towards an EP with my manager. Then we put out the single and it flew out into every corner of the world and by the time I had signed I’d only written a handful of demos so whilst ‘Dancing on My Own’ was going crazy we were doing promos for that and I was writing my album, supporting Jamie Lawson and I had all these things going on. So, it made it quite difficult to complete the album because everything had come at once, but I know no different; I was just rolling with it and now that I have this album ready it’s incredible.
People have been saying ‘Dancing on My Own’ was so huge so why hasn’t ‘Rhythm Inside’ flown all over like the other song and I think that’s because ‘Dancing on My Own' had its own story and its own journey. ‘Rhythm Inside’ was just to give the fans a little taster of what I was doing originally.
The next single is a lot more ‘me’, ‘Rhythm Inside’ is ‘me’ with a lot more tempo and some instruments which was nice to introduce that kind of a vibe; I wanted to show that I’m not just two dimensional, I can do upbeat and I can do happy. But my second single, ‘You Are the Reason’, is going to be close to that of ‘Dancing on My Own’. It’s heartfelt, it’s a ballad and it’s me against a piano which is what comes naturally to me. ‘Rhythm Inside’ was great and I think it’ll have another moment once people know me as an artist in my entirety.
Lastly, what can we expect from your debut album?
I started writing this as I started this whole process so I’ve got songs about meeting people on the road that I’ve had certain experiences with. I was actually in a bit of a position before all this blew out in the open; I was already dealing with trying to talk more confidently about my sexuality and that was rough for me growing up. Then being thrust into the limelight it was then magnified with the press saying is he in a relationship? Does he have a girlfriend? So, I’ve written songs about when I first talked to the press about being gay and the struggles that I went through when I was younger.
The album is a journey of myself and it’s a very honest one and hopefully very relatable because the one thing that I want to achieve with this album and my career is to connect. That’s the be-all and end-all for me; if I can connect with my audience and I make them feel then that for me is what music is all about. Reaching out and touching people so they don’t feel alone in what they’re going through, whether that celebrating or needing support or needing that voice of reason.
Check out where you can catch Calum supporting Emeli Sande on the rest of the 'Long Live the Angels' UK Tour here.