Three years ago recruitment officer Calum Scott was wondering if his life as a singer would ever materialise into anything more than the pub circuit.
Later that year he was pipped at the post during Britain’s Got Talent’s final by Matisse the performing dog. No, really. But Calum’s career has gone from strength to strength with a number two hit in the UK and Australia. Calum reveals to Susie Daniels he’s got Nile Rodgers in his sights and is shaking off memories of small-minded kids who couldn’t accept his sexuality.
It’s your 30th this October. Pre-fame how would you celebrate it and how will you now celebrate it?
When people remind me of my old life and the 9-5 job working in an office staying in the city it’s very surreal. I kind of don’t want to make changes. I would have gathered a load of family and friends and have had a big blow out party. Hopefully now it will be the same the only difference is I would like to take everyone to Las Vegas but it will probably cost me and arm and a leg.
You’re The Reason was released in January this year and the video was filmed in a beautiful location – where was it?
It was filmed in Kiev in Ukraine. Frank Borin was the director and he was capturing the essence of the veins of the song. I got a lot of input into the video. The song was a tribute to my grandma. She was integral to the video and there’s a scene where a grandma passes away in the video as a memory of her.
After your sexuality being thrust in the public eye can you just get on with the job of performing music without it being an issue?
Definitely! Many of my songs are about me coming out. One of the lines of my songs is ‘If our love is wrong I don’t want to be right’.
It’s thanks to Ollie from Years and Years and Sam Smith as there’s not that many people who will talk about it.
If it gives one thing to anyone hopefully it’s more confidence.
Which songs are you most proud of on debut album Only Human?
The whole album is my life so they all mean something. You Have a Reason is dedicated to all the people who mean something. Only You I wrote with Kodaline celebrating the friendship of my best friend Dan who was there when I was abandoned by my previous friendship gang.
I was 13 or 14 when I talked to my mates about being gay. It was too much for them. That taught me a lesson about myself to never put up with that attitude.
You have Nile Rodgers as a main image on your Facebook page. Have you worked with him or is there anything in the pipeline?
I would LOVE to work with him. I met him in New York for Grammy week. He’s such a sweetheart. Nile said, when he was introduced to me, ‘Yeah, I know who he is’. He’s got so many amazing stories and I sat at his table for dinner!
Have you ever been mistaken for anyone else famous?
I’ve been told I have a resemblance to Adam Levine from Maroon 5! (laughs ) It’s the beard and the dark features. He’s gone blond now!
Could you be any more excited about your debut album released this (March) month?
I’ve got new muscles in my cheeks (laughs)! This is the first time this side of my career writing for myself has opened up. I did a song Give Me Love for producer Don Diablo and have worked with Naughty Boy, Jonas Blue and duetted with Leona Lewis and with Matrix and Futurebound last year. With my own album it means I can look forward to my own project. It’s very easy to get caught up in the writing bug. I wrote over 17 songs for Only Human.
When and how did you first learn you could sing?
I’ve always loved music. My mum always played Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, George Michael and Fleetwood Mac and when I got into school I was a drummer. My music was super happy and I would play all night. But I left school and got a job. My sister’s always been a singer and a dancer. When she was out one day I jumped on her recording equipment and blasted my heart out. She entered me into a singing competition. On stage for the competition I felt this passion and that was it! My sister’s going to open for me in the UK on my European tour.
Calum Scott will play Glasgow’s O2 ABC on April 13.