Calum Scott conquers the States

Calum Scott photo by Frank Ockenfels
Calum Scott photo by Frank Ockenfels

Calum Scott Only Human Tour was a hit

In an industry where many artists only feel comfortable to come out about their sexuality when their career is ending, Calum Scott broke the mold by being an openly gay artist from the start of his career. With his debut album Only Human. Calum has already managed to acquire more than one million sales and over one billion streams. Turning out hits detailing the highs and lows of being gay, Calum Scott is proving that it may very well pay to be gay.

Calum Scott photo by Frank Ockenfels
Calum Scott photo by Frank Ockenfels

You just wrapped the Only Human Tour. As a native of the UK, how did it feel to tour the United States again, this time on a much larger scale than your previous tour?

Calum Scott: The Only Human Tour was surreal. To go from working a mundane job in human resources for eight years, to touring the country, has been a dream come true. Moreover, performing in front of thousands every night in cities and states I never thought I’d be afforded the opportunity to visit, has been a blessing. It felt empowering to receive standing ovations every night and to meet fans after the show, when I learned in detail how much my music affects their lives.

Last Summer, Capital Music Group presented you with a plaque for achieving over one million adjusted album sales and over one billion combined streams for your debut album Only Human. How does it feel to achieve this feat, and where do you hope to go from here?

CS: In receiving such news, some artists would immediately wonder how they are going to top such numbers, whereas I relish the moment with gratitude. I try not to get too caught up in the numbers because it can get extremely overwhelming. My goal is to continue to create music that relates to people. I find it to be beautiful that I have fans who see me as a relatable person as I try to keep myself approachable and grounded. I lived most of my life, up until recently, as a normal person with a basic upbringing, basic education, and basic profession. I never thought I would get signed, let alone release an album that would result in my name and “one billion” in the same sentence.

Calum Scott photo by Paul Moore
Calum Scott photo by Paul Moore

Your songwriting has been praised for showcasing your vulnerability, and in turn, being very relatable to the masses. What inspires you most?

CS: The trials and tribulations of life. My debut album consists of a lot of personal experiences. My sexuality played a major role in my emotions at the time. From facing my sexuality, to being away from home, to enduring heartbreak, to experiencing jealousy to unrequited love, as in falling for someone who is not attracted to the same gender, my debut covers it all. This album is a celebration of emotions that we as a people experience, and ultimately, can’t control no matter how much we may attempt to suppress them. The message is simple, yet goes a long way.

You have mentioned that you were terrified to begin your music career as an openly gay artist. Did you fear being so honest from the start would potentially jeopardize your career?

CS: Yes, I am so emotional and so sensitive. After my audition on Britain’s Got Talent went viral, everyone wanted to know more about me including my romantic life, and I felt torn: I finally found myself doing what I love yet I felt intimidated that nothing would take off because of my openness. I had no idea the world would be at my doorstep.

What was it like collaborating with Leona Lewis on the multi-platinum “You Are The Reason,” which you’ve described as your coming-out song?

CS: Leona Lewis is gorgeous, talented, and funny as hell. We were introduced very organically through Diane Warren. Thereafter, we sent each other some tracks we were working on, and that is when I knew she would be perfect for “You Are The Reason.” We connected because we both come from the same roots; we are both UK natives, we were both discovered through talent competitions, and we both have the same work ethic. I will say this may not be the last time we collaborate.

What acts would you like to collaborate with in the future?

CS: Good question! Working with anybody who would be willing to give me their time is valued. With that said, I would die to work with Adele. Adele is my idol, she writes incredible music, she sings with such a breathtaking voice. And at the end of the day she is truly humble. I would also love to create a duet with another male artist such as Sam Smith. Everything is a feature with a DJ these days; ballads are all but obsolete. I miss the element of two voices coming together. I think a male duet is something completely absent from the industry today.

Being a native of the UK, where you began your music career, what’s it like to crossover to the states? Do you feel the American music scene is more similar to or different from the UK?

CS: There are differences for sure. What I love about the American music scene is the level of variety. When you turn on American radio, you are constantly being introduced to a new artist whereas British radio tends to recycle through the same songs. What I admire about America is there are so many different stations with so many genres of music.

What is it like being an out artist in the music industry today?

CS: Today, it is very refreshing. I was terrified initially. I did not want my sexuality to define who I am, and I certainly did not want to be judged for it. However, being out there in the capacity I am today has been very empowering. To be able to write about such personal experiences as a gay man, and for the public to have responded so positively in relating to my music, has made it all worthwhile. I feel like everything has come full circle.

Your album hit #1 on iTunes in over 20 countries and you have crossed over into the U.S. market. What is next for you from here?

CS: I have started to dip my toe into my sophomore album. I am in the process of writing a plethora of new material. I have also been in discussions with other artists on potential collaborations as well as going back and forth on concepts for my next tour.