Exclusive Interview: Calum Scott On Sharing His Coming Out Story On “No Matter What”, Adele & His Favorite Body Part!
We were lucky enough to do an interview with the highly talented and highly handsome Calum Scott a few days ago to discuss the re-release of his debut album “Only Human”, among other things.
The British singer made several headlines last October when he released a new song titled “No Matter What” - which in reality was a page of his personal diary as the ballad lyrics contained the relating of his coming-out story. This song touched everyone on so many different emotional levels as the courage, the transparency and determination Calum sang “No Matter What” was magnetizing beyond belief. “No Matter What” precisely is the lead single of the special edition of “Only Human” which came out in the UK and elsewhere on November 30th and which contains other 3 bonus tracks.
Calum Scott, who rose to fame in the UK after participating on “Britain's Got Talent” in 2015 and scoring the best-selling single in the country in the summer of 2016 with his cover of Robyn’s “Dancing on my Own”, talks in this exclusive interview with DirectLyrics about his coming out-song, how his closest circle reacted to its release, the other new songs on the special edition of “Only Human”, who his dream collaboration is or which his favorite body part is. Calum also revealed to us he’s already working on his second album! Read all about this and more below – and go stream/but Calum’s debut LP re-release now!
1. Hi Calum, where are you answering this Q&A from and how has your day been like so far?
I am writing this sat in my presidential suite (it’s my first time in one and is so huge that I lost my phone in it for 30 minutes!) and is the morning after my very first show in Jakarta, Indonesia! Nights like last night continue to make me feel so incredibly grateful - people around the world listening to my music and spending their hard-earned money to come see me play in countries I’ve rarely been in.. very humbling.
2. Your new single “No Matter What” has caught the attention of many due to its lyrics where you share your coming-out story. I understand this song could have made it on the first version of your “Only Human” album. What stopped you from including it back then?
When I was putting the album together, this was one of the songs that I just felt was too personal to share. No doubt this is the most personal song I’ve ever written, pretty much like a diary entry and I wasn’t ready to release such a raw, emotional story which had shaped me as a person. Having had the opportunity to perform this live across the UK, Europe and America, I saw for myself the way this was reacting with people, saw on their faces that this was their story too. As soon as I was given the opportunity to release this on a ‘Special Edition’ of the record, it was a no brainer to start with this song.
3. Did you get a reaction from your family/friends after you released “No Matter What”?
They are and have been so supportive of my music but this definitely hit a chord with my family and friends. Most of them didn’t realise how hard it had been for me but write anything to music and it becomes heartbreaking, it’s a language that everyone understands. I recently sang this song at a very special show at Union Chapel, London and I had put my Mum front and center of the audience. Seeing how emotional she was by the end of the song, I couldn’t take standing on stage a second longer. I jumped down and hugged her with tears running down both our faces, the whole audience were on the feet and in tears too.. it was a beautiful moment.
4. I’ve read comments online of fans who have said “No Matter What” helped them get that strength to push their fears aside and come out to their loved ones too. How do you react to news that such a personal song for you is also helping others?
I get hundreds and hundreds of those comments every day and it never gets old. If you had told me 4 years ago that my music would help others to be happy, brave, confident, I would just laugh. Now look at what I do; traveling the world, telling stories like this and seeing people own them, soundtracking my music to their own lives and become better for it is one of the most gratifying feelings I’ve ever had. I’ve always wanted to help people, at first I wanted to be a counselor, then a physiotherapist, always with the intent to help people. Now I get to do that through music. I’m a very lucky man.
5. You are giving fans a special edition of your debut album “Only Human”. What can you tell us about the new songs you are including besides “No Matter What”?
My fans had been so patient with me to release an album so when the opportunity came about for me to create a special edition of it, I pretty much bit their hand off! I have tried, in 4 tracks, to give my fans something different, something not already on the debut album. ‘No Matter What’ was the first on the list to be included as the epitome of ‘heart on your sleeve’ - a story I never thought I would be brave enough to tell. ‘Sore Eyes’ was one of the first songs I ever wrote and was about my experience of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, how my sister was always my shining light in what was a total whirlwind of emotion. ‘Need To Know’ is the most recent song I had written and had given me closure on a long and complicated relationship I had, and ‘White Christmas (live at Abbey Road Studios) because why not?! It was getting to this time of the year, Christmas is my favourite holiday and I have always wanted to sing a Christmas song, better still, a song I got to record in ‘The Beatles Room’ at Abbey Road!
6. Did it ever cross your mind to not release a re-issue of “Only Human” and move straight to a new album with “No Matter What” serving as the first single of that entirely-new project? And, have you already thought about what you would like to do for your next album?
Great question. Because the album is a celebration of human emotion and is called ‘Only Human’, the fragility and vulnerability of ‘No Matter What’ ticked all the boxes of what my album was about, I couldn’t bring myself to leave that until the next album which may have a different concept and message to my debut album. Not including ‘No Matter What’ on ‘Only Human’ had been my only regret which I managed to correct. The next album is a mystery to me as yet. There are many things I want to write about but as I did with my first album, I just want to write great songs - collecting the songs and putting together the album is one of the final parts of the puzzle for me.
7. What are Calum Scott’s Top 5 favorite songs of the moment (of other artists)?
My favourite songs vary all the time.. at the moment I would probably say; ‘Shallow’ by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ by Mark Robson ft. Miley Cyrus, ‘Grace’ by Lewis Capaldi, ‘I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes) by The 1975 and ‘Honey’ by Robyn.
8. Who is your dream collaboration, why him, her or them, and how do you imagine your original song to sound like?
I mean, top of my list is always going to be Adele. She is just incredible. Beautiful voice, amazing songs and a personality I just love. I fear that the two of us together would be a bit too much like emotion overload.. I think we would be a perfect combo though, not much difference from the sound we both have but that emotion would just be magic. I think there is definitely room though for a male duet, there aren’t enough of them and I want to bring them back.. maybe Ed Sheeran, Adam Levine perhaps? Maybe I will call my mate Sam and ask if he wants to work on one!
9. You were on the cover of “Gay Times” magazine earlier this year. It was your first big cover and magazine spread. Your fans loved very much that photoshoot. May I ask, what's Calum Scott’s routine to stay fit and which would you say is your favorite body part? (haha)
It was a huge deal to me to get that opportunity, it was the first time I had ever had a front cover and to get it with an LGBT publication was huge. At the time I wasn’t in the best shape I could have been in but it spared me on to really think about my health as my image. I want to be fit and healthy and in this job, you have to be so I brought a PT with me on the road and got myself in pretty good shape! It has definitely given me confidence and to see that, just go on my Instagram and check me out in heels with not much else on...
My routine is exercising as much as I can fit in, at least 5 times a week and eating well. Not exclusive to just salad but if you eat a burger, make sure you get in the gym - I think that’s a fair philosophy. And favourite body part has to be legs, I was a swimmer and a skater when I was a younger so I’ve built up some pretty solid quads!
10. The year is about to end and a new one is about to begin. How would you describe your 2018 and what do you hope for 2019?
2018 was probably the most exciting of my life! I released my debut album, I’ve toured across the world and performed at sold out shows and festivals to hundreds of thousands of people, I have sang and recorded with other artists, written music for other people’s albums.. literally dreams that have come true over and over. I could not be more grateful to everyone for putting me in this position! Next year there’s so much more; I am writing and recording for album two, I have music coming out with other artists, I have exciting new adventures coming with new partners and brands, I also want to maybe do a little acting!