Britain’s Got Talent finalist Calum Scott on writing music for stress relief and his new role as an advocate for LGBT youth

Britain’s Got Talent finalist Calum Scott on writing music for stress relief and his new role as an advocate for LGBT youth

Ahead of his first Hong Kong concert, the British singer-songwriter spoke about coming out, and owning his emotions

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Scott learned he wants to make meaningful music, and be true to himself from his time of Britain's Got Talent.
Photo: Universal Music

After being propelled into overnight fame following his audition on Britain’s Got Talent in 2015, Calum Scott has been on a whirlwind journey of success. The Hull-born singer’s stripped-down rendition of Robyn’s Dancing on my Own earned him fans all over world, and now he has landed in Hong Kong, one of the stops on his very first international tour.

“When I’m on stage performing to a sold-out audience, I still get flashbacks of myself working in my old office, typing away at my computer,” he tells Young Post ahead of his performance at Kitec on Wednesday.

“If someone had told me that in five years’ time I’d be travelling the world and making music, I’d have told them they were crazy!”

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And if Scott’s career so far is anything to go by, he is clearly a force to be reckoned with.

Dancing On My Own became Britain’s best selling song of the summer in 2016. The singer went on to perform at the Paralympic Games that same year, and toured with Pentatonix in the US earlier this year.

He is currently touring his debut album, Only Human – his first solo project since coming sixth on the British variety show.

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But his success came with a price. Scott’s journey on the show was more emotionally charged than most; his sister, Jade Scott, who auditioned with him, failed to make it through to the live shows.

“I went to support [my sister], because as a big brother, I wanted to make sure she was okay and safe,” he says. “She was incredibly nervous, and for a whole array of reasons, unfortunately got told ‘no’ by the judges. I was devastated. My inspiration had just been shot down in flames.”

But in spite of the shock and upset, Scott persisted, and delivered his breakthrough performance to roaring applause. Simon Cowell hit the much sought-after ‘Golden Buzzer’ for Scott, a move that fast-tracked him to the semi-final of the show.

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“My time on Britain’s Got Talent solidified that I wanted to make meaningful music, and be true to myself.”

Scott has applied that ethos wholeheartedly to his art.

“I’ve always had a hard time expressing my sexuality,” he says. “But I quickly learned just how cathartic writing music is to me. As soon as I started writing from the heart, everything fell into place.”

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Only Human draws inspiration from Scott’s life as he finds his feet as a young gay man. He poignantly sings of heartbreak, love and loneliness.

“The one common thread I saw was how emotional we are as human beings, and I wanted to celebrate that.”

But it is his new-found role as an advocate for LGBTQ youth that makes him the most proud.

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“The sheer amount of messages that I have received from the LGBTQ community about having courage and embracing yourself has been amazing. Those never get old,” he says. “It makes everything worthwhile.”

The singer hasn’t forgotten his roots, either, noting that his recent success “hasn’t skewed my thoughts and beliefs. To hear I’m inspiring people is the most gratifying experience.”

Scott has channelled all of his fear, doubt and ultimate self-acceptance into Only Human. The album presents to the world a man who is now comfortable in his own skin, and ready to embrace who he truly is.

“Exactly what I set out to do with my music – inspire people and create positive change – is happening,” he says, with a sense of appreciation. “I owe it to myself to be comfortable with who I am and set an example for people worldwide.”

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Meet the nicest man in music

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