After finding fame on BGT in 2015, Hull-born singer Calum Scott talks about embracing his sexuality and living life to the full.
You were born and raised in Hull. What do you miss about the city when you’re away?
It’s been home to me for twenty-six years before all this craziness started. It’s still a massive part of my identity. I wrote a song about Hull called “What I Miss Most” because I’m very, very proud of my home city. I miss being where all my friends are and the streets I used to walk down. When I go home, and I see the [Humber] Bridge I’m freaking out [laughs].
What does it mean to you to be from the North of England?
I love being a Northerner. The sense of community in the North is so strong. The only thing is that not a lot of people understand what I’m saying. When I’m in America, I try to say “Oh no”, but because I’m from the North it’s “Eer no” [laughs].
“I want to inspire people to accept who they are”
What do you like to do when you’re in Manchester?
I love coming to Manchester. It’s a really thriving city! If I didn’t live in Hull, I’d probably live in Manchester. The nightlife is amazing. The shopping is incredible. The venues are great.
How are you feeling about turning thirty this year?
At first I was like “Oh God! Thirty!” [laughs] but now I’m thinking it’s a nice position to be in approaching such a milestone when I’m actually pretty happy. I’ve had a lot of struggles with my sexuality growing up but now I’m out and proud to talk about it and I’m in a career that I absolutely love.
What motivates you to make music?
Life! The ups and downs and everything in-between. For my album, I’ve talked all about my life experiences in a way that other people can identify with, especially the LGBTQ community. I went through a life’s torment before I accepted who I was and now that I have [accepted it] I’ve never been happier. The album is to inspire people to accept who they are.
What’s the meaning behind your album’s title ‘Only Human’?
‘Only Human’ is kind of what is says on the tin. It’s a celebration of human emotion, good and bad, and is just about embracing all of it.
Calum, if you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you?
I’d definitely want sun cream. I’m a Northerner – we burn easy. I’d have to have my iPod because you’d go stir crazy if you just had your own thoughts. I’d probably want a notebook or Dictaphone because there’s so much reflection you can do with that much time alone. If I got found, I’d come back with ‘The Desert Island Album: Volume I’ [laughs].
‘I love being a Northerner. The sense of community in the North is so strong.’
Who are your heroes?
Princess Diana is one. I was watching Prince William and Prince Harry talking about their mum and the lives she’d touched. People like that are so inspiring! We need more of those kinds of heroes today.
My mum is one of my heroes for everything she’s done for me. I want to buy her a dream home one day and make sure she never has to lift a finger. I’m a soppy guy – I don’t know if you can tell [laughs]?
What’s the meaning of life?
The meaning of life is to have fun rather than all the nonsense that’s going on around the word at the minute.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The first time I met Sam Smith in Nashville, he said, “The best advice I can give you is to keep family and friends as close as possible.” My family have become a part of the journey with me. I try to get them out to as many shows as possible. For personal advice, my Grandma just said, “Enjoy it all”. We’re only here for a short time, so we might as well enjoy every moment.
See Calum Scott at the O2 Ritz on 16 April 2018. Get tickets