British singer Calum Scott, who will open for Ed Sheeran concert at the Sevens Stadium tonight and tomorrow, claims he’s living his best life in Dubai. And the reason for his happiness? His mentor and guide: Ed Sheeran.
“Supporting Ed Sheeran is unbelievable … I am just pinching myself all the time to make sure that I am not dreaming. It’s ridiculous,” said Scott in an interview with Gulf News ahead of his opening gig.
This former Hull council employee made it to the 2015 finals of Britain's Got Talent and shared the stage with Take That at the King's Coronation concert in May. His recent accolades include a Brit Award nomination earlier this year for his collaboration with Lost Frequencies on the song "Where Are You Now?".
Scott also received a prior Brit Award nomination in 2017 for his hit single "Dancing on My Own". He was reportedly handpicked by the 'Shape Of You' pop icon in a rather organic fashion (more on that later).
Excerpts from our interview with Scott as he talks about being mentored by Ed Sheeran, writing love songs that resonate with everyone, and shadowing the British musical genius for six months on the road ...
You are opening for Ed Sheeran tonight in Dubai … Excited?
100 per cent. I am absolutely living my best life here in Dubai. Supporting Ed Sheeran is unbelievable. The collaboration with me and Ed came together quite naturally. I met him a few years ago and we have staged in touch. We have been emailing backwards and forwards on songs and then he reached out to me saying he wanted me to tour with him for the next six months, which is just insane. We played our first show in Bahrain on Monday and it was unbelievable. And we are going to be here in Dubai tonight and tomorrow and honestly, I am just pinching myself all the time to make sure I am not dreaming. It’s ridiculous.
What have you observed about Ed Sheeran while on the go with him?
As soon as I finished my set, I went straight out and sat there waiting for him to come on stage … I just want to use him as a mentor whilst I am on the road with him. Backstage in Bahrain, had a lovely 15-20 chat with him … He was talking to me about all things normal like his Christmas, packing for the tour, his kids and stuff. He was asking me about my New Year’s Eve and Christmas too. It just felt nice to have that chat before I went on stage. He also gave me some great advice on how to manage my nerves a little better. I am sure over the course of the next six months, he is going to be a massive inspiration. He’s going to be my teacher and I am taking notes as we go.
So you are going to graduate with honours from Ed Sheeran’s school of music and stardom?
Yes! That’s that I want to do, be a part of Ed Sheeran School.
Ed Sheeran is a self-made pop icon who famously slept on Hollywood star Jamie Foxx’s couch during his struggling days. Does his success story resonate with you?
Look at what Ed’s done in his life and not that it’s comparable to my life at all, but the ethos, the work ethic and the journey feels familiar. Ed worked really, really hard. Up until late, people may have thought that one song broke him, but he’s been constantly pumping out music ever since his biggest hit. It’s the same with me ever since I really started working on songs after my biggest hit. I was worried for a little bit if that was going to be my biggest hit and whether I will be a one-trick pony especially after my stint at Britain’s Got Talent. Simon Cowell had kind of gone off and done another show, so I was left with: ‘what do I do now’. But I have been working so hard since and when I wrote ‘You are the reason’ and put that song out there, it really solidified my place in the music landscape and pop culture. I still work so hard for my next big song that people can walk down the aisle for the wedding or their first-dance song after the wedding ceremony. I see a lot of what Ed Sheeran has done and the kind of person he is and I am constantly inspired by that.
We live in an age of dating apps and where love is an elusive currency. Have you thought of writing songs that are a bit dark?
From the dawn of time, people have written about love, relationships, make-up, and break-up because everyone resonates with those themes. Being in love or not being in love is what we all have In common. My song ‘Dancing On My Own’ is about unrequited love and how someone is everything to you. These are songs that reflect everybody’s life and I want my songs to resonate with everyone because that’s my bread and butter. I have always wanted to write songs where people go: ‘that’s my journey and my story’. But honestly, I have never thought about writing a song about finding love on Tinder … I am a traditional kind of guy and am all about finding love across the [lounge] … I should tell Ed about writing a song about [dating apps].
Before I let you go, what was the advice that Ed Sheeran gave you about calming your nerves ...
He gave me the best advice ever. I have never performed to this amount of people before. Last year, when I performed in Wembley Stadium in London, it was for one song and I got off. The same happened during King’s Coronation where I was off stage after one song, but here I need to sing for 40 minutes straight and that’s a different beast. But Ed said: ‘Don’t think of them as individuals when you are performing live because that’s scary. Just think of the tens of thousands of them as one big, massive blob.” It worked. And when I see the joy or the tears in the concert-goer’s faces, the nerves and all is worth it. Now I am all about entertaining that massive blob as Ed said.
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Calum Scott opens for Ed Sheeran two night in a row at concerts held at the Sevens Stadium, Dubai.