Callum Beattie is an open book. As he tells Clash, this Scottish artist is “all about being true to (himself)”. As a result, the songwriting process becomes a form of self-analysis (“I’ve had a lot of heartache in my life...The only reason I write songs is as therapy for myself”) and he wants his “emotional, personal songs” to help and heal his listeners with “their own struggles”.
Asked to sum up this mission, the determined Scottish talent describes his sound as “anthemic, real dreaminess” which is perfectly apt.
Current single ‘Some Heroes Don’t Wear Capes’ is about Callum’s father bringing him up on his own since he was a young boy. They went through difficult times and struggles with money but Callum appreciates that “Dad done his best” and the song is a tribute to him. It’s a song about “love, gratitude and appreciation”, in Callum’s own words. The single is heartfelt and personal and “not just about shaking your arse on a Saturday night”.
Edinburgh-based Callum exudes solid conviction through both his lyrics and the music itself, so much so that he has the words ‘Some Heroes Don’t Wear Capes’ (and the title of his forthcoming album ‘People Like Us’) tattooed on himself.
Indeed, the album is named after what would have been a particularly discouraging conversation he had with his brother. When he spoke about his plans to become a singer-songwriter, his brother told him that “things like that don’t happen to people like us”. However, Callum wasn’t discouraged at all. Instead, he used it as the push he needed to work hard and become successful.
In terms of heartbreak, Callum has been through a lot but says he is “kinda glad” as it inspired his music and also because he hopes listeners can relate to the messages in his songs. “Songwriters are messengers”, he feels.
‘Some Heroes Don’t Wear Capes’ is actually a re-release. It was released independently a couple of years ago as a B-side but, despite believing in the song, Callum was “too scared to release it as a single because it was too personal...When I played it at Glastonbury, I burst into tears”.
Grafting is not always something everyone is willing to do to pursue their dreams, yet Callum spoke of his desire to play anything from open mic nights to stadium shows. The willingness to work hard is there and it seems it is already paying off as Callum supported The Killers in Hyde Park in 2017 and is currently supporting Razorlight on tour. “I’m absolutely buzzing. I’ve seen them many times. If someone had told me when I was at school (that I’d be supporting Razorlight), I wouldn’t have believed them. I’m grateful and quite flattered”.
What’s next for Callum Beattie? More hard work, an album launch, and possibly super stardom. As he puts it: “I think my songs are just as good as Ed Sheeran’s”.
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Words: Narzra Ahmed
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