And welcome back to my blog. I’m sorry for being gone for so long, but I hope you’ve all had a great time and that you’re doing well. I know at the end of my last post I said that I’d be coming back with a huge post about Avengers: Endgame, but, honestly, it’s been over a week since I saw it and I still haven’t been able to fully process it. My plan now is to watch Infinity War and then see Endgame again straight the day after, so I can really say which one I prefer. And then I want to put all my thoughts, emotions and opinions into one long, deserving post for you all to read. Unfortunately, that means it will be packed with spoilers, so I’ll just say it now – if you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read anything about it, don’t ruin it for yourself and just watch it. Also, props to you if you’ve made it this far without coming across spoilers. Well done.
So, now that we’ve talked about that, let’s get to the real deal, which is something I’ve been burning to tell you ever since it happened. Some of you might remember the concert review I did of the Saint Raymond show I went to in March (here’s the link if you want to check it out). I absolutely loved the show, but I didn’t tell you everything that happened on that day. So, here comes the crazy part: I didn’t just go to the concert, I actually met up with Callum (Saint Raymond) before his show in Brighton to do a little interview with him. I know, I know. Holy moly. I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around it either. And oh wow, it was such a lovely interview. I felt so welcome and it was just so chill and nice. And Callum was absolutely fantastic as well. Definitely one of those hours of my life that I’ll never ever forget. And I’m so happy that I finally get to share the piece I wrote about it for my university magazine with you. I really hope you enjoy it. Also, please don’t forget to show Callum some love (here’s the link to his Spotify and his website), he really deserves it. And, as always, please don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts down below and thanks for reading. x
‘It’s a show-off world’
Nottingham born and bred Callum Burrows, aka singer-songwriter Saint Raymond, exploded on to the music scene in 2013 with his EP release ‘Escapade’. Following that the young artist not only went on to open for some of the biggest names in music, but also toured festivals including Glastonbury, right before releasing his No. 1 debut album. After a short hiatus, the singer is now ready to go bigger than ever. I met up with Callum at Patterns in Brighton before his show to chat about standing your ground in the music industry, crime-podcasts and supporting music-star Ed Sheeran.
Did you ever expect to end up where you are now?
No, not at all. Obviously I hoped I would, but I never thought I’d be doing music as a career. I never expected it to get to a point where I get to do it for a living. Which is still weird for me to say, because I think I sometimes take it for granted. Like with anything, you have your highs and lows and I often forget that music is my job. Which is pretty cool. Ten years on, still get to play shows. It’s crazy.
What is the one memory you will never forget?
There was this special moment when I played a hometown show in Nottingham, at Rock City. I actually played it three times, but that first gig was an unreal experience, because I had grown up going to gigs there. And suddenly people were queuing to see me and I just thought ‘what the hell is going on?’. So, that will always live long in my memory. And besides that, the tour with Ed was super crazy as well.
Speaking of that – how did you get to support him?
I met him through a mutual friend and then ended up going to his birthday party, where we had a chat. And then, about a month later, he just texted me out of the blue saying ‘hey man, do you want to go on tour?’. I couldn’t believe it. I actually kept it a secret from my band until the official announcement. I just told them that we would be going on tour in October. That really was an amazing experience, which I’ll be forever grateful for.
Looking back on all your songs – what’s your favourite one?
That would probably be ‘As We Are Now’, because it meant so much to me at the time. I wrote it when I was kind of hoping to do music for a career, but I wasn’t sure that I was going to. All of my friends had gone to university, so they knew what they were going to do for their jobs after. But I was just in this period where I wasn’t a kid anymore and had to take some responsibility. So that one will always be a special one.
Is that why you released two versions of it?
Yes, that was a mad decision, to make the fast version. I don’t want to bitch too much, but I prefer the slow one. You know, there are a lot of things that happen with music, especially when you’ve got a big team around you, where decisions just get made that aren’t always the right ones. Or not solely what you want. But it’s hard when a lot of people are throwing in their opinions, because, at first, you know what you want, but then you get a bit lost in it. So that’s what I’ve learned over the last few years, to stand my ground a bit more and go for what I believe in. I was very young when I made that first record, it was a big learning curve.
What’s another part that you had to get used to?
Definitely social media. I think Twitter is such an important tool as an artist, but I struggle to use it to its full capacity. It’s easier now when I’m on tour because I can talk about that, but it’s really hard to interact when you’re not doing those things. At least for me. I know some other people who are amazing at it, like Lewis Capaldi. He’s got it nailed down. But then again, right now, there are a lot of people in the industry trying to copy that. And that’s when you look like an idiot. Because you’re trying to be someone you’re not. Which is mad. Especially now with the whole Instagram world, I think it’s so important to be who you are on social media. It drives me crazy how people are living a life that isn’t real. It’s a show-off world.
How about using Twitter and Co. to connect with your fans?
Oh yeah, I think it’s so important to interact with them. Before social media, bands were untouchable. You couldn’t access them unless you went to a show or met them somewhere, whereas now you can genuinely have a chat with anyone. You can literally send a message to the president of America, not that you would want to. But that’s how the internet works now. And I think sometimes people forget that if it wasn’t for the fans, they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing. Because who would buy the tickets, the t-shirts, the albums? They start to think they are on a platform above them. Which isn’t true. That’s why, after every show and not just on social media, I’ll always try to come out and talk to people. I mean, them coming to the show means that I get to do in in the first place, so why shouldn’t I?
And would you call yourself a fan of someone as well?
Of course. Loads of people. But my biggest inspiration right now has to be Ariana Grande. I once saw her perform live at this charity event in Central Park in New York. She came on stage with Coldplay and, until today, it’s the best live vocal I’ve ever heard. The whole day overall was just absolutely crazy. I stepped on Jay-Z’s foot by accident and then met Leonardo DiCaprio. Weirdest day of my life. And besides that, I’m a huge fan of murder podcasts. They’re my jam.