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Calum Scott: ‘I used to have massive imposter syndrome – now I’ve given up trying to be cool!’

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Calum Scott Press Image
Courtesy of the artist

Calum Scott suffered with imposter syndrome after finding fame with his cover of Robyn’s Dancing On My Own

The piano ballad rendition of the dance floor gem took the singer-songwriter into the global charts in 2016, following his appearance on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ the year before. 

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Amid the success, however, Calum struggled to come to terms with his newfound fame and admits that, compared with his chart peers such as Lewis Capaldi and Ed Sheeran, he didn’t feel “cool”.

Speaking in Retro Pop’s August 2022 issue, he says: “At one point in my career, after Dancing On My Own and into You Are The Reason, I started to think, ‘I’m just not cool enough.’ 

“My ego got a little bit in the way and I started thinking, ‘I’m just not cool. I don’t have that kind of edge about me’. And then Lewis Capaldi comes on the scene and he’s got this really gravelly voice, singing a love ballad, and everybody loves him. And I got massive impostor syndrome. 

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“Like, ‘He’s cool, he’s singing ballads – how come I’m not cool?’ But I was thinking of it in the wrong way.”

He reflects: “I was trying to define what cool is, but cool is of a moment. Popper trackies were cool at one point. Nobody’s wearing those anymore.”

Now, he’s comfortable with the sound that’s opened his career up to fans worldwide and taken his music internationally to audiences across the globe. 

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“I’ve made peace with the fact that you’re probably not going to put a Calum Scott album on before you go on a night out,” he quips. “What I did come to realise is that these songs – especially from the first album – have had a really significant impact on people where they’ve gone, ‘I want this as my wedding song,’ or, ‘I want this to be played while I walk down the aisle.’ 

“I get messages from people saying, ‘Oh, we played this at my cousin’s funeral,’ or birthdays, or whatever it is. And I think that, to me, is cool. 

“The fact that my music soundtracks people’s lives is very cool.”

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Read the full interview in the August 2022 edition of Retro Pop, out now. Order yours or subscribe via our Online Store or use our Store Finder to locate your nearest stockist.

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