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Exclusive: Scottish singing sensation Callum Beattie ‘can’t wait’ to perform at Mintlaw music festival

The Heart Stops Beating singer headlines the new Mintlaw music festival.

Callum Beattie can't wait to play at Aden Music Festival in Mintlaw.
Callum Beattie says the north-east is like his second home as he prepares to headline Aden Music Festival. Image: Gavin Watson

He sent 50,000 fans wild at Scotland’s biggest music festival TRNSMT and tickets for his gigs at the iconic Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow sold out in just two hours, but Callum Beattie says performing at an intimate, family friendly gig at Aden Country Park in Mintlaw on Saturday (September 30) will bring him just as much joy.

Describing the north-east as his “second home”, the 33-year-old salt-of-the-earth Musselburgh musician, who sampled the brilliant food and banter served up at Upperkrust café during a visit to the Granite City last month, is headlining the stage at Aden Music Festival.

In an exclusive interview with the Press and Journal, Callum says he has a deep affinity with the north-east, so performing in front of the 1,000-strong crowd at Aden Country Park will be a special moment.

Scottish singer/songwriter Callum Beattie says the north-east is like his ‘second home’. Image: Gavin Watson

“Playing live is everything to me and we’ve played a lot of shows in the north over the past two years, so it feels like a second home to me. I can’t wait,” says Callum.

“I just like the very personal heart-to-heart type engagement we can have at these smaller shows.

“It feels a lot more personal and I love to meet people and speak to them, so it’s the perfect opportunity to do that.

“It almost feels like I’m from there (north-east) – I seem to get a great response at every show, and it’s just always a brilliant and energetic audience, and for me, that’s what it’s all about.”

Callum loves the honest north-east crowd

With his soulful voice and down-to-earth charisma, Callum Beattie is sure to be a hit with the Mintlaw crowd when he headlines the festival.

“It’s always very honest when I play here,” says Callum.

“If people don’t like you, they will tell you, but equally when they love a gig, they tell you that too, so fingers crossed we are good at Aden.”

His love for the local area was evident when he popped in to sample the delights of Upperkrust Café twice during a visit to the Granite City last month.

And The Heart Stops Beating singer hasn’t ruled out a return visit to the café this weekend.

“We are driving up on the day, but you never know where we might end up on Sunday morning before we hit the trail back to Glasgow,” says Callum.

Callum nearly quit music before meeting his manager Dave Rogers who inspired him to keep going. Image: Gavin Watson

It’s hard to believe that Callum was close to quitting music three years ago after spending the best part of 15 years performing in pubs and busking on street corners.

His life changed though when he met his manager Dave Rogers who inspired him to keep going.

Three years on and Callum’s selling out gigs all over the place, but he doesn’t take his success for granted.

Opening up about mental health

Asked if he’s suffered from imposter syndrome, Callum says: “I think everyone suffers from something relating to mental health and I’m very aware of it on my musical and personal journey.

“I try very hard to surround myself with positive people with a shared vision, and that really helps.

“I always try to act with integrity and be true to myself and Dave and I are very much driven by our ‘gut’ and I think that all really helps.”

Refreshingly open and honest, Callum wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to his songs and his life in general. Image: Gavin Watson

Aside from music, raising money for charity is close to Callum’s heart after losing his friend Paige Dougall, an inspirational young singer from Kirkcaldy who passed away from Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in January last year at the age of just 17.

Callum and his manager Dave are now joint patrons of Paige’s Musical Butterflies – a charity set up by Paige’s family to provide music therapy for children battling cancer.

“When Paige died, she left a huge Paige shaped hole in our lives, but when Dave and I are faced with adversity we always ask ourselves: ‘What would Paige do?’” says Callum.

“We miss her greatly, but we also have a strong sense of feeling that she is always around us, guiding us and looking after us.”

Charity work brings Callum so much joy

Using his musical platform to support charity is what brings Callum the greatest pride.

“Honestly, my proudest moment is raising money for charity with Dave,” says Callum.

“Together, we managed to raise nearly £350,000 for many different charities in two years, and that’s something I’m just very passionate about and we both love to do it.

“Charity work is at the very centre of everything we do.

“I think having an element of service in your life is very important, in fact, I think it’s absolutely critical to our mental wellbeing.”

Refreshingly open and honest, Callum also wears his hearts on his sleeve when it comes to talking about mental health.

“If we can’t talk to each other about it, where else could we turn?” says Callum.

“Particularly for men, it’s been such a taboo but it is refreshing to see a bit more openness around discussions about mental health.”

Performing live is where Callum is most at home. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Not one to take himself too seriously, Callum, a Rangers fan, says he won’t be keeping track of the score during the gig as the Ibrox side take on Aberdeen on Saturday.

“I try to avoid the scores when I’m at shows, as it just distracts me,” says Callum.

“Dave (my manager) usually keeps me up to date from the sidelines with scores but only if they’re positive.”

Stellar line-up at first Aden Music Festival

Music fans are in for a treat at Aden Country Park as Callum joins a stellar line-up of artists who will take to the stage, including Torridon, the Scottish folk rock band from Ross-shire, as well as Fife singer-songwriter Cammy Barnes, who reached the semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent earlier this summer.

Aberdeen band The Kymatiks will undoubtedly rock the revellers while local MOD tribute band Target 5 will get folk dancing.

Tribute acts Ocean Colour Scheme and MacFleet will also take to the stage.

Although tickets for the festival have sold out, organisers promise that the event may be the first of many more to come.

To keep up-to-date with future gigs, check out the Wizard Promotions’ Facebook page.

You may also be interested in reading: Aberdeen cafe owners ‘star struck’ as Callum Beattie pops in for a dance