Aberdeen singer-songwriter Calum Bowie has racked up more than 60,000 TikTok followers in seven months and gained the seal of approval from chart stars Amy Macdonald, The Snuts and The Wombats.
The 20-year-old only posted for the first time on the social media platform in January and has quickly become an online sensation – with almost two million likes.
Rising star Calum’s reach has gone global with a growing fan base in the United States for his superbly crafted, melodic songs.
Inspired by Scottish super-stars Lewis Capaldi and Gerry Cinnamon, the Banchory-raised singer, now based in the Granite City, ultimately aims to emulate their levels of success and influence.
He said: “In January this year my sister said I should try TikTok so I began to post material on there.
“I now have 61,000 on TikTok and have had responses from so many places although my fan base is more in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
“There have been responses from the United States and Australia who seem to like my Scottish accent as I also speak in some of the videos.
“I noticed that at certain times, such as four in the morning, I was getting hundreds of likes and initially wondered what was going on.
“But that is when America is waking up and doing TikTok.
“It is pretty surreal and I still find it very odd that people as far afield as America and Australia are listening to me.”
Encouragement from chart-topping stars
Since the release of debut Lonely Streets in 2017 Calum’s reputation, and fanbase, has continued to increase.
The singer has received backing from Scottish indie stars The Snuts who recently registered a number one hit in the UK charts with debut album W.L.
Another chart-topper, Amy Macdonald, has also offered encouragement.
Calum said: “Some cool people have given me positive feedback such as The Snuts, Amy Macdonald and The Wombats
“It is both surreal and terrifying as they are the real deal but are watching my videos while I am sitting in my bedroom doing wee snippets of songs.
“That people like The Snuts and Amy Macdonald have heard my material is really cool.
“It is also very encouraging that they have given me that positive feedback.”
Inspiration of Lewis Capaldi
There has been an explosion in Scottish music in recent years with Capaldi leading the way with breakthrough single Someone You Loved topping the United States and United Kingdom charts.
The 24-year-old’s debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent was the biggest selling record in the UK in 2019 and 2020.
Capaldi began playing venues like The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen and within two years had packed out the P&J Arena in one of the final shows in the city before lockdown.
Like Calum, Capaldi’s career began with home recordings as the Brit award winner produced songs on his iPhone in his bedroom before downloading them to a Soundcloud account.
Indie folk troubadour Cinnamon, 36, has also registered a UK number one album with The Bonny last year.
Both Capaldi and Cinnamon have achieved success whilst being true to their own vision and their Scottish roots – and that is an inspirational combination to Calum.
He said: “Lewis Capaldi and Gerry Cinnamon are a big inspiration to me, not so much in my music, but for the way they champion Scottish music.
“At the moment Lewis is one of the biggest musicians in the UK and continues to champion the fact he is Scottish.
“I am inspired to be like them and also to reach the heights they are both at.
“That is what I want.”
‘Pivotal point in my career’
Recent release Time That I Can Borrow is out now on all download platforms and is a catchy, upbeat song that deserves regular rotation on radio.
Last year’s release How Much We Would Grow is a heart-warming, heart-breaking paean to the innocence and joy of childhood.
The Aberdeen singer has all the ingredients needed to follow in the footsteps of Capaldi and Cinnamon – and accepts he is at a pivotal point in his burgeoning career.
He said: “I have a new summer single that I am trying to get out for August.
“That song will be accompanied by a video.
“I am either going to release an EP or a couple of singles before an EP – depending on how the summer song is taken on by the public.
“I have a lot of tunes, eight fully written, ready to record and then send out.
“I am taking the next couple of songs very seriously as they are pivotal points in my career.”
First track released while still at school
Music has been in Calum’s blood since a very young age, he began playing guitar at just eight and penned his first song at 11.
He posted his first song on Youtube at 14 years old before releasing a debut single Lonely Streets three years later whilst still at Banchory Academy.
Calum explained: “My first taste of recording music was when I released a track on Youtube at 14 which was a pivotal moment for me.
“I released an EP when I just turned 17. That was very nerve-wracking, especially at school as I was in sixth year then.
“However everyone at school said it was not bad and I thought ‘I’ll take that because they are not mocking it’.
“The lockdown was horrible for so many reasons but it did give me time to realise that music is what I really wanted to do.
“Originally in 2020 I posted music snippets on Instagram and did live streaming as well.
“However it really took off when I started posting on TikTok and it is great that so many people are listening.”
Aberdeen headline show confirmed
Calum will continue to post videos for his growing band of online followers while also recording tracks for download on digital platforms.
Fans and anyone curious to see what the growing buzz is about can finally see Calum perform live next month.
The coronavirus lockdown had deprived musicians, and music lovers, of live shows for almost 18 months.
Finally, gigs are returning and Calum is set to headline The Blue Lamp on Friday, August 27 with support from Ben Walker.
He said: “I am very excited by the concert at The Blue Lamp and it will be a fun night.
“I can’t wait to play live as I haven’t seen faces at a concert for a long time.
“People now know my songs and who I am so it will be pretty surreal to play in front of them.”
You might also like…
- Aberdeen rapper Ransom FA teams up for all-star track highlighting rising Scottish scene
- Hip-hop producer Vagrant Real Estate teams up with Scottish dark pop star
- The Blue Lamp aims to become a thriving hub for Aberdeen talent