Hailing from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Indie/Folk artist Callum Pitt has quickly become one of my favorite new artists. First coming onto my radar with his tune, “Rabbits“, Callum Pitt has continued to unleash a number of tunes that have all landed securely in my personal playlists. Taking influences from artists like The War On Drugs, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, Callum Pitt incorporates foot stomping rhythms, finger picked Folk riffs and touching vocals to create memorable tunes that cross borders. Having recieved support out the gate from BBC 6 and Amazing Radio, he has continued to land on the radar of tastemakers far and wide while simultaneously growing his fanbase, selling out shows and landing support slots for artists like Meadowlark, Cape Cub and Isaac Gracie.This week, not only is Callum Pitt performing at The Great Escape, but he has also unleashed a new single titled, “Here if You Need“. The delicate new tune sees Callum Pitt delivering his signature falsetto vocals, earworm melodies and overall feel good vibe, once again proving his stature as an artist to watch. While Indie/Folk may not be everyones cuppa tea, he somehow finds a way to infuse everything he touches with an undeniable commercial appeal thanks to smart arrangements, brilliant hooks and a worldly accessibility.Since Callum Pitt is a regular on the site and we can’t seem to get enough of his tunes, we thought it was only right to catch up with him and dig a bit deeper. Keep scrolling to check out our interview with the buzzing UK artist.
RDFO: Have you always lived in Newcastle Upon Tyne? Can you tell us about the scene out there and how the environment has influenced your sound?
CP: Yeah I’ve always lived here, I love how exciting the city can be, and the fact that you can be at the coast or in the middle of nowhere in the countryside in a matter of minutes. I don’t know much about the scenes in other cities but what I can say is I would be surprised if other towns music scenes were as supportive and passionate as this one. Newcastle is a passionate and buzzing city and that reflects in the music scene definitely, there is a really strong core of gig-goers and local music enthusiasts and I think this spurs us all on as local artists, helping us to feel that it’s worthwhile pursuing music.
RDFO: While you only dropped your first single, I have to imagine you have been playing/making music for much longer. Can you tell us about how you got your start and what drove you to start your solo career?
CP: I’ve always wanted to release stuff under my own name, going through my teens obsessed with Elliott Smith, John Frusciante, Bob Dylan and Kate Bush, I started properly releasing demos on Soundcloud which had been recorded in my university bedroom when the house was quiet, then recording with my friend Andy, who was studying music and had access to a full studio as a result. From this, I sent some music over to Kaleidoscope and we started recording together!
RDFO: It seems that things have taken off pretty quickly for you since you started releasing music. Has the trajectory been what you had expected?
CP: Yeah the response to the first single ‘You’d Better Sell It While You Can’ surprised us all and within a month or so I was suddenly going to London to meet these record label people, from there it’s just been about keeping up momentum. Despite the fact that the stats look quite good on the first phase of releases, this is the first year I feel I’m really pushing on, with lots of shows around the country booked, that’s what really excites me.
RDFO: I first discovered you through ‘Rabbits’, a tune that I still have in heavy rotation in my ‘Tasty Bits’ playlist. Can you tell me about how that song came about?
CP: Thank you, that was one of those lucky songs that you just are able to write crazy quickly and everything just comes easily, I had studio time booked, and was finishing lyrics on the morning, then came up with the rest of the parts on the day! That’s quite abnormal for me, but very welcome!
RDFO: Besides music, what do you like to do in your free time?
CP: Music is probably about 80% of my life at the moment, though I work part time at North East Autism Society which I love, I play footy lots, love a good bike ride, and summer is coming up so I hope to play an intense amount of frisbee.
RDFO: How did you come to link with Kaleidoscope and what has your experience been like working with them so far?
CP: Oh I kind of answered this 3 questions ago! It’s been a total pleasure working with Kaleidoscope, all associated are just really passionate about music, and we have a really exciting roster who are all really supportive of eachother, I would be alot worse off now if I hadn’t had their guidance up to now, and wouldn’t have as good a band!
RDFO: What has been the highlight of your solo career so far and what are some goals that you are hoping to reach?
CP: The highlight is still putting on headline shows, there have been some great digital milestones involving numbers, but live shows are what it’s all about, still amazed and crazy grateful that people actually pay their money and then travel to watch us!
RDFO: Any frequent collaborators, mentors, people behind the scenes in the creative process you want to shout out?
CP: Deffo worth shouting out Andy Kay, who helped me record the first batch of demos which led to me working with Kaleidoscope. From then, John Martindale has been my producer for all releases and he has been incredible, also worth shouting out the band, Luke Elgie, Rich Sutton, Jonny Lathbury and Gavin Christie who are proper superstars and have put so much into the band. Also my manager Andy has achieved some astronimical feats since we started working together so he deserves a medal.
RDFO: What is up next for you and what would you like our readers to keep an eye out for?
CP: Tour is definitely in the works, so yeah look out for that, also look out for the rest of the EP, put everything into this so would mean the world for it to do well!