Calum Foad is a 23-year-old from Reading who has been singing and playing guitar for almost a dozen years now. His ambition is a palpable, even unusual thing – a singer-songwriter with an entrepreneurial determination Ed Sheeran would admire. Never content with the obvious and predictable, Calum has formed relationships with creative and innovative characters from a young age, charming everyone he meets along the way with his infectious spark. With support from Amazing Radio, BBC Introducing, Music Crowns, BT Playlist, This Morning – Calum is back with the catchiest pop tune for you this summer.
As a teenager, Calum was obsessed with rock; Enter Shikari, Good Charlotte, My Chemical Romance, Green Day. He began writing songs at 14 and was so inspired, that he sent his tracks over to Enter Shikari’s producer, Dan Weller. Weller was taken by the newcomer’s chutzpah – not to mention his songwriting chops – and before long the pair were working together on what would become Calum’s first EP, Flaws. Flaws was self-released at the age of 19. He even self-funded an accompanying video for the title track. “It cost me £7,” he says, grinning.
Confidence bolstered, he then reached out to another major influence, US producer Marc McCluskey (Bad Religion, Weezer), who, like Dan Weller before him, was so taken by what he heard that he promptly invited Calum to New York to collaborate. Needless to say, Calum didn’t need to be asked twice. The first results of this collaboration are You & I and the highly anticipated new single – Rollercoaster.
After the roaring success of the previous single in 2017, Calum is back with a sharp, smart, memorable pop song that boasts the elastic pep and zest of The 1975 with the brooding self-reflection of Lorde. It is the potent lyrical vulnerability, combined with such effortless melodic buoyancy, that gives the songs genuine three-dimensional appeal.
Calum says – “I’m a fan of everything from heavy rock to grime and drum ‘n’ bass, and always thought that pop music was my guilty pleasure,” he says. “But then I realised that, actually, it’s not a guilty pleasure at all. I love pop music! When I go into the studio to record a song, pop is what naturally comes out. Anyone who says they don’t love pop music can’t be trusted, as far as I’m concerned. If you hear the first chords of Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson and don’t crack a smile, then frankly you’re not quite human.”
Alongside writing and recording, Calum has become a huge hit with teenage musos after touring schools throughout the UK with his music to support young people. Told you he was charming, didn’t I?
Calum – who, it is probably worth pointing out, is easy on the eye and sports a pair of Clark Kent-esque glasses that will soon identify him the way James Bay’s hat identifies him – is back to the US imminently, to collaborate more with Marc McCluskey alongside an array of songwriting and producing talent. He is excited to develop his craft as he works towards his debut album. Don’t miss it.