Singer-songwriter Sam Callahan may not have won the X Factor back in 2013, but he hasn’t fizzled out of the limelight either. In fact, the singer has been having an incredible year, gaining his first chart single ‘Burns Like Fire’ and performing at festivals across the country. But now Callahan is set to release his latest single ‘Stitches and Scars’ and I got chance to catch up with him below:
Tell us about your new single ‘Stitches and Scars’…
‘Stitches and Scars’ was about a really tough time I had at one stage in my life. I had made some stupid decisions, I’d forgotten and neglected some responsibilities that I had and it had put me in a really bad place mentally. At the time I was moping a lot and walking around staring at my feet in a very negative mood and that is quite simply not how I roll!
I’m super positive generally and have a wicked out look even at times when most people do not. My brother turned around to me at the time and told me, “You could have not made that decision, you could have not made those mistakes, you could be less wild and less like you. You could be more boring, more preserved and you could never step out of line, but that’s not you and we love you for who you are! It is your imperfections that make you who you are and you need to stop beating yourself up and own them!” This really resonated with me, it made me realise that I had to get myself out of this rut and those words he said to me that day where the reason that I wrote this song. At the end of the chorus the song sings, ‘Would I really be me without my stitches and scars?’ and THAT in a nutshell is what my brother taught me at the time, we have to accept who we are and own it!
The track goes out on Pre-order on the 25th September 2018 and it goes out on full release 3 days later on the 28th! I wanted to make it so that when people hear the track on the radio this time it would be available for download pretty much straight away.
I’ve also got some professional athletes and people of influence involved in the making of the music video for this track. I wrote ‘Stitches and Scars’ about a hard time that I had personally, but the whole crux of the song is based on getting up again after hard knocks, over coming the hurdles that you might face in your career or just in life on a day to day basis too. Everybody has something that they have to overcome and most have things they want to achieve in life too.
We all have our own faults and imperfections but all in all they are what make us unique and we should choose to own them imperfections and use them to our advantage for our own greater good! I believe you can achieve anything you set your mind to, you just have to work hard, be yourself and believe!
You’ve already released ‘Say Something’ and ‘Burns Like Fire’ before this song, how do you go about choosing which songs will be released as singles?
The process of choosing which songs will go out next is pretty simple, it’s a process of elimination. I’ve written thousands of songs to date but every now and then I write one that stays with me, I record it super rough on my phone or my laptop and keep listening to the ones I do this with.
Eventually, some I’ll be bored of and some I won’t. With the ones I don’t get bored of I show them to everyone around me, my parents, my siblings, my girlfriend and my mates. If there are some that they all love, I will then record those in the studio.
After doing that, I show everyone again how they’ve turned out and get their opinions on which is best and which ones they can relate to or resonate with. By this time you’re usually down to 2 or 3 and then I get the final say on what goes out.
Can the fans expect to see an album to follow soon?
Most definitely! I am writing an album at the moment but I’m yet to decide how I am going to go about releasing it. Although it’s still a really exciting prospect as it means I get to show everyone much more of my own music all at once.
A massive thing for you is getting out there and performing for the crowds, is a tour something we can expect for this album?
I am going to be holding a few live meet and greets and perhaps a launch event for ‘Stitches and Scars’, but to be honest I can’t rush too much into the live side of things when it comes to the album as I can’t even reveal when it’ll be released as yet. However I think it is safe to say, I am working on more live performances of one kind or another, I’ve done a few festivals and prides this year along with my own UK tour and if anything live performances are something I want to do more regularly in the near future!
What has been your inspirations for the new music?
Obviously I mentioned in response to your first question my reasoning for creating this track, but I think the important thing to bare in mind is my reasoning for releasing it.
I believe it’s honest, it’s real and it’s has something to say that we can all learn things from.
I think it has a real mental health element buried in the message about over coming whats going on in your head and over coming the daily struggles that each any everyone of us face at some point in our life!
I think having done The X Factor, people haven’t necessarily seen the real me as such, and writing music is most certainly a way for me to express that.
I am very real, I am very honest and I have hard times as much as the next person, it’s important that people understand when they’re experiencing a tough time that they’re not alone in that and I think I am showing all of that in this new music release.
X Factor Journey:
Talking of The X Factor what was your main reason in doing the show? Do you have any regrets appearing on it?
I’ve been writing music since I was 12, at 16 I was signed by Geri Halliwell and Simon Fuller to a mix gender pop group and then when I left the band I spent two years performing for free up and down the country to build a fanbase through social media, I’ve embarked on school tours and even supported the likes of hit pop boyband Union J, but as much as I was already well on my way to living the dream, the whole thing was funded by my part time bar job back home in Essex. Unfortunately that’s a tall order to keep up on such limited funds.
I’d been advised a few times to go and audition for The X factor and said no, however the time came when I saw no other options any longer. Yes I had a fanbase, yes I was performing, but if I didn’t earn more or find a platform that would allow me to earn FROM performing then I’d soon have to stop and find a more sensible, secure job, which as far as I was concerned was not an option.
I said to myself that if I got to boot camp and got some TV exposure that I would be happy and that I could have something to capitalise on. Little did I know I was to go beyond that, past the bootcamp stage, past judges houses and into the live show finals of The UK X Factor, and what a journey that was!
I don’t believe you can live your life regretting the decisions you make and that decision for one has given me some incredible experiences and opportunities over the past 5 years, so no I don’t regret doing the show at all, but that doesn’t mean to say that there were not any downsides or tougher moments.
Were you a bit annoyed that the show has since allowed artists to sing their own stuff and is it something you would have welcomed during your time on the show?
I wouldn’t say I’m annoyed, It would have definitely been preferable for an artist like myself, but I think if anything its a great thing that they’ve finally come round to the idea of letting people so their own music. It allows for so much more talent to be discovered on the show!
There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the panel for this year’s show – what are your thoughts? Who would you like to see appear on the show?
I personally think Robbie is a wicked candidate, he’s definitely got more spice to him than lets say, Gary Barlow. I think he’s always been the bigger personality of the two anyway.
I think Simon is Simon, enough said about that and that Louis Tomlinson is a great choice. If anything he’s the most current artist that we’ve seen on The X Factor panel in years! I think the show often has judges who did something worth while in the industry once upon a time, but this is one of the fastest moving industries in the world and because they did something cool 10 years ago doesn’t necessarily mean they known what works in today’s music industry. Therefore I think Louis being the freshest face on there is a great thing.
On the flip side however, I’m not sure what Ayda knows about real talent. I think she’s just there because Robbie Williams is so loved up that he can’t go anywhere without her!
Is there anyone from the show that you still keep in contact with now?
Yes, I still speak to ‘Luke Friend’ who was on my year of the show a little bit. We’ve worked together a few times since the show on different bits and bobs and he’s a good guy.
Would you ever appear on another reality show?
Yes definitely but it would have to be the right kind of show! I think I’d make great TV on something like ‘I’m A Celeb’ or ‘Big Brother’.
You’ve never been a stranger to getting your kit off, can we expect to see the abs in the future?
Most probably! Fitness definitely isn’t my first priority right now, but it does keep me focused, so I will stay in decent shape whilst focusing on the music and who know’s I’ll probably post the odd fitness related image here and there on social media.
Whats been your biggest highlight of the year so far?
I have two so far! ‘Burns Like Fire’, reaching the Top 100 in January and then the Wolverhampton FC festival I did in June, there was 35,000 people singing back to me, what a buzz!
What can we expect from you before this year is out? And what are your plans for 2019?
So obviously we have the ‘Stitches and Scars’ release, which I’m planning on doing a couple of things with along the lines of Meet and Greets and probably a launch too.
I’m writing and recording an album for next year and then I am also doing Pantomime in Bolton in December playing ‘The Huntsman’ in ‘Snow White and The Huntsman’.