It is pretty hard to believe that singer-songwriter Calum Heaslip has just turned 18 and is working on his fourth album, and having watched him live at the Palma Music Studios on Friday night, he is clearly destined to become an international household name.
Calum, who has an Irish father and a Spanish mother, was born in Granada before a brief stint back in Ireland and then moving permanently to Majorca, has already made a name for himself after having appeared on the Spanish version of The Voice Kids when he was just 12. The rest, they say, is history, and it was a privilege to have watched him making it live on Friday accompanied by world-class musicians- including international chart-topping producer Fredrik Thomander, one of the two partners who own and run the first-class studio complex - Fredrik Thomander and P. Moya - J. Monserrat, S. Llopis and the famous guitarist and producer R. Shades. Despite not getting to make the finals of The Voice, he managed to release his first single, Turn it Up, which reached number 124 of the top 200 of the official digital sales lists.
Shortly afterwards, in February 2015, he released his first LP, Hey Babe, a CD with ten tracks, of which six were in English and four in Spanish and which has sold over 20,000 copies. After a selection of young artists carried out by Disney, he was selected to interpret the Spanish version of If Only, the main soundtrack of the teen film Los Descendientes.
During 2015 he travelled throughout Spain on tour with the 40 Principales as well as Mexico, where he participated in the Teen’s Music Festival in front of a crowd of seven thousand people and alongside artists such as Sofia Reyes, Alex Hoyer and Mario Bautista. That same year, he wrote and published a book of his memories about his experience on the The Voice, about his personal life and about the relationships with his friends and his family, entitled The Cloud In Which I Live.
He was also the most voted artist and winner of the Neox Fan Awards to be crowned the WTF artist of 2015 and, as I’ve mentioned, he’s just turned 18 and is going to release his new single Comeback this coming week, although a short teaser is already available on social media.
While all this was going on and he was trying to juggle school with music, touring, gigs and recording, he was signed up by Pep’s Records, but he is no longer with them and feels that he has more freedom in his musical career. I guess his proud father has to carry the can - he is a guitarist and singer and was the first real influence on Calum, but he told the Bulletin after Friday night’s private gig that it was John Mayer who really changed his life, his direction.
"My dad’s always been a huge Eric Clapton fan, still is, so am I, but I also grew up listening to U2, Bryan Adams, all the great groups of that era and now I am a big fan of singer songwriters like Bruno Mars. But at the age of 12, Mayer became my main inspiration, especially when it comes to songwriting. He opened my eyes and spurred me on to write; not only for me, but now I’m writing for some of the guys in the studio here in Palma. It’s great. Now I’ve left school and I’m not anchored to a record label, I feel a sense of release, I have more freedom and I’m in the studio writing and playing with the guys every day.
"Having this world-class recording complex on my doorstep and being surrounded by such experienced and talented people is a luxury. It’s a dream come true and we’re working hard on a number of projects and a new album. Obviously, because of my age, I guess my music is pop rock but it’s organic and that’s another wonderful thing about the studio in Palma. We’re working and recording with real instruments, there are no backtracks, nothing electronically created. It’s pure organic music and I love it.
"I am really pleased with the work we’re all doing at the studio and I am enjoying being able to be a free spirit and I hope that comes through in my forthcoming tracks and album."
He is not only an extremely talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, he also plays the drums and the ukulele. Such is his presence and music that he was signed up for a concert after the session on Friday night and has another big one planned for September.
However, in the meantime, who knows what lies in wait for Calum. With the help and support of Fredrik Thomander, who has written for and produced N’Sync, Arashi, Scorpions, Girls Generation, Agnetha Fältskog (Abba), Kim Wilde and many more, Calum is destined for even greater success.
For more information go to www.palmamusicstudios.com