Article by Studio BLUP features writer Anna Kioumourtzi.
It’s a warm summer’s eve when I met Callum near St James Park, waiting in the shade of a tree. A 22-year-old platinum blonde icon in the making. With plaid wide-fit shorts and his signature unibrow, he greeted me with a huge smile on his face. I first came across Callum while browsing Instagram, and by pure chance I spotted him in real life, walking around Brick Lane. Now here we are in the park, chatting while the sun goes down.
LGBTQ+ icon and singer-songwriter Callum Crighton, half Italian, half Liverpudlian, recently moved to London to do one thing – to become who he is meant to be. A creative performer who immerses his audience in a new world through his music.
While sipping our wine, he told me how he always felt the need to express himself through music, performance and as he puts it, fame. As soon as he got the chance he moved to London, where shorty after arriving he produced his debut EP, Lazer Police: The Musical, bringing together youthful vibrance with world-wise nostalgia within a soundscape the oscillates between synthwave and synth-pop
“One thing that no one will say about me is that I did not try. I will make it and if I don’t I will die trying,” he told me somewhere between Bank and Liverpool St station. Being a Gen Z artist, he identifies as a queer pop performer, making music from his bedroom since 2016. He generating quiet the following, with over 300k views for his animated and bold music videos.
Between sharing his love for MARINA, Madonna and resonating with the likes of David Bowie, he insists that hard work and passion are the most important aspects of being a successful artist.
“I remember my first job when I was a teenager. I worked at a pancake shop, and I literally got three pounds per hour. As soon as I got my first paycheck, I quit and gathered all the money I had to buy my first instrument. That was the beginning of everything.” Within his synthesiser-drenched piercing pop compositions, he dances around issues like manifesting dreams and challenging the foundations of existence. He is a self-taught artist inspired by the 80s aesthetics, intense fashion and boldness which accompanies a creative soul. He aspires to become a pop icon one day while his past musical endeavours were reminiscent of corny, Top of the Pops-style music from the 1980s, but switching to new EDM.
Describing the story of a video game robber on the run from the Lazer Police: The Musical; his EP was produced by Kurran Karbal. Callum is transporting us through a dreamy, groove-filled tune narrative that was recorded at the legendary Motor Museum Liverpool, a studio that has recorded Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, and The 1975.
“Music is more than what you listen to when you wake up. I want my audience to travel, escape and enter a new fantasyland, if you will, through my performance, my aesthetic, my music and eventually my art,” he admits. The musical, moving around the same 80s vibe and colourful dreamy notion is a piece of authentic talented work, which proves how much passion Callum devotes to what he is doing.
Feeling very supported by the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community, whilst drawing inspiration from queer performers of the past, the style and imagery of all these legendary figures is such an important validation that proves that Callum is on the right path. Since Lazer Police: The Musical went live he couldn’t be happier, he strived to create a narrative in which his songs become a story of a protagonist instead of just another hit.
“This track was inspired by the loneliness yet togetherness one can feel from the age of digital communication. It has an old school 80’s ballad sound with a more modern upbeat drum movement to connect the nostalgic ideals of the past with the electronic realities of the present.
This track could loosely be seen as a reference to the isolation people felt during the 2020 pandemic, but extends much further, and can also be about the loneliness one may feel within themselves,” he shared at some point with clout, while he and Zuzu travelled through the foggy labyrinth-esque world on scooters cruising through outdated analogue TV channels to find clues about “The Lazer Police” and finally escape. All of that surrounded by air turbines, glitter, colours and lots of 80s glam-pop vintage aesthetics. Callum’s EP is all about the full immersive experience, with hints of inspiration of Duran Duran, Lady Gaga, Kate Bush, Charlie XCX and his favourite MARINA coming through.
At the moment he is working on a new musical, inspired by Opera and plays like the Rocky Horror Show, while working day and night to bring his team together. A VHS trip during an extremely digitally enhanced era is maybe what we need to understand the value of passion and creativity.
Excited and full of energy, nothing is going to stop Callum Crighton now.
Article written by Anna Kioumourtzi [@sheizanna]
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