‘I owe everything to TikTok’: One year on, The Edinburgh Tab catches up with Calum Bowie
We chatted to the TikTok star on all things internet fame and Edinburgh
One year ago, The Edinburgh Tab sat down with newly emerged Edinburgh-based TikTok star, Calum Bowie who was becoming well known for his iconic videos singing out the window of his Newington flat.
One year later and he’s on 422.7k TikTok followers and has traded Newington for Marchmont. I caught up with him to chat about all things Edinburgh, TikTok and to talk about how much his life has changed in a year.
So, What’s changed for you since you last spoke with the Tab?
“So much has changed!” He tells me grinning, “I mean first and foremost I’m not at uni anymore so I have way more time to devote to my music career.”
He explains how he stopped doing his Civil Engineering degree in favour of studying music business at a local college which he only has to attend twice a week. “All my lecturers have been super supportive of what I do so it’s very easy for me to balance studying and doing gigs and festivals!”
You’ve obviously become most known for your window singing, where did this idea come from?
“Well it all started during lockdown.” He explains how he wanted to start playing in his room for fun and then tried to sing out of his window.
“I just wanted to replicate the experience of live music and during a pandemic, this made the most sense!” He tells me that after receiving some positive feedback from his neighbours he knew it was what he wanted to continue doing.
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Speaking of neighbours, have you ever had any complaints?
“Not yet, touch wood, everyone’s been super nice and supportive! I have quite a few people who’ve been shocked to see someone hanging out of a window with a guitar but definitely no negative feedback luckily.”
How would you say TikTok has impacted your music career?
“I owe everything to TikTok!” He explains how he performed at local pubs and small gigs but that it was TikTok that truly kickstarted his career. “I definitely see it as a funnel from which everything else has emerged, my releases have blown up way more thanks to TikTok.”
So what comes up on your TikTok FYP?
As a TikTok addict, I was very intrigued to find out what the people I watch on TikTok, watch on TikTok. I was surprised by Calum’s answer: “Believe it or not, I don’t really watch TikTok!
“Sometimes I will watch sports or other musicians as inspiration but I’m really more of a YouTube guy, to be honest.”
What’s the ultimate goal? Do you want to stick with TikTok longterm?
“The ultimate goal is to take this as far as I can really. I’d love to be able to fill out stadium shows and to write music that people can really relate to.” He explains he’s a big Oasis fan, gesturing to a poster behind him telling me that he’d love to have that kind of impact on people’s lives.
“I do think TikTok will always be part of my career though, I just love making videos and putting my own spin on different trends.”
Lastly, do you see Edinburgh as being a big part of your musical identity?
“Oh absolutely! I adore this city. I think it’s the perfect mix of having enough to do so you don’t get bored without being overwhelming.” He tells me that he also loves the musical culture of Edinburgh with so many local venues and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
“The people here are just so nice too, I feel like singing out of my window may not be as well received in other cities but everyone here’s so friendly!”