In The Spotlight: Saint Raymond

Saint Raymond tells about touring with Ed Sheeran and emulating festival sounds in his music

Saint Raymond

‘He sent me a text message saying “hey man, would you be up for coming and being support” and I was kind of like, “yeah sorry man I’m busy I can’t”, Callum Burrows jokes as he tells me about receiving the text message that was set to bounce his blossoming musical career up another notch. The sender? Everyone’s favourite folk-singer-turned-ballroom-dancer, Ed Sheeran.

Sheeran’s ongoing 19-date tour of the UK and Republic of Ireland is a whole new ballgame for Burrows, better known by his stage name, Saint Raymond. ‘It came out of the blue which was super nice and it’s crazy how quickly it’s come around. I went on tour supporting HAIM last year, which was great. That was like, anything from 1000 to 3000, but I think for the Ed tour we start with four nights in Dublin which is about 15,000 capacity. It’s going to be crazy!’

The tour follows a whirlwind year for Burrows, which consisted of the release of his second and third EPs, and a tour of all the big festivals. ‘We did Reading and Leeds, Kendal Calling, Standon Calling, Radio 1’s Big Weekend and T in the Park. Yeah, we did quite a lot of them. It was really good fun. Reading and Leeds really felt like a special moment. I was stunned at the turnout so yeah, it was really good.’

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A goldmine of inspiration for Burrows, as he describes his aim in songwriting as creating ‘festival music, upbeat anthemic sounds’. The singer assures me that his album is on the cards for release in the next few months. If the sound of his EPs is anything to predict from, the debut LP should follow his energetic sound and explorative lyrics. Burrows’ inspiration? ‘A real mixture, like sometimes things will happen in life and it’ll trigger something and I’ll think ‘I’ll go and write about that’ but sometimes I sit down and write and I just write about a scenario or situation. I’m easily inspired, I think.’

What else has inspired the singer-songwriter? He cites as influences Oasis, Bon Iver and the Kooks, who he ‘grew up listening to’, but is also partial to rap and dance music. He also holds touring and playing live close to his heart: ‘I think seeing the crowd sing back and seeing people enjoy the gig and something that you kind of cherish. Especially when you do a lot of shows you kind of take it for granted but then when people enjoy it and come out to see you live, it’s something quite special I think.’

What’s in store for Burrows next? ‘I’m very eager to not take my eye off the ball and take everything in my stride. Hopefully next year doing those big slots like 1975 or whatever but for now I’ve just set my eye on the Ed tour and I’d love to do that and crack on with that and just take it step by step really.’

You can catch Burrows supporting Ed Sheeran in Newcastle and Manchester for the rest of October and at his own dates in February 2015.

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