- 2x nominee for 2016 Juno Awards: "Breakthrough Artist of the Year" and "Pop Album of the Year"
- 50,000 Nielsen BDS Certified spins of "Bungalow" in December 2015
- Spotify emerging artist of 2015
- "Bungalow" certified gold digital download in Canada - July 2015
He's a young man but it's already been quite a journey for singer-songwriter Scott Helman. It was four years from a performance in a record company boardroom to topping the CBC radio charts and having a multi-format hit with his first single, "Bungalow". And then, it was only another six months before he was touring the US and Europe with Walk Off The Earth, performing live on national TV and receiving his first gold record. 2016 has begun with a tremendous amount of promise with Scott receiving 2 Juno Award nominations and topping Teen Vogue's list of 14 Singers Who Are Going To Dominate in 2016. But, we're already getting ahead of ourselves.
Born and raised in Toronto, it was the gift of a guitar for his 10th birthday that eventually set the course for a life in music. A few lessons taught him how to play but it wasn't until he discovered the song writing of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd that he discovered that this was his passion.
"I'd heard a lot of music already, but I'd never listened to The Dark Side of The Moon by Pink Floyd, he says, reminiscing about that seminal afternoon. We stole a couple cigarettes from his mom and found the album in his dad's vinyl collection. I remember just staring at the cover. From the moment it started we were speechless. I was amazed at how moved I was by the lyrics. I remember thinking, ‘I want to spend the rest of my life trying to make something half as good as this'.
After recording demos of a few of his earliest demos, a 15 year-old Scott Helman found himself sitting on a stool in a boardroom at Warner Music Canada. With a tremendous amount of poise, he performed songs for the five label executives that had gathered to watch. His voice filled the room and it was obvious to everyone that Scott had something very special to share.
"You have to really decide initially at the beginning what you value and what's important to you," Scott told the Toronto Star. "I think when you work in the music industry in the sense that you're working with a label and you're on the radio, there's always stuff you have to compromise and there's stuff you have to change."
"But if you distinguish what's important to you at the beginning, then you know what you're willing to change and what you're not willing to change. As long as you distinguish what you value off the bat you're probably gonna be OK.?
And everything was okay. Working with producer Tawgs Salter (Lights, Josh Groban) and songwriter Simon Wilcox, Scott was able to discover new sounds and ideas locked up inside, allowing him to bloom as an artist. The result was "Augusta", a seven song EP introducing an exciting new voice to the musical landscape.
"Augusta" was released in October of 2014 and early reviews quickly put him in the company of artists such as Vance Joy and Mumford & Sons while acknowledging his originality.
"Augusta showcases his sweet voice and knack for melody set against a breezy pop style that lands somewhere between Vance Joy and Jeff Buckley."
– Ottawa Citizen
"A slice of bright, anthemic pop ditties redolent of the wit and polyrhythmic pep of prime Paul Simon."
– Toronto Star
The record's first single, "Bungalow" quickly became a staple at CBC Radio and by Christmas 2014 was #1 on the station's national radio chart. In the New Year, the track had found a home at Modern Rock radio across Canada before crossing over to mainstream Top 40. In the meantime, music video channels were playing the accompanying clip in heavy rotation and by the Spring 2015 the song was inescapable.
In June, "Bungalow" was nominated as Best Pop Video at the MuchMusic Video Awards. Scott and his band performed a dynamic version of the song live on the awards show broadcast across Canada. By August the single was certified gold and the track recently received certification from BDS for over 50,000 spins at radio.
In the fall, Scott was named the first-ever winner of Spotify's Emerge program, beating out 12 other Canadian artists. Since launching his music on Spotify, Scott?s music has been streamed over 3.5 million times, and his videos have been viewed over 2.6 million times on YouTube.
Scott spent most of 2015 on tour all over the world racking up a total of nearly 100 shows. He played in nearly 15 different countries hitting major cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin and also hit major festivals including Squamish, Rock The Shores, Ottawa Bluesfest and Way Home Festival.
2016 started the way 2015 ended, with Scott and his band on stage, making his New York City debut showcasing to a packed house at Pianos Nightclub in Manhattan, and most recently Scott was nominated for 2 Juno awards in the categories of Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Pop Album of the Year while Tawgs Salter is nominated for Producer of the Year for his work on "Augusta". The announcement comes as Scott enjoys radio success with his current single "Machine" in the Top 30 at Canadian radio.