To paraphrase Thomas Edison, success is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration. Perhaps no working songwriter knows this better than Scott Helman. Since impressing the music world with his debut Augusta EP in 2014, Helman has poured his heart and spilled his sweat on stages across the world: wowing both unsuspecting audiences and adoring fans, whether alone with his guitar or alongside his band of musical brothers.
Much of the wisdom gleaned from that blood, sweat and tears can be heard on Helman's debut long player, Hôtel de Ville, which he enthusiastically describes as "the next step" in his burgeoning career. And from the first listen on, there's little doubt of what he means.
At just 22, Helman's come a long way from the talented 15-year-old that blew away executives in a Warner Music Canada board room. The first single from Augusta, "Bungalow" was certified platinum and earned Scott his first two Juno nominations. He toured the U.S. and Europe with Walk Off The Earth and performed to massive TV audiences at the 2015 MMVAs and 2016 Juno awards.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Helman hasn't slowed down. The May 2017 release of Hôtel De Ville earned Scott two more JUNO Award nominations including the coveted Songwriter of the Year. The single "PDA" has been certified gold and garnered European airplay. He has headlined a national tour of Canada, toured across Europe (including playing in front of 22,000 music fans in Spain), performed in Australia as well as and visited Southeast Asia. A series of U.S. tour dates preceded Scott joining Vance Joy's Nation Of Two World Tour as it crossed Canada.
The life experiences born of his journey have found their way onto his music.
"When I sat down to make Hôtel De Ville I felt like I knew a lot more about who I was," he says. "It's an extension a deeper dive."
Musically, the young singer-songwriter cites both current guitar-driven pop and classic alternative rock as his touchstones.
In the making of Hôtel de Ville, Helman listened extensively to album-focused artists like Arcade Fire, The Cure, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Bon Iver as well as his biggest influence, Paul Simon, and their spirit permeates the record, which Helman views as a complete artistic statement. But there's no denying that fans of Ed Sheeran, Jake Bugg and Shawn Mendes will find a lot to love here. As Helman puts it, "If pop music is great, it's just great music."
"The more that I write music the more that I feel I'm curing myself." he explains. "How am I gonna be a better person and how am I gonna be a better lover? I have to figure out all those things that are knocking around in my head."
In addition to making music, Scott Helman is trying to use his voice to make a difference. Prior to the release of Augusta, Scott started a fan forum called Solve The Solvable. The Solve The Solvable is a Facebook page where fans can communicate with Scott and each other to inspire one another to make a difference in their communities.
"There are a lot of big problems in the world and they need to be solved," says Scott. "There are also a lot more relatable issues that can be solved locally with some effort. If me and my fans can shed a light on these issues, maybe we can even a little part of the world a better place."