Watch Calum Scott’s interview with NBC10’s Frances Wang in the video embedded above
The British pop singer talks about loneliness and heartbreak, a song that includes the lyric: “Do you love you better than I can?” — as surprised as everyone else, as the song improbably turned into the postseason anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies.
But these days Callum Scott looks like any guy from South Philly.
“Ring the bell,” he says with a laugh.
If Bryce Harper and the Phillies win the World Series, reserve a spot at the end of the parade route on Broad Street for Scott. Scott insists he’s coming to Philadelphia and wearing the jersey the team sent him last season as a thank you for his role in making “Dancing On My Own” a staple of the postseason soundtrack at Citizens Bank Park.
“They won the World Series, and I’m there, man,” Scott said. “I think at this point, you’ll have to stop me.”
Forget Swarbombs and Stout Slams. The biggest smash hit these days in Philadelphia is the song the team first adopted last season as their official playoff victory tune on their way to the World Series.
The words don’t necessarily rhyme with baseball — although the feeling of unrequited love hit home a little when the Houston Astros beat the Phillies in the World Series — but it doesn’t really matter to anyone in Philadelphia. More than 45,000 fans rock the stadium every night singing along to the postseason song at every postseason game. The festivities continue inside the club as the Phillies dance in overalls, shaking and spraying champagne bottles to the tune of the dance track.
Scott is about 3,500 miles away, watching his new favorite baseball team as they make their way through the postseason. The Phillies sounded the tune again Wednesday night after winning the NL Wild Card Series and hope to hear it a few more times, starting this weekend with the NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.
“I was never going to put my music and American sports together,” Scott said Thursday in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “Especially when I got my start in music singing ballads and making people cry. The last thing I thought was a stadium full of people was singing the song. This thing with Velez is unreal.”
Phillies shortstop Kyle Schwarber took the song with him from his days in the Red Sox clubhouse and it became an instant favorite after the game. Garrett Stubbs, a popular backup DJ and club DJ, described the song as a “sausage” that rose to the top of his postgame playlist that includes remixes of “Believe,” “Cold Heart” and “Love Tonight” by Shouse.
Even longtime bosses like Phillies manager Rob Thompson dig the rhythm.
“I’ve heard that a lot. I kind of like it,” he said.
Scott, calling from Yorkshire, says he’s always enjoyed American sports, and actually grew up a bit of a baseball fan rooting for the Toronto Blue Jays because he had family in Canada. (Okay, his popularity in Philadelphia has declined a bit.)
Scott said there were talks with the Phillies last postseason (“send me the jersey I’m wearing now”) about performing, but his world tour put any plans on the ice. Once the Phillies lost the World Series, the idea became a moot point anyway, and Scott thought his 15 minutes of fame in Philadelphia were over.
“Dance” was the slogan last year and — as some Phillies noted in spring training — the runner-up song after the Phillies fell to the Astros in six games in the World Series. He was retired until a slow start to the season prompted them to launch “The Dance” in June and – amazingly – the good vibes and winning streaks quickly returned.
“When they moved on, like all good things, I said, ‘This is an amazing moment, I’ve got my jersey,’ and I was happy I could be behind the boys in Philly,” he said.
But just as the song did when Scott covered Rubin’s original, it’s gotten a second life this season with the Phillies.
Scott laughed when he said he tried to watch the games, even stay awake, but the 5-hour time difference often made that impossible. Scott wakes up with social media tagged in videos showing Phillies singing and fans celebrating. Scott teased all the hashtags that appear on his social feeds, #ringthebell, #redoctober, #dancingonmyown, which shows that Philly is a fan of his song.
“I think there are bars nearby, Xfinity Live? They’re just in my DMs saying, ‘You have to come play,'” he said.
Among the Phillies, Stubbs not only had a social media exchange with Scott, he had a custom suit designed for Game 5 of the World Series that included the song’s lyrics sewn inside his jacket.
“Winning the world championship, Callum Scott is there,” Stubbs said.
Right now, Scott is basically acting like he’s closer to the postseason, just waiting for the Phillies to make the call to the bullpen.
He said: “I’m here, I’m ready, as soon as they want me, let’s see what happens.”
The song was first covered by Scott in 2015 when he performed on Britain’s Got Talent. Do you think Philly is a tough crowd? Scott first gained Simon Cowell’s endorsement on the reality show which eventually opened the doors to a very successful career.
“Dancing” was the best-selling single of 2016 by a British artist, was nominated for a Brit Award in the Best British Single category and was included on his 2018 debut album, “Only Human”.
Scott’s 2017 single “You Are the Reason” recently reached 1 billion views on YouTube, and his new single “At Your Worst” is out now.
But on his latest world tour, it took him from Austria to Australia; Scotland to Switzerland; “Dancing” was the encore that every fan knew by heart.
Just like in Philly.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB
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