Scott Helman is a Toronto native and one of the rising stars in the Canadian music scene. At only 22, Scott has already received four JUNO award nominations, scored three Billboard Canada Hot 100 singles, and was the 2016 recipient of the Canadian Radio Music Awards ‘Best New Artist’ Award. Fresh off releasing a minimalist’s dream, his new video “Ripple Effect” (which pays homage to the iconic John Lennon video “Imagine”) is one that is as easy on the eyes as it is on the ears. Below we sit down with Scott to learn more about how is music and style inspirations go hand-in-hand, to crafting who he is as a person and the music that he makes for us all.
HFL: Who is Scott Helman?
Scott: I’m a person. Right now, who is sitting on a bus LOL. I’m a singer/song writer and if I had to place and identity on it, I was the first Canadian in my family so I guess I would go with Canadian. Canada is very diverse, and we embrace all cultures and that is what I try to do with my music. To show who I am, my diversity, and create something that can be felt by all.
HFL: What does being Canadian mean to you?
Scott: It’s interesting because when traveling I feel very Canadian, but growing up as similar to most kids I didn’t really know how to identify myself. I didn’t know if I was Canadian or British, but I think music helped me really discover myself.
HFL: On your track “Kinda Complicated,” you said “My biggest fear is that everything I want to happen will happen.” Can you expand on that statement?
Scott: The fun thing about that music video and song is about a relationship that wasn’t supposed to work. I really wanted to write a song about a breakup that wasn’t about the Hate. But really every relationship is an experiment. That’s why I went to Slab City, it’s a community in the desert that really inspires me, one founded on good faith. As there are no laws. It is a community truly founded on freedom and I wanted this song to represent both the good and bad sides of a breakup, and that is the freedom of realizing your growth.
HFL: Describe Slab City Fashion?
Scott: You have people in society that express themselves authentically. The thing about Slab City is that what everyone wears is weird and the art of self-expression isn’t marginalized by other influences. I’ve always been interested in what’s weird now, and what people would consider being weird really connects with that group of people who take to it. I attributed it to my style and hanging out with people in Slab City, and trying to dress, act, and be an authentic version of myself.
HFL: How would you describe Toronto Style?
Scott: Getting off the bus in the suburbs. LMAO Nah but for real, the cool thing about it is it’s one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world so you have influences from everywhere. When I think of the typical stylish Toronto dude it is very multi-cultural. Because of how we look at acceptance and tolerance of others, we are open to trying new things. It is a hodgepodge mix of several styles from several cultures in one, that is TORONTO.
HFL: What is your personal style aesthetic?
Scott: Cuz I build a lot of shit I usually don’t wear too much white. Because I was always smaller as a kid I always wore things that didn’t make me look like a young boy. Which is why I’m always into vintage shopping. It makes you feel like that object is mine and my own. The art of discovery is part of the joy.
Say for example when I’m putting my rings on in the morning. It isn’t about trying to look expensive, it’s about the personal ritual of feeling NOW I’m ready for the day. I’m a big cologne guy and not because I want women to smell me and say damn he smells hot. I put it on right before a show because it makes me feel put together and ready to seize the day.
HFL: Carpe Diem, haha.
Scott: Exactly, LOL I went through this whole thing to where I thought fashion was just a signifier to other people and it was just people flexing and trying to stunt. Now I realize it’s more about signifying who you are to yourself in that moment, and then projecting who you are to the world and I think that’s really beautiful.
HFL: Do you feel you that your music is an artistic expression of your personal style?
Scott: Yea I think it always does. People would be lying if they said their sound and style don’t go hand-in-hand. That’s why I care less about branding and more about quality music videos. That’s why I care about the artistic visions of them. I want my videos to be representative of the song in a visual form.
It’s the same thing when I’m on stage at a music festival. What I’m wearing is representative of who I am in that moment and it shows the crowd how I feel about the music that I’m playing in that moment.
HFL: Who are three of your fashion inspirations?
Scott: Young Leonardo Dicaprio, Jack Antonoff- no, let me replace Leo with River Phoenix, as they are the Leonardo Dicaprio that never was. It’s just the 90’s clean and simple. For classic inspiration, I would go with Tom Waits.
HFL: Who are three of your music inspirations?
Scott: Jack Antonoff as of now. Paul Simon. I think I went through high school thinking that to be profound you have to be angry. Then I realized Paul Simon was profound and hilarious and Leonard Cohen.
HFL: Finish this sentence. Style is…
Scott: GOOD, haha.
You can learn more about Scott by subscribing to his Youtube Channel, @Scott Helman.
Written by: @Its_What_Ev