From Polmont to Los Angeles: Inspiring singer in his battle with mental health

Singer Aaron Smith has gone from busking in Falkirk to partying with Justin Bieber in Los Angeles.

His debut single Unspoken topped Beyoncé and Sam Smith on global streaming playlists and is being touted as the next Lewis Capaldi.

The 25-year-old, now in Los Angeles recording at Capitol Studios, said: “I never in my wildest dreams imagined myself here. Being able to do this as a job, come here to Los Angeles and write songs is amazing. It’s epic. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.

“Yesterday I was at Capitol Studios playing Nat King Cole’s piano and recording on Frank Sinatra’s mic and the other night my manager took me to a release party for rapper Iann Dior’s new album and Justin Bieber and Halsey were there.

“I didn’t know what to do with myself. It’s a different world.”

Aaron’s new single Giving Up was released last week and a UK tour and album are on the way.

But hoping to inspire other young people, Aaron, who has struggled with drinking and depression, is now open about his battle with mental health. And he has earned him a Sunday Mail Young Scot nomination in the entertainment category.

Aaron, from Polmont, Stirlingshire, who lost his mother when he was 15, said: “It’s been a long hard road and I’ve come a long way. I had a challenging childhood.

“My parents separated when I was six years old, my mother died when I was 15 and I was raised by my grandmother, who is a piano teacher and encouraged my music.

“I struggled in school and as I got older I ended up drinking to forget. I became an alcoholic. I’ve been sober for 16 months, which I’m very proud of, but I’ve been left with depression and anxiety.”

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“Putting down my problems led me to drink, but now I’ve learned to talk about how I feel. I’m just beginning to enjoy life. Before, everything I did was based on getting drunk and having fun. It’s nice to wake up and see.” to future.”

Aaron played TRNSMT and supported Ellie Goulding last year after he was cast by Capaldi’s manager Scott Kirkwood, who saw a video of him covering Anne-Marie that went viral.

The singer, who began playing guitar at the age of six and writing songs at 15, is honored to be compared to Capaldi.

Aaron said: “I really like Lewis and he deserves his success. I don’t know if I’m the next big thing.

“I just want to make good music and see where it goes.”

He added: “I am delighted to be nominated for a Young Scot Award and I hope my story inspires other young people. I had big challenges to overcome but talking about them has helped.”

“I’ve been able to make massive changes in my life. When I start feeling anxious, I try to do something for someone else and that has really helped.”

“My latest single has just come out and my UK tour kicks off at King Tut’s in Glasgow in April.

“I’m busy writing here in the States and, Covid permitting, I might head to Nashville and New York to record.”

Celebrating the youth of Scotland

The Record continues the search for the stars of 2022: the nation’s young heroes ages 11-26 who are making a difference.

Our Young Scot Awards recognize young people in 12 categories, including business, volunteering, art, sport and the environment.

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One of the category winners will be crowned the 2022 overall Young Scotsman and will follow in the footsteps of 2021 champions Jack Mullen, 15, and Alfie King, 13, from Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, who sang in front of the homes of local seniors to encourage residents who were unable to see their families during the pandemic.

Help us recognize your Young Scot by nominating them for this year’s awards – visit

Nominations close on February 13, 2022. Awards will be held at the EICC in Edinburgh on April 27, 2022.

Prize Categories

young hero – Sponsored by XSite Braehead

This award is for an extraordinary youth or group who deserves special recognition for their bravery. Someone who has shown incredible courage, fought through adversity, or shown incredible perseverance. COMMUNITY Sponsored by the Scottish Government This award celebrates work done by a young person or group that improves the lives of others within a community.


This award recognizes young volunteers across Scotland who selflessly donate their time and energy free of charge to help others.

unsung hero Sponsored by Solace Scotland

Do you know a Scottish youth or group that goes the extra mile but never asks for any recognition or reward? This award is for someone who has overcome difficult personal circumstances or faced a challenge.

Improving Education Sponsored by Skills Development Scotland

This award is for a young person or group that has truly made an impact on education in their community, either by providing access and opportunity to others or influencing change in education in their communities.

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Sport – Sponsored by sportscotland

Across Scotland, young people, through their efforts and determination, are achieving extraordinary things in grassroots sport. This award celebrates the sports stars of the future.

Health & Wellness

This award is for young people who are involved in supporting and inspiring others to improve their physical and mental health, seek to change policies or services, or are involved in health charities.

equality and diversity – Sponsored by Arnold Clark

This award recognizes a young person or group who works tirelessly to promote equality, diversity and inclusion or challenge prejudice and discrimination based on age, race, gender, culture and identity.


This is your chance to celebrate a young person’s contribution to the arts and culture in Scotland. Are they inspiring others to express themselves through art or making a difference in their local community?


There are so many ways to entertain – this award is not just for the famous but for the stars who entertain us every day.

Atmosphere – Sponsored by First Bus

Do you know a young person or a group of young people who dedicate their time and effort to help protect the world for future generations? This award is for them.


This award is for a young person or youth-led business that has demonstrated entrepreneurial talent.

Scottish Junior of the Year Sponsored by Young Scot

The overall winner will be chosen from the 12 category winners.

For more information and to make your nomination, visit

By Heather Greenaway

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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