Dylan Scott can write your life in a song, and deliver it in a baritone so deep it’ll rattle your bones.
Then there’s his stage presence, so commanding as to win two major music competitions--the final for the Colgate Country Music Showdown in his native Louisiana, and in 2009, the Neal McCoy East Texas Angel Network Talent Contest.
Now the multi-talented Sidewalk Records artist is poised to become a major star with Dylan Scott, featuring five modern, progressive songs he co-wrote with the best of Nashville’s new generation of songwriters. The album, produced by Music City legend Jim Ed Norman, is self-named for more than the obvious reasons:
“It says everything about me, honestly,” explains the 22-year old, whose speaking voice is as soulful as his singing. “There’s not a song on there that doesn’t relate to who I am.” Take, for example, “Turn Rows,” a perfect nugget of spirited rural fun and youthful enterprise in the cornfields. Or “Granddaddy’s Gun,” which captures the rite of passage for a boy who grows bonding with the men who teach him the ways of the woods.
“There’s a spiritual quality to hunting,” shares this avid outdoorsman, talking about his favorite pastime. “I usually sit in the stand by myself. It’s nice and quiet. You don’t hear anything but wind and birds. You watch the sun come up. It’s a peaceful thing.”
With the exception of drinking (the well-toned Scott is a fitness fanatic), if he sings about it, he’s done it. And almost everything in his life has been a natural fit, starting with music itself.
You might say it’s in his blood. His father, Scotty, played guitar and sang harmony in the ‘70s and ‘80s with country artists Freddy Fender and Freddy Hart. Dylan’s great aunt Linda Robinson taught famed piano man, producer, and record executive Tony Brown, to play piano. And another relative, Marie Jarvis played piano with the famed Blackwood Brothers and The Stamps Quartet, who backed Elvis. When Dylan was two, she sat him on her lap and taught him to the rudiments of the keyboard.
It was about that same age that Dylan’s father noticed the toddler could sing on key. And in the next few years, almost everybody commented on his voice. “Ever since I was real young,” he remembers, “people said, ‘You have a deep voice to be so little.’ Since my dad was in the business, I thought, ‘Oh, everybody’s in the music business. That’s what I’ve got to do when I get older.’”
By the age of 12, Scott was proficient on acoustic guitar and dreaming of a future on stage. By his high school years, he was performing with the gospel trio 11th Hour, traveling throughout the south to appear at fairs, festivals, and churches. But he also excelled at basketball, and found himself torn between the lure of the hoops and the high whine of a pedal steel.
“Half way through eleventh grade I realized, ‘I can’t dedicate a hundred percent to basketball, and a hundred percent to music. So I’ve got to pick one.’”
It was old-school country—Merle Haggard and George Strait--that really caught his ear, and he heard something special in the plaintive sounds of Keith Whitley, who died the year before Dylan was born. “Keith was my musical role model. Talking about him is like talking about Elvis to me. I love how smooth his voice was.”
He dreamed of moving to Nashville to become the next Keith Whitley and carry the banner for pure honky tonk, and honed his chops at high profile shows around the state, including the renowned Louisiana Hayride.
But when he arrived in Music City and began writing more and more, fueling his absolute passion for songwriting, his style broadened into an edgier sound. From the sexy groove of “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm,” to the get-the-party-started punch of “Twangin’,” Scott’s original songs have proven undeniably infectious, and his radio tours have inspired a level of enthusiasm nearly unprecedented for a new artist. His ballads, too, show a mature songwriter whose work is likely to be recorded by other artists. “Good Town,” for example, resonates with anyone who’s proud of the place that made him who he is.
Scott’s own hometown, Bastrop, located near Monroe, La., is where he returns to his family when he’s not in Nashville or on the road. There, he worked construction and became a part-time fitness trainer before scoring his record deal at age 19. “It was great growing up in Louisiana, twenty minutes to the nearest anything, and being able to walk outside and jump on a four-wheeler and go riding wherever you wanted on a back road.”
Dylan’s signature style launches with the debut single, “Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy” set to arrive at country radio in the spring of 2013. Co-penned by Dylan, the track’s melody rolls through that perfect southern girl relationship that Dylan proclaims drives his own life. “The song represents a lot of who I am. When I’m in a relationship, I give my all to it”. Because of his rock-bottom baritone, Scott knows some people will put him in the same vocal category as Josh Turner or Chris Young. But if he has to be compared to anyone in the business, he says, he hopes it’s for his character. I just want to be a class act, a good guy, and the man my dad raised, with a great work ethic, a strong sense of responsibility, and a love of making music that goes right down to my toes.”