WHERE DO I START?
The beginning I guess… As a kid in grade school I was told that I couldn’t sing. I believed it. It was no big deal in my mind, back then there wasn’t much I thought I could do... but I loved to sing, and I did so in private. My voice would crack reassuring me that I wasn’t good, but I loved it, so I sang on. In the meantime I dedicated my life to my passion for music. Music is all I have ever wanted to be a part of, and it has been my honor to help artists bring their story to the masses.
Several years ago in Notodden, Norway I was at my musician friends house and Johnny Cash came on the radio. I sang along loud and proud, it was 4am, and I was feeling good. My friend turned down the radio, motioned to me, and I kept singing… why not, Johnny sang so low even I could hit the notes. For some reason the crowd in the living room seemed to like it. It was 4am, what did they know?
The next night I walked into my friend Bjorn’s venue where my friends band was playing. I nodded to them and walked to the bar, on my way across the room somebody in the crowd yelled a request, “Johnny Cash.” The lead singer replied, “We don’t do any Johnny Cash, but that guy does, please welcome Scott to the stage.” Hell no was my reply, but they and the crowd were persistent. Terrified I took a mic in one hand, and the lyrics on an Ipad in the other. Hiding behind the Ipad I sang Hurt. Shaken, I somehow made it through the whole song, I hopped off the stage and bolted to the bar to what I guessed were polite applause. I looked at the gorgeous barmaid and pleaded, “I would like ALL of the beer please.” I looked down at the floor, my mind racing. Why did I do that? No one needed to hear that, I embarrassed the band, myself, why did I do that??? A more timely question, why isn’t the barmaid moving? After that public shaming I was desperate for a beer. I looked at her pleadingly, our eyes met and she said softly, “I have goosebumps”... what? Over my singing? This beautiful girl?
I joined the band… in Norway
That band was of course Spinning Wheels, and Stian, Tom, John, and Ole-Roy have become some of the best friends that I have ever had. I started flying to Norway and doing shows with them, a little at first, and then more as I had more fun. All of this was a secret, I was sure that if my clients and friends in Nashville knew that they would judge me for trying to be an artist. Please know that that could not have been further from my mind, I was just a guy who loves music more than anything, and I couldn’t believe how good it felt to stand up and sing. It was amazing, why wouldn’t I keep doing it!
Years passed with my Norwegian secret safe until a little over a year ago John the drummer calls and asks if I can make it to a gig in July. If I can they will book us on the main stage, there will be thousands of people in attendance, a great gig! I say yes, and Spinning Wheels featuring Scott Scovill are announced on the roster.
Two weeks later I get terrifying news... The festival announces the headliner that we will be opening up for, ...and its Brad Paisley. One of my very best friends, an artist whom I have worked with for close to two decades. My secret is about to be blown! Everywhere Brad goes he brings at least 20 people I know, several are my employees. Oh crap!
A few days later the conversation between Brad and I was pretty amazing. He thought I must be kidding… why is this funny he asked, confused. “Its funny because it’s true Brad, I have been secretly singing in a band in Norway for seven years. It terrifies me that my secret is coming out, and most of all that you will see me perform. Please be kind”!
Like a truly great friend Brad has been awesomely supportive. For that matter it is amazing to me how behind me all of my artists have been, as have so many other friends in the industry. Country music is a family unlike any other, full of support and love. They all seem to get it. Everyone has something other than work they are passionate about. My free time passion just happens to be my artists day jobs :)
I was honestly as scared as I could be about the upcoming show, what if I wasn’t good enough? I reached out to a vocal coach to at least try to put my best foot forward. Buzzy Orange was that coach, but Buzzy has become so much more to me. He has been a coach, a mentor a cheerleader and a great friend. I owe him so much. In our first lesson he tells me that I have a special voice. I wasn’t buying it, my thought was he says that to everyone. Buzzy asks if I will truly listen to his teaching. Yes, that’s why I’m here, “good" he replies, "this can really be something if you are willing to work hard at it. You have an amazing instrument, but no idea how to use it”. I was beyond skeptical. Buzzy continued “We are going to send you to Norway with an album”. Now I know he’s crazy, there is no way that I will ever make an album… but I very much want his help so I let that crazy thought slide.
Three months later I went to Norway a completely changed vocalist. I had a suitcase full of my albums to give away as promos, and a head full of new knowledge, and a heart full of confidence. I listened, I worked hard, and we changed the way I sing in many great ways. I continue to work hard with him whenever I can. It turns out that the reason that I and that teacher all those years ago thought that I couldn't sing is that I am a baritone. When I tried to sing with everyone else my voice would break on the higher notes. Crazy that I never understood that, if I just take songs down a step or two I can sing almost anything. Awesome that Buzzy helped me work through that, and he taught me to really sing. Thank you Buzzy!
To my unparalleled relief the show where we opened for Brad was an incredible success, and Brad was super supportive, he even let us borrow his fiddle and steel players. They hopped right in with Spinning Wheels and were amazing. Placed on the outside of the stage we dubbed them the training wheels :). The show was a big step up for the band and I thank you Brad!
Brad’s producer, the incredible Luke Wooten was also at the show. Luke is a great guy and a great friend. Months later back in Nashville, I asked him to a hockey game to pick his brain. I ran past him the thought that maybe I could do a real album for release. All I wanted was advice, but somehow I undeservedly ended up with one of the best producers in Nashville. He said he was going to produce the album for me! I told Luke there was no way I was going to let him do that, I didn’t deserve him. His reply? “Life is short, and this will be fun! Besides, I am one of the few people that have ever heard you sing. You walked up to that mic in Norway and started belting out Johnny, I was stunned”. I pinch myself when I look at all of the great people that have helped with this dream project.
Luke has been the greatest, thank you Luke!
I started writing with Madeline Stone who was amazing at showing me the ropes, then Victoria Shaw and Amber Rubarth graced me with their writing talents. I love writing and I feel like I have a knack for it. Co-writing with those amazing ladies is a dream, but I comfortably write alone now as well. I would have never dreamed, thank you ladies!
Thanks to Luke and his amazing team at Station West, my music is coming to life. We have 23 songs cut for this album! 9 originals! I would guess that a dozen or so will make the album, and I will add to it a few at a time over the summer. I can’t begin to explain what all goes into making an album. It’s a herculean task, one that only works with a village of tremendously talented people. Luckily Nashville is THE place for this kind of dream to come true. Even a freshman like myself had well over 100 people help with the album. I wish I could name them all, I appreciate their talents so much!
So here we are, on my “artist” website, casting away all fears of inevitable judgement. I’m facing fear and doing something I love, my only expectation is creative fulfillment, certainly not fame, that doesn’t appeal. But if a few people like and listen, that will be more than enough for me.
It’s hard to believe, little old me, the kid who couldn’t sing, the kid who then spent his whole life helping others be seen and heard is making albums and performing in Norway. How terrifying, exciting, dangerous… and glorious. It feels incredible to have a voice.