If you're reading this and we don't know each other, let me introduce myself and fill you in on a little backstory. I'm Scotty, and I'm a country singer. It's taken a long time to finally be able to say that. To explain, let's rewind...
I was raised in a lovely little town called Milverton, Ontario, about 20 minutes north of Stratford, where I was born. I’ve been a music junkie all my life. I grew up surrounded by music. In some form, it was always there. My dad played with the Milverton Legion Band, the community brass band. I have a picture of myself at my first "gig" at about 3 years old playing a little plastic saxophone with those guys. You could say I caught the bug early. There were church bands and choirs, a family fiddle band, and community jam sessions around me all the time, and I wormed my way into all of them. I just loved it. By the time I was midway through high school, I'd played piano, fiddle, drums, and a plethora of brass and woodwind instruments. We can fast forward past the early years (except maybe to mention that time I got to play at The Pentagon [yes, that Pentagon] when I was in 10th grade...I still can't quite wrap my head around that one). Country music was always around me, and I’d picked up a guitar a few times, but it wasn't until I was about 17 that I really (I mean, really) caught the bug. That's when I started digging into the guitar and it was around then that I decided I wanted to be a country singer.
My dad wisely suggested I should have a backup plan (I wasn't very good yet...lol), and that set me on the strange path that eventually led me here. I started my career in radio, fresh out of high school. I produced a talk show at CFPL-AM in London, Ontario, for about a year before moving on to become an announcer at Country 93 in Owen Sound, and then 820 CHAM in Hamilton. Those jobs were largely part-time, so I found myself selling pianos, making road signs, and various other things in addition to the radio jobs before taking a full-time office job in Toronto. Turns out, I'm not set up for office work. Eventually, I started dreading going to work in the morning, so I decided I needed to quit with my sanity intact and I went back to school to study music - performance, production, composition, and business. That was 2005.
While I was in college, and for a couple years after, I stumbled into a job in the funeral service industry moving bodies for a company called a "Removal Service." Seriously. We worked for local funeral homes and the coroner's department, and my job was to go in and pick up a recently (or sometimes not-so-recently) deceased body and take it wherever it needed to go. Usually, the destination was a funeral home, sometimes it would be a morgue for an autopsy, and sometimes to the airport in the event that someone passed away while travelling. You're probably either totally weirded out, or intrigued, or some combination of the two. I get it. Death in our society is kind of taboo - we don't like to think about it. But, I can tell you, it was one of the best jobs I've ever had. The hours were weird, and we had to deal with some wild stuff at times, but I took a lot of pride in helping families deal with their loss and treating their loved one with dignity and respect while they were in my care. It was also an on-call job so I was able to spend a lot of time writing and recording, getting better at what I really wanted to do with my life.
I started travelling back and forth to Nashville in 2005, writing songs, and helping other artists develop their craft. I had a couple songs in the Billboard Top 50 as a songwriter and got to do some really cool stuff with a bunch of artists until I was offered a job at a record label where I got to work on projects for some great Canadian artists. Bobby Wills, Brett Kissel, Aaron Pritchett, Ryan Laird, Jessie Farrell, and Shane Yellowbird were all on that roster. It was a blast. I'd become a pretty decent guitar player in college, and found myself touring as a sideman, in addition to my label gig, with guys like Bobby Wills and Ryan Laird. I played a CCMA event one year with Aaron Pritchett where we performed "in the round" with Michelle Wright, Jason Blaine, and Charlie Major. We all ended up joining Michelle on her hit song "Take It Like A Man", which was an experience I'll never forget. My next gig was another record label where I spent a few months working records for Dean Brody, The Road Hammers, Tim Hicks, Doc Walker, and Madeline Merlo - another amazing roster. I was in heaven, except that I began to find that I was making less and less music. I wasn't on the road anymore, and I wasn't really even writing very much. So rather than continue down that path, I decided to take a run at making music full time. I had no idea what that would look like, but I knew I had to do it in Nashville. This brings us to the end of 2014, and the start of the next major chapter of my life.
In 2015, I started spending about half my time in Nashville. I played as many gigs as I could with as many bands as I could. I spent all my time on the Broadway strip in Nashville, in writing rooms, at songwriter rounds, and even in the occasional smoky dive bar. I didn't have a plan, I just went out and met a bunch of new people and said yes to a bunch of things. I wrote songs all the time. I'd written a bunch of songs back home, and I'd played the club scene in Ontario for a while at this point, but doing it in Nashville was a whole different ballgame. It was invigorating. I could feel myself getting better, and I was writing significantly better songs. That first 6-month trip changed everything for me. For the first time, I wasn't focused on anything but myself and my music. I got a tattoo. I was happy. Totally broke, but as happy as I'd ever been.
I started writing with a few people on the regular. Ryan Sorestad, Callie McCullough, Sean Patrick McGraw, Emily Reid, Tenille Townes - all killer writers. One day in April 2015, I got together with my buddy Ryan Sorestad and an artist he was working with named Cort Carpenter to write for his next project. We sat in Cort's backyard and had a blast and a ton of laughs writing a song called Taking My Time which was so me it's crazy. I vividly remember driving home from the session on I-40 listening to our worktape, and realizing that this song was perfect for me. Taking My Time is infectious, laid back, and FUN. This was the kind of artist I wanted to be. It was just like that moment in cartoons where the light bulb comes on above a character’s head. In that instant, I knew I was going to cut a record, and a big chunk of it would be light fun songs like Taking My Time. Over the next few months I started writing much more intentionally, and on December 17, 2015, we started recording what would become my debut album.
Now we can fast forward to today - I'll tell you the production story another time, but the record is done. The first single, Falling Like The Rain, has been out for two days. I've begun a promotional radio tour that will take me across this beautiful country, and the music video premiere has already generated over 12,000 views. Quite honestly, I'm blown away by how quickly things have begun to develop. I don't know where this is going to end up, but it's incredibly exciting, and I can't wait to see where this new chapter takes me.
I'm glad you stopped by. Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this. I loved making this record, and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, please say hi at a show, or shoot me a message through the website, Facebook, or Instagram. I'm excited to hear from you!